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How to Spend a Weekend in Dali, China

By now, you guys have probably guessed that my friends and I like to get away from our studies by going on weekend trips.

This weekend, we checked out Dali, an ancient town north of Kunming.

Dali is a great destination for a weekend away. It’s full of amazing restaurants and cute little alleyways to discover and explore.

Getting There

Once again, we took the night train on Friday night, and we arrived Saturday morning at about 6am. The train station is a fair bit away from the old town. You’ll need to take the number 8 bus, which departs from the front of the train station.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Dragonfly Guesthouse which was really lovely. The beds were so so comfortable; the room was clean; we all had individual outlets (backpacker luxury!!!), and there was a beautiful rooftop to relax on.

Where We Ate

After weeks of eating Chinese food, we went a little crazy eating Western.

My teacher recommended a restaurant called Fly Me to the Moon, which serves all-day breakfast, pizzas, and burgers. We ate here multiple times. My beef burger was HUGE and tasty, and my friend really enjoyed his pizza.

There is a restaurant quite near Fly Me to the Moon called Serendipity Diner, which has the BEST cakes/pies/tarts, and reasonably priced beer. We didn’t try the main courses, but the food looked really good. HIGHLY recommend this place for their cakes.

Small stalls around the old town offer great food. We especially liked the coconut milk and kebabs.

There are plenty of xian hua bing (flower cake) stalls. These are a Yunnan speciality; they’re pastries filled with rose jam and they’re great if you like floral flavours. Even if you aren’t the biggest rose fan, try one!

What to Do in Dali

We spent our time walking around the old town and eating loads of food. This was more of a relaxing getaway than a sightseeing trip.

We did go to karaoke (a must if you’re in China!!!).

We also got cupping done. It was a really interesting experience… I think it’s definitely something to try once! The place we went to was called Bai Health Museum. They’re REALLY good.

We also walked down to the lake, although all of the lakeside restaurants and hotels are now closed.

Dali is a great place to get away from the city. It’s a relaxing, charming town, and worth a visit!

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