The Magical Kingdom Of Dali, China

Its about 9 in the morning and i have finally arrived Dali. An ancient city gloriously raised by the Nanzhao Kingdom which survived 200 years through 13 kings. It is also one of the most popular destination among the domestic travelers. Well, my sleep in the train was comfortable but exhausting at the same time. No, it is not contradictory at all. The bed was comfy but i kept waking up every second with paranoia swept over me. Overthinking that the train is going to derail or something - i don't know, maybe it was anxiety. I was also feeling breathless and kept taking deep breaths unconsciously every hour, every jerk the train made, every flashlight whenever the train conductor moves about in the middle of dawn. I was sure that i was already experiencing AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) at that moment. 
Chills run down my spine as i stepped out of the train, it was so much colder than in Kunming. Well, logically of course. I was travelling from Point A at the altitude of 1892m to Point B at the altitude of 1975m compared to Singapore which is no higher of 15m above sea level! The situation was chaotic outside the train station and believe me....its crowded. 
I spend my night in Dali Dragonfly Guesthouse located in the ancient town. The location of this guesthouse is definitely strategic. There's a lovely garden and sun terrace in the accommodation. A hand painted map of Dali with known landmarks in English was pin to the wall in the entrance. Information on current events were also pinned to a chalkboard for the beloved guest to stay updated. Of course, wifi is available. Their staff was super friendly and recommended cycling around the city. So i would really recommend to try cycling here and save time from walking and sweating. 
The little street and  alleys in front of the guesthouse are also artistic like this one below. I managed to squeeze in a mini photoshoot for fun here. I also discovered there are hidden boutique hostels while walking alone the alleys. Also, what's an alley without creepy people? We met some girl whom kept forcing us to enter a hostel and we saw her again outside our guesthouse in the middle of the night from our hostel window. She was even wearing the same clothes from the morning we saw her.

Sidenote: The meaning of the character below is Blessing. Also just to add, i am so blessed to have Najib in this trip with me. 
We had a choice between ($5-$7) an ebike, ($7-10) scooter or ($2) bicycle and all of them were less than 50 yuan for a day use. *Notes in case anyone else asked: we got 55yuan for 3 Bicycles about $2 per bike for a day use. 50 Yuan for a scooter.* I was reminded by the moments on scooter in Nusa Island and was very much tempted to get a scooter. In the end, i decided against it and chose this bicycle. I really needed a little bit of exercise - who knows, it might cure my AMS a little bit (no it didn't btw). We cycled from the hostel to the 3 pagoda for about 15 minutes or maybe lesser. It was a freaking cold & sunny day but i was just breathless the whole time. Really happy that i decided to use the bicycle as i am definitely doing my part to reduce carbon emissions and produce endorphin.Even cycling to the 3 Pagoda was such a breeze. I didn't enter the Pagodas though and took some scenic photos and souvenir shopping at the entrance of this gigantic temple. It is so majestic. I can't stop thinking about it.

My super cheap ass self cycled with my $2 bike all the way here to take a super cheap ass photo from afar. Aint no way i'm paying more than $10 to go inside the 3 Pagodas though. The view from the entrance is already amazing enough. This photo so lit. I love the rolling mountains behind the temple. Also, i would really recommend you guys to buy ceramic souvenirs in front of the entrance in the 3 Pagoda. Especially the ones on the photo above. Its like a hand painted mountains and waterfall on the ceramics. I bought 3 of them and is my favorite purchase for this trip.

Until next time, i will share more of Dali ancient town! 


  1. The mountains looks breathtaking, they make everything look tiny!

  2. Oh wow, what stunning photos! It looks like such a beautiful place to explore :-)


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