A bit further north and higher altitude meant Dali was a bit colder – out came the thermals again. Snow was visible on the tops of the surrounding hills and a little light rain. We stayed at another hostel to see how it was – the Jade Emu, run by an Aussie (obviously). The most westerners we've seen in one place so far.
The hostel was excellent. They had good food and good sounding cheap tours on offer. We were tempted by a cormorant fishing tour – out in a boat on the lake with a fisherman – but it was a bit cold and windy, and looked like rain so we put it off in favour of exploring Dali old town. We saw some electric "golf buggies" taking tourists around so followed one to source and had a 40 minute guided ride around town, which saved the legs. We then went back to interesting looking places we’d seen on the way through.
There were lots of touristy shops but the town was old and felt lived in. It had practical shops like furniture and plumbing for the locals as well as souvenier and handicraft shops for the tourists. There was a chunk of the old town wall which we climbed and walked along a short way.
As usual we found some good eateries, we saw a nice display of porcelain figurines in the museum and we wandered through the park where the old men were gathered with their caged birds – they bring them together to talk to each other, the birds and the old men.
The weather didn’t improve enough to contemplate the boat trip, but we were keen to visit the weekly market at Shaping. It was a typical market but bigger than some we’d seen. There were lots of veges, meat, housewares, spices, clothes – but no livestock. One thing it did have was heaps of fabrics – batiks, local weaving, embroidered pieces (we bought one to take home and frame) and embroidered money belts. I bought three belts and I could have bought dozens – I love that sort of thing. One belt I liked but the zip was broken. In a flash I was sat down on a little bench while the seller rushed off to get a new one and replaced it on the spot. Of course I had to buy it then!