"A place that I once loved but now loathe" Dali by sugarpuff

Dali Travel Guide: 225 reviews and 744 photos

What's happening to this place?

I first visited DALI in 1999 during the Chinese New Year holidays where we were given 6 weeks to travel around the country! My roommate and I planned out a route that would take us from east to mid west and then south. I was so excited and had absolutely NO idea what to expect from all these places. In fact I didn't want to go at first as I had never been travelling as such and didn't really know if it was going to be safe or not. Anyway, off we set and after a few weeks we found ourselves in Yunnan Province and subsequently in DALI. The moment we arrived, I knew that this would be the kind of place I could live and stay for quite a while. So peaceful, not very many tourists, pleasant little hostels with lovely gardens to sit out in and enjoy the sunshine.

Actually the moment we arrived in DALI, I had my purse stolen from my bag with so many people around to witness it, but no-one saying anything to me, apart from a toothless old lady when she was getting off the bus! By then it was too late. It was found the next day minus the cash only..my cards were still in it, but I had already cancelled them! Fortunately I managed to borrow money from my friend for the rest of the trip! But I wasn't bitter or angry about it because this place was truly heaven. A small road with little cafes selling meals they believed foreigners ate every day such as banana and chocolate pancakes, milkshakes and everything else that was fatty...but good!!! Having spent 5 months in China already, I really appreciated this food!

Away with the beautiful and old

Can't seem to find my photos of my last trip there which is slightly annoying as they showed how touristy this place has become. As I was saying above, this town used to be free from Chinese people(I know that sounds weird, but it really was a place where foreigners went backpacking and the only Chinese there were the ones who live there. They knew how to respect their society and environment and the place had no pollution or rubbish whatsoever. The last time I went however, it was a huge disappointment and let down. This once beautiful and quiet town had been turned into a circus, a chinese themed town. What a pity. The streets are lined with all kinds of regular shops. By this I mean barbers, dvd shops, supermarkets and the list goes on. It never used to have all this..it just had the essential things for people to live. But now, music blares out of every shop, people shouting trying to get a sale, bargaining has become incredibly harder and to top it all off now, I was having to rub shoulders with a million Chinese people. The uniqueness has gone never to return. THE CHINESE HAVE RUINED THEIR OWN TOWN. They became greedy and took over the city without any regard for the locals or the environment.

  • Last visit to Dali: Oct 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (4)

  • BlaTboy's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    HAPP_Y BIRTHDAY Vic!!! So when are you coming over.. Weather here is warm for this time of year. Who are you working for?? Safe trip and great stay.. Cheers B-out

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2007 at 8:47 PM

    Think that I found Dali to be the best well preserved town in Yunnan, you confirm to me I should have come here years ago!

  • Sep 7, 2005 at 11:14 PM

    Shakll I send you some pictures I have of Dali - the place not the artist?!

  • themajor's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2005 at 5:55 AM

    I find this page slightly disturbing. Not only is Salvador Dali conspicious by his absence but so is everything else. Have I stumbled upon a zen buddhist travelogue, an exercise in existentialism or...a blank page?! I shall lie down in a dark room.


“Smell the spices, see the smiles and hear the laughter and whisperings of the locals.”

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