The last few days I’ve been with my friend Matt, his two daughters, and my new friend Dan exploring the town of DaLi.  We left out to DaLi by car on Wednesday the 2nd and because of the holiday schedule, the rain, and the sixteen accidents on the way, the five hour journey ended up taking us 9 hours!

The drive to DaLi was long, but it was very pretty.  Got to see a lot of the Chinese country side.  DaLi ended up being bigger than I was expecting.  We stayed in this cool old school DaLi area at a hostel called Sleepyfish.  Great people running the joint and a cool atmosphere kept us there.  Matt has been here a dozen times as well which definitely helps.

(During this time, Matt received a call from his employee who was able to take care of things with my lost bag which was happily waiting at Matt’s house when we returned!)

We ended up getting there pretty late and after we ate at the hostel and had some wine and cigars we went to bed.  The next day, Dan and myself went towards the top of the local mountain in town by cable car.  It was a gorgeous place and had some excellent hiking.  We met a Chinese girl from Beijing on the taxi to the cable car and she helped us get around before we ended up splitting off to go do some rock scrambling she wasn’t excited about.  The elevation was quite high on the mountain (something like 12,000 ft), and there were a ton of stairs up this hill she wasn’t admiring, so she went the other way.

Dan and I had a blast taking the stairs up and then doing some scrambling on very slippery rocks that we shouldn’t have been climbing on, but we did anyways.

After that we made it to this long stone laid trail and went hiking around towards these 7 dragon ponds.  It started raining and we got soaked.  When we arrived, the place was under construction.  Damn!  Well we stopped in this little rickety hut and there was a Chinese family selling some ramen noodles, so we got some.  It tasted amazing after the hiking.  We ended up hiking back and I mentioned to Dan that it would have been nice if they had a sign telling us the ponds were closed…and then we got back to the trail head where we saw a sign saying that the ponds were closed…whoops…missed that one.

We finished up the mountain taking the cable car and taxi back to the hostel.  We met up with Matt and the kids and took off to a favorite restaurant of Matt’s.  It was my first ever experience having yack steaks.  Yes, yack steaks.  Their meat is extremely tender, so they beat it with a hammer all day and serve it up with mushrooms and fries.  Very tasty after a long day of hiking around a mountain.

The next day we went over to the lake nearby and had some coffee, tea and cookies.  We hung around watching people fishing in their boats.  It was nice and relaxing.  We spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon there then went back and hung around the hostel.  That evening we went out to the main city of DaLi and went to this neat restaurant where they cook in front of you, but they were short staffed so our food was cooked by the person facing away from us…lame!  But the food was pretty good.

That night us guys stayed up late enjoying a few bottles of vino and having some more Cuban cigars.  They had a business agreement to finalize and I helped mediate.  We all had a good time and we all finalized on something making the two of them happy.  And I had a lot of wine, so that made me happy.

Our time in DaLi ended early this morning when we rushed to get up and out of the hostel.  Matt had to pay his room and we didn’t have the cash, so went to the ATM.  Well, it didn’t want to work for either of us, but I finally was able to pull out some cash.  I went to help Matt to try to use my card again, and the machine took it, and crashed without giving my card back.  I was kinda freaking cause it’s my real only way to get cash on this trip.  Thankfully after waiting almost thirty minutes at the bank, they were able to get my card back and we quickly left.  The drive home only took around six hours thankfully.

The next location on this journey: Beijing, China.


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Jason has been writing his adventures for a number of years now. This his stab at travel blogging. He's the main contributor for Jason Gets Around since it's him actually going places. He is a traveler, an adventurer, story teller, kickball player, a pool shark, a software engineer, and now most recently, a licensed pilot.