Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 8 Dali Market and Old City Wall

27 October 2014 (Monday)

I had made up my mind. I would stay another night in Dali. I would explore the local market and climb Dali Old City Wall and use the extra time to rest my tired legs.

After visiting the market and Dali Old City Wall, I was back at the hostel by 11:00 a.m. I was tired. At about 12 noon, I went out for lunch and was back at the hostel again right after lunch, partly because there was a light drizzle.

At 3:00 p.m., with the drizzle thinning out, I went to check where I could catch the Dali to Xiaguan bus. Two people I asked on the highway said that I should wait for the bus across the road, but they did not show me exactly where. They just pointed their fingers to the opposite side of the highway.

The drizzle turned heavier and I had to hurry back to the hostel. With the weather getting wetter, I was stuck in the hostel room.

Evening came and it was time for dinner. It was raining and no longer drizzling. I hesitated whether to go out for dinner or ate the remaining apple I bought on the way back to Lijiang from Lugu Lake.

Temptations overcame me. I had to go out to have another taste of Mei Cai Kou Rou, which I saw at a different eatery. I borrowed an umbrella from the hostel owner and went out.

The Mei Cai Kou Rou portion seemed slightly smaller, but equally good. The cost was CNY45 for the dish and CNY4 for the rice, tea and tissue for a total of CNY49. It was much more expensive that the total of CNY42 I paid last night at another eatery. In the last eatery, I asked about the price before making my order but I did not do so at this eatery, thinking I would be charged the same price. Lesson learnt - ask about the price before you eat or you would be charged more by these unscrupulous restaurant owners..

While borrowing the umbrella from the hostel owner earlier, he asked me again, which he had done already this morning, to buy the bus ticket from him instead of going to Xiaguan to catch the express bus to Kunming. He said it would cost CNY120 only and he could send me to the bus. I was wary about this. I asked him whether it was an express bus and he said no, but it would only take ½ hour longer.

However, why should I trust him that it would only be ½ hour longer? I wanted to take an express bus so that I could take a nap in the bus comfortably. I said I would think about it and he asked me to give him the answer when I came back from dinner.

After dinner, he was sitting at the lobby reading from his smart phone. I returned the umbrella and waited for him to initiate the conversation. He did not lift his eyes or pay attention to my presence so I went back to my room. My answer to him would be a no if he had asked as I just did not trust the words of 'friendly' people who offered help.

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