dali πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ china travel diary (pt. 4 of 8)

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to do my travel blog posts in a more timely fashion, and today we are going to continue not doing that! (I’m completely kidding, I have no such resolution.) Today we’re in Dali (倧理), which is the city my grandparents are originally from and the medieval capital of the Bai kingdom, which is the ethnic minority my grandpa belongs to!! Thank u Wikipedia that was cool 2 kno!

My photos start at a restaurant, and I have not much to say about it other than there was a lot of food but unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan, as this province, where my dad’s family is from, is one known for very spicy food; Yunnan is to the south of the Sichuan province, aka Szechuan aka spiciest fuckin’ food ever. I can’t handle my spice and am a disgrace to my family and ancestors, so u kno, I deserved to starve at this lunch.

We ate at this restaurant on our way to Dali with some childhood friends of my dad, and after eating went to visit their house. So that was a car nap for me and some games on the phone involving llamas (or maybe alpacas?) absorbing other llamas (possibly alpacas) to become the ultimate llama god. He’s sixteen. I don’t know what the kids are up to these days.

It was really interesting seeing my dad’s friend’s house! All of my family members live in apartments in the city, so this is the first time (in recent memory, at least) I’ve seen a house in China that’s quite a bit larger, with multiple floors and a bit of a yard.

I’m working on a cross stitch of a Van Gogh painting, so these framed huge cross stitches were really cool to see! Each floor had one of a different plant, but I liked these the most.

My dad’s friend’s son (lot of relationships to keep in mind lol) recently got married, so they still had decorations up from that πŸ™‚

& off we go again!! To Da Li for real πŸ™‚

We’re heeeeere! We unloaded at our hotel and set off in search of dinner. I was pretty tired and it was rather late, but my aunt and uncle are intense tourists and leave no time for silly things like rest when there’s shit to see and dishes to eat.

It was a lil hard to find an open restaurant because it was pretty late, but my aunt was satisfied with this one. A lot of the ingredients and dishes they had on show were from a nearby lake, so lots of seaweed type stuff and teeny shrimp and other assorted shit you’d find in the lake. I’m not a big seafood person, so I wasn’t a huge fan of a solid chunk of our dinner (I swear I’m only really picky in comparison to the broad array of things eaten in China; in America I’m not that picky).

I was a big fan of my nails and my water bottle color combo (love a good blue/yellow moment) and made sure to proclaim it via Instagram stories lol.

One of the great pleasures, in my opinion, of Chinese dining is how unfussy and unpretentious it often is. There’s trash behind you and you have to sit on teeny stools and it’s not a big deal because there’s lots of damn good food in front of you. Of course there are fancy restaurants in China too, but I really appreciate the stripped down nature of a lot of eateries. You just yell you want a bowl of noodles and they yell OK back at you and then you eat. You don’t have to make small talk about the weather or anything.

Because I’m so into potatoes and so not into spice, when I visit my dad’s family my aunt usually takes pity on me and asks for one non-spicy potato dish. The exchange usually goes like –

  • My aunt: This potato dish please. Not spicy at all.
  • Restaurant staff: What?! Not spicy??
  • Aunt: Yes. Not a bit of spice.
  • Restaurant: It’ll be really bland if it’s not spicy!
  • Aunt: …I know.

And then we all shed a tear and the ancestors blow a cold wind across my back. (This dish can be described as kind of a hash brown, but Chinese and therefore much tastier.)

After dinner’s done, it’s off to stroll around the Old City, which is where the old city wall is with the traditional looking building. A lot of walking again. My brother and I were getting quite tired.

I meant to get some of this cotton candy on the walk back to our hotel, but I was so eager to get to bed I completely forgot :/

There was a street named Foreigners Street ->

The Yunnan province is known for pastries with rose petals inside. (Cool concept, but I don’t think it’s very tasty lol.)

The last time I was in Da Li I think I was 15 or 16, and I came on a summer trip with a few other people around my age (+ some older adult chaperones) to visit the region and teach English in some schools. We stopped in Da Li and hung out at a couple bars, and this guy barfed in the cute little scenic stream bc he drank too much. Good memoriez!!

This building up here ^ is a McDonald’s! You can just see the golden arches behind that tree.

Honestly, I have nothing much else to say, because we just did a lot of walking and my brother and I were like πŸ˜“πŸ˜΄ falling asleep standing up and barely able to keep up with our uncle and aunt. Thanks for scrolling!


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