Final Dali Days

Apr 26, 2011 No Comments by

After having been a lazy bum the last few days here in Dali, we decided to get off our asses and get out to see the town. First stop was Cai Cun a small village on the edge of Er Hai Lake. We had hoped to find a ferry to take us across the lake. Problem? There are only “official” ferries from the government and they cost 150 yuan. That’s like 20 bucks! One way! Not possible. So we basically just spent some time wandering around this tiny village hoping to find someone to take us illegally for cheaper. At the local supermarket I think we found someone who knew someone who had a boat. But the Chinese to English barrier was slightly more difficult than normal. And then we got worried that we would get stranded in the middle of the lake, or that we would have to pay more to come back, or that we would drown. So we decided not to go for the boat. We just ate some tasty tasty meat and veggies and headed back into town.

Second stop for the day were the famed Three Pagodas. You can spot them anywhere in town, they tower over everything else. Now it’s kinda expensive to get in and I had been hoping to just take some photos from outside. Negative Ghostrider. once you’re close enough to actually take photos, you can’t see over the walls. So I bit the bullet and paid the admission price.

I walk into this tiny area with a lake. Figuring that you just have to walk around the lake to get to the pagodas I start walking. And soon walk all the way around the lake and am back at the beginning. No pagodas! I go up to the sales lady to try and figure out what I did wrong. She NOW hands me a map showing that the entrance I want is 500 meters down the road. This would have been valuable information to have at the start.

Now this looks more like it! Big walls! Big temples! BIG PAGODAS! Yes! Sorry finding anything while dealing with the chinese language is a cause for celebration. So these pagodas are pretty impressive though they have the doors blocked off so that you can’t actually go in. Strange. The most surprising part was the rest of the complex. And I do mean complex. That bad boy went on FOREVER! I had no idea there were so many temples inside the site.

There’s basically this long pathway that heads up the side of the mountain and you just keep going through temple after temple. We started taking bets on whether this would be the last one. You’d enter a temple and then spot the door at the back and head on up the stairs to the next section. It was crazy crazy huge! Managed to find the last temple finally and then started our way back down.

Stats from the complex:

  • Had my photo taken by 6 different chinese tour groups
  • Got yelled at by one security guard for sitting on a doorway. Each door has a tiny little wall at the base of it and I sat on one. I didn’t think the doorway could be sacred but evidently I was misguided. Oops.
  • Took approx 127 photos of temples. Holy god. I mean Buddha.
  • Bought 2 ice cream cones. Mmmmmm ice cream.



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One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.
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