Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Downtown Dali

Delicious noodles - cut fresh!
Sarah was feeling slightly better in the morning, but still with not much appetite. We carted our bags back to the Yellow Canary as our room was now available and then walked into the old town area. We enjoyed a slow but very nice breakfast with fresh bread which was something we realised we hadn’t eaten in a long time.

We explored town and walked to the Three Pagodas, stopping on the way for some 5RMB noodles that were too good to simply walk past as they were cut from what resembled a huge cheese wheel and then coated in chili oil and sauce – worth every Yuan! 

It was a difficult decision whether or not we should pay the exorbitant 121RMB entrance fee to the pagodas as they didn’t look that impressive from the outside, and we wondered if we’d actually gain anything by going in since they were large enough to see from the road. However, since it was THE thing to do in Dali we decided we probably should. 

The stunning Three Pagodas
Thankfully there were more things in the compound to see than just the 3 pagodas, there were also at least 8 fantastic Buddhist temples winding their way all the way up the hillside. They were really impressive with massive golden statues and intricately carved doors with beautiful wooden panels along the walls of the exterior façade. The uphill hike to the topmost monastery was well worth the effort in the heat as the statues and the carvings there were the best we’d seen. On our way back down we headed off to a side monastery that ended up having over 500 golden monk statues, all unique in design, facial expressions and positions, amazing to walk amongst.

One of the beautiful temples in the compound
By the time we exited we were tired and becoming dehydrated so we took a tuk tuk back to the hostel rather than walk. After recovering for a bit we went back into the old town for some dinner and tried the local speciality of fried yak cheese with fried rice – not the best thing for Sarah’s still queasy stomach but worth trying. As we left dinner we realised that every street vendor was selling the local speciality of fried yak cheese and the smell as we wandered the streets was reminiscent of walking in Geneva in winter when all the restaurants are serving up fondue… 

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