July 16th: Da Li
Our first full day in Da Li (map) began with a short bus ride to watch a festive Bai minority tea ceremony. We then walked through the narrow old streets of this minority village and purchased handmade tapestries from various street vendors along the way. Upon returning to our hotel Christine and I decided to do some exploring and found our way to the pagoda at the old city gate which once surrounded the city. There was an incredible panoramic view of the city, lake and lush mountains with rays of sunlight shining through the clouds. We took many photos and enjoyed the surreal view.
For dinner we were treated to a completely vegetarian dinner with 14 dishes to choose from. This was likely our best meal on the trip as each dish was exquisitely prepared and we had the luxury of not dealing with tiny bones which accompanied our carnivorous meals. Before dinner we talked with the curator of the Dali museum over tea and I purchased a few puer cakes from the shop. In the evening we did some shopping along the old city streets and watched a musical performance from the balcony of an ideally located bar.