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Dali – Where Have All the Hippies Gone ?

semi-overcast 15 °C

Nestled at the foot of the mountains that rise to the Tibetan Plateau, and just a stone's throw from the historic Kingdom of Burma, (now Myanmar), lies the ancient Chinese city of Dali Gucheng – the ancestral home of the Bai ethnic people. While many of the world's cities have preserved and reconstructed their historic cores, few have been so revitalized as Dali. Every street, alley and doorway within the city walls appears as it might have done in the 18th century when it was a major trading post between Tibet and Thailand...

The ancient city is just 16 kilometres from the modern city of Dali, Xiaguan, but they are world's apart. The new Dali is a bustling metropolis of highrises and lofty shopping malls, whereas nothing rises above the elaborate city gates in the old city....
After the ancient city was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1925 it was decided that it should be rebuilt in its original style. So, although many of these buildings appear to be centuries old they may have been built less than 70 years ago...
Millions of Chinese tourists flock to Dali throughout the year to see what their country looked like before wars, revolutions and the ravages of time took hold. Here are just a few of them we encountered on a sunny Sunday morning in spring...
There are very many wealthy, fashion conscious Chinese today and they like nothing better than to dress up and take their photos in iconic locations...
Dali was a major destination for western hippies in the 1970s and 1980s and, apparently, some of them have stuck around. However, we have only seen 5 westerners in two days. We are told that there is a Canadian bar in town but we have spent our time in search of the finest China tea – Pu'er. Despite its altitude and mountainous terrain, this part of China has a very moderate climate and on our 330 kilometres journey from Kunming we saw terraced valleys filled with flowering rapeseed and even bananas. The market in old Dali was bursting with the kind of local produce that we will only see in August at home...
Next time on Blissful Adventures we will introduce you to some of the traditional Yunnan foods and the wonderfully friendly folk we've met here.

Posted by Hawkson 23:58 Archived in China

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Just caught up with your travels. Amazing scenes,loved the wildlife blogs in Sri Lanka. What diversity in culture and climate,what similarity in the human conditon. Thanks for sharing it all.

by Amanda

Nice to see your nice travel pictures

by Danushka Fernando

Early again getting up to see the great bright looking travelers. the only place here that is busy is the grocery store. the nice fresh food is where you are. We have rain and cold days. I still love your good pics no hippys? love

by Jean McLaren

Thank goodness value is still found in traditional buildings. It would be a sorry place if everything was contemporary. Happy travels.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Perfect temperature for walking about and I see your usual blue skies in the background. Wonder if the C on the lady's jacket stands for China or Cleveland. Looking forward to the Yunnan food pictures.

by R and B

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