Thursday, September 07, 2006

Old city walls, Dali


Zhonghe Temple
Old city walls, Dali

Originally uploaded by Mistress B.
Dali is like a Swiss mountain village mysteriously transported to rural China, with a healthy dose of yak butter products, ornate rooftops and tiny but very persuasive little old Bai ladies selling their embroidery thrown in to spice up the mix. We've had some financial ups and downs here. We got seriously done over at a huge Buddhist temple complex outside town, where some 'monks' thrust their complex blessings on us then held our hearts' dearest wishes for religious ransom until we coughed up several hundred yuan (Y6 to the A$1). Phil fell foul of them because he didn't have any cash on him (I'm the self-appointed moneybags of the trip) so I think they cursed him instead. And all he wished for was world happiness - oops. But I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Then we got ushered down a back alley by a persistent little Bai lady who'd been following us around for a day or so, but the upside was we got to paw through some amazingly beautiful embroidery and stuff. After some heavy bargaining (by Phil of course, I'm a total flop at the hard stuff) we bought a cushion cover and a lovely bell. We've also become addicted to Yunnan's Pu Er tea, which we've been buying in brick form and you just crumble a fingernail's worth into hot water. Good stuff. And Chinese beer is surprisingly good, hence our weakness for having a couple every night with food. So much for my plan to lose weight while travelling...

3 comments:

Veggie Friendly said...

Hmm. Comes in a brick, you crumble it into water, and is suprisingly addictive... I have heard of other such herbs that meet that description.

Sounds like you are having an amazing time in China, and good that you have avoided quarantine despite your suspiciously bird flu-like symptoms.

Is it easy to travel independently?

Bianca Nogrady said...

Heh heh heh... well we do keep getting unexpected offers from little old Naxi ladies who sidle up to Phil and whisper "ganja? hash?" in his ear with a wicked grin on their faces. It's very strange - granny pushers.
Has been very easy to travel independently - we haven't done any tours yet, and it's easy to hire bicycles and motorbikes and just go where you like. Also found it surprisingly easy to eat vegetarian. Already got a few reviews in my head for your site!

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