Monday, February 2, 2009

Yunnan - Day 4 : Dali (大理)

today being our last full day in Yunnan we woke early to explore the old town.
on the way however we were accosted by some local men offering to take us up mount Cangshan to visit the Zhonghe temple on horseback.
who would refuse a trek up a steep rocky unkempt path on horseback?

exactly.

so that's just what we did.

the 2 guys were really chatty and were happy to answer all our questions.
turns out that he walks up to the temple about 3 to 4 times a day.
it's pretty steep going and 3 hours return... no wonder he looked so fit at age 54! although he smoked like a train...

my gorgeous horse was called "t-toe" and was kinda old but knew the path like the back of his/her (i forgot to check) hand... or hoof.
the guys walked behind us without any ropes attached to us and every now and then would call out something in chinese and t-toe would gallop away with me bobbling around like a stupid tourist trying to hold my camera in one hand and the reins in the other, all the while yelling "sto~p!".
mmm, t-toe didn't speak english that's for sure...

our two guides & my horse t-toe on the right


the path started out wide...


after a relatively peaceful
one & a half hour trek we made it to the top of the mountain, to the cable car stop.
yup, another cable car... but i wouldn't choose this over t-toe for the world.

views along the way


Zhonghe temple wasn't great, but it did over great views over Dali towards lake Erhai.
oh yeah, the toilets up here weren't amazing either.
pretty standard in many parts of china, but just so you know what i "experienced":

sorry ladies... but this is a guys urinal


doors & flushing water obviously not invented in china


the trek down-hill was much harder than going up.
the next day i had the sorest bum muscles... great for shaping the bum though!
it didn't help that our horses knew there world be a nice helping of food for them once they got back to their little camp... they were trotting like there was no tomorrow!

overall a great experience though, and i'm sure better than the smooth ride of the cable car.

horse price: 45-yuan
mountain entrance fee: 30-yuan (the money obviously wasn't going on the maintenance of the track!)
experience: priceless


after a late lunch and a wonder around the old town it was finally time to say goodbye to Dali and head back to Lijiang (this time by bus!) to catch our early morning flight back to Hong Kong the next day.
Dali gave us a nice farewell view from the bus:





6 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is more info about Yunnan at www.travelpod.com/members/happysheep

Luuworld said...

nice pics! and i envy the horseback riding. i wanted to try that ever since brokeback mountain. lol

dapper kid said...

Wow how wonderful! I am seriously loving the idea of horseriding up a mountain!

world of sekimachihato said...

*Luuworld
why did i know you were gonna say something like that?! lol
just so you know we wern't doing it bareback! we had a saddle lol

world of sekimachihato said...

* dapper kid
if you ever get the chance, go for it! it was awesome, and oh so peaceful. i haven't felt as one with nature like that for a long time.

Luuworld said...

haha, that's scary! maybe you're getting to know me too well. lol. ps, i love the pic with the mountains and fog. it's nice.

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