The view of Dali and the Erhai Lake at sunset, Christmas Day 2006.

Beautiful Dali

After leaving Kunming, the capital of Yunan Province, we ventured deeper in the province. On Christmas Day we left for Dali. Dali is famous for its marble, and the written character "marble" in both Chinese and Japanese literally means "Dali Rock." The climate was amazing -- trees were flowering in the town, yet the nearby mountains were white with snow.

There are so many beautiful photos I could show you of Dali, but I can't take up the whole page. Three photos follow, and you can see more by clicking on the thumbnails.

The famous three pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple, with the snowy mountains in the background.

Dali has lots of history. It was first the ancient capital of the Bai Kingdom in the 8th and 9th centuries (the Bai people (or "White Ethnicity") are the main recognized minority people of Dali). Later, it was the royal seat of the Kingdom of Dali from the 10th to 13th centuries, after it became a quasi-ally of the Mongols and converted to Islam. In modern history, it was also the center of a rebellion against the Qing Dynasty from 1857 to 1863, and in many ways it shares more with nearby Burma than Beijing. Although much of the old city has been destroyed, the Chinese government has put major cash and manpower into reconstructing some of the old structures.

The reconstructed temple grounds with an even more dramatic shot of the mountain backdrop.

A reconstructed gate.

Christmas in Dali! More pleasures of perspective. Dali Mosque, and... ...Dali Church.
Flowers and more. Marble cutters. A view of the Erhai Lake. The streets of Dali.

From there, we traveled up the mountains and north to Lijiang, at the foot of the Tibetan Plateau.

At the foot of the Tibetan Plateau.

First, a few pictures of the town itself. Click for the enlarged photos.

A Tibetan pagoda. The streets of Li Jiang. A gate in a rural village. Climbing upwards...

Below are some pictures of the buildings and views of the old town.

You can see more photos in the blog post linked to the right.

At the foot of Tibet

My traveling companion was struck with a sudden fever one day, and I set out alone to explore the truly rural regions outside the city. I read in my guidebook of some of the Tibetan monasteries on the outskirts of the city, so I headed out to a village at the foot of a hill and proceeded to hike up the sandy paths. I eventually arrived at an all but abandoned Tibetan monastery. These last four pictures are from that solitary afternoon hike.

On to the next entry...

AUDIO TRACK: Music playing through speakers at Chong Sheng Temple.

c. 2006