Saying goodbye to Kunming after a month of classes, we headed north on Yunnan’s touristy trail. First stop, Dali.
The town is well-equipped to handle the glut of tourists it gets, but has done so without altering most of the historical buildings and streets. Most of the streets are still cobble-stoned, and the main shopping area is pedestrian-only. Some of the restaurants we went into were not much bigger than most OOFALWO readers’ dining rooms, with one or two items on the menu. Our first night, we had a few plates of delicious dumplings after watching the friendly proprietor roll them out to order.
Because of its location on the established Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri La trail, Dali has the obligatory “Western breakfast” joints, reggae bar, and sidewalk cafes. While we usually went with local fare, we will admit to wiling away a few hours on Foreigner Street, people-watching and downing a frosty beverage or two in the late afternoon.