Wednesday, February 11: After seeing the Three Pagodas of Dali, a taxi driver drops us at Dali’s South Gate, were we encounter a number of characters dressed in costume.
We have no idea what this is all about; the only thing I can think is that they’re people trying to make a yuan or two from tourists who want photos with them.
We walk through the gate and into the south part of the town, where we haven’t been before. We find some colorful masks. Alex stops in various souvenir shops; he has a friend who collects miniature containers and he’s hoping to find something unique for his friend. He never finds anything. I’m tempted to buy a mask or two, but I don’t want to drag them all over Myanmar.
We come across this huge statue, but I have no idea who he is.
We encounter street performers and people in costume.
We venture into a side street that looks charming and picturesque, with canals, fountains, red lanterns and willow trees.
While wandering through some of the side streets, we come across another mosque.
We come across the Eighth Dali International Orchid and Camellia Expo.
Finally, we’re back to the food street, where we see the green-domed mosque again.
We stop into a restaurant called Fragrance for dinner. It’s a bit of a strange experience. We’re told there are no waitresses so we must write our order on a piece of paper and deliver it to the chef. Some things, like beer or drinks, are not on the menu, so we want to ask someone about that; however, there is no one to ask as the chef doesn’t speak English and the hostesses who seated us have disappeared. I’m not even hungry after our big lunch this afternoon at Erhai Lake, so I have a few bites of Alex’s meal. I wouldn’t have stopped to eat at all, except to have a drink. Alex is annoyed at me for not ordering a meal because he feels uncomfortable eating by himself while I’m just sitting there. But I don’t want to eat when I’m not hungry. I’m already putting on enough weight during my travels, so why should I? 🙂
After dinner, we go back to our hotel, Dali Mountain Delights, which has one of the coldest rooms in which we’ve stayed. The one in Shaxi was the warmest; this one doesn’t seem to ever warm up. Luckily my earache is starting to feel better. I’m glad because tomorrow we’re heading back to Kunming, and then onward to the Stone Forest.