Kunming Tourism & Travel Guide

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An independent traveler's mecca, Dali is one of my favorite places in China. Flanked by the Cangshan mountains and Erhai Lake, the city is divided into Dali New City (Xiaguan) and Dali Old Town (Gucheng). With good hiking options in the mountains and small minority villages along the lake, Dali offers a gamut of activities to choose from. We'll spend a day hiking the Cangshan mountains (with or without taking the cable car to the starting point) for some stellar views of the town and Erhai lake. After a tiring but fulfilling day, we head to Yi Rang Tang in Dali Old Town for a scrumptious veggie buffet prepared by Buddhist monks. It is all-you-can-eat for less than a dollar, but the bowl has to be licked clean. No wastage whatsoever. We finish the day sauntering around the old town hitting a few bars if we feel like it. Another popular activity is renting bicycles and riding the circuit around the Erhai Lake while stopping at some of the minority villages and interacting with the locals. The weather was not in my favor the last time with incessant rain, but it still made for some memorable moments enough to make me come back.

About Kunming

As we started for our 4 hours’ journey to Dongchuan Red Land from Kunming, The capital city of Yunan province on an early morning of late September, Jack, our driver had planned to stop at a decent restaurant of Tandian town on midway for breakfast, but Tandian was too far to resist our hunger, therefore we got down at the village market of Sadan, which is 20kms away from Kunming. Still then Jack was not sure about our acceptance level as we had to eat on one of those poor-looking and shabby food-stalls of the market, but his doubt was washed away when he saw us showing interest on the edibility of wasps being sold by some villagers. Wherever we see anything exotic to eat, we give ourselves a chance, unless it’s beyond our affordability. As usually we bought wasps and got thrilled to see the sellers taking the living wasps out of the hive. We ordered lamb noodles soup on one of the food-stalls of the market and also requested them to fry those wasps for us. It tastes good, though nothing extra-ordinary! The market was quite impressive to explore. We saw exotic mushrooms, fruits and veggies on sale over there.

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