The reason to stop in Dali was mainly because it was on the way to Lijiang and the Tiger Leaping Gorge further north. After reading a bit about it we didn't have much hopes for the old town but some for the Erhai Lake. And we were right: while Dali old town is totally spoilt and focused towards Chinese tour groups, the Erhai lake and its surroundings were a beautiful surprise, so the point is going straight to the lake, renting a bike and give pedals around the lake and through its beautiful small villages.
It took us quite a while to get from the rice terraces in Yuanyang to Dali. One hour to Xianjie, another one to Nansha, 3 more hours to Jianshui, and waiting there 4 hours to take a 12-hour train to Xiaguan. The train ride was again overnight in a hard sleeper, only disturbed by the hordes getting on it in Kunming on the way to Dali.
Born in Barcelona and raised in Olot, I've been interested in travelling since I was a child, when every Summer I crossed Spain from coast to coast with my parents. Listening to my siblings' stories about their trips all over the world also helped, as well as watching Around the World with Willy Fog on TV :)
As I grew up, and while I was still studying... read more