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China: Studies - Dali: Magical Lake with Magical Little Old Man

Published: 12.9.2015
Dali 大理 je belongs to the Pai 白 minority. At the first glimpse you realize the city feels differently than Han 汉 (i.e. ethnic Chinese) cities. Once we accommodated ourselves, we walked in the streets surrounding our hostel. Somehow we managed to find rooms in an area where were no foreign or Chinese tourists. A pleasant change.

We couldn’t have miss it as we stayed only several meters from Erhai lake 洱海 . We were shocked by its vastness despite the fact that we assumed it would be large. Children cooled down in shallow water at the shore. Old ladies washed clothes right next to them, waitresses gathered flowers for their restaurants, and fishermen tried to catch fish.

jezeroi Er-chajjezeroi Er-chaj

We reached a wooden summer house. From afar, we had already noted hunched people inside.dědeček v tradičním oblečení When we got closer, we realized that mysterious figure was an old man in traditional clothes . He wore a blue hat and an embroiled shirt. He smiled at us and greeted us.

Once we started talking he showed me his picture when he was young. A true handsome man was there. Once again we realized how fast our world changes. Then it was our turn. The old man convinced he collects photos of foreigners and foreign currency. He also drew his wallet and showed us pictures and different currencies. Then we truly regret we didn’t have any Czech money...

We had talked with the old man, took a picture with him, and returned back to the hostel. Freshly made bet awaited us and our landlady’s happy puppy as well. And, in my case, a fever...

I still felt pretty sick on the following day. P and B went for a trip in the mountains alone. Only T was my company. We accepted our landlady’s offer to lend a bike. One was bit rusty but still faster than walk.

Ta-li

So the adventure might finally start. We stayed only couple of kilometers from Dali’s historical quarters. It was easy to reach it. Me and T simply mounted bikes and slowly set off straight ahead.

After while we realized, that we were at higher altitude than we had been used to at home. Hadn’t we seen city walls, we might have had hard time to actually return back. When we reached the walls, we locked our bikes and took a deep breath. We didn’t even know that the best would only come – well, it would be a pity to tell it now and not to save it for later…

GPS: 25°59'29.2"N 100°06'52.1"E

 

Text and photo: Hana Bašová



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