Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beautiful Dali

We took almost 2 weeks break in China, and it was a mad rush for Christmas shopping when we were back. Then it was family gathering over the long weekend. Time for a breather and catching up on my blog and my exchanges!

Day 1 of trip in China (6 Dec): We arrived in Kunming (昆明) in the afternoon, and immediately set off for Dali (大理) by car. On the highway from Kunming to Dali:

It took about 4 hours to reach Dali, and it was already dusk by the time we reached. After checking in the hotel, we went for dinner. These 2 dishes were interesting - the left one was egg white with milk, deep fried, with red bean paste in the middle; the right one was a chicken dish fried with dried chili and lined with deep fried mint leaves at the bottom. Nice to take a bit of each food, but too greasy to eat more.

It was cold throughout our whole trip, below 10 deg C, but most of the time, hovering just above 0 deg, from 1 to 5 deg. We weren't quite prepared for such cold weather. In fact, we took turns to come down with fever on the first few days. Luckily, there is such a thing called paracetamol!

This was the front lobby of the Landscape Hotel (兰林阁酒店) we stayed in Dali, full of oriental charm.

We visted the Tang Dynasty Three Pogoda Temple (崇圣寺三塔) in Dali on Day 2 (7 Dec). Regarded as one of the best preserved Buddhist structures in China, the compounds behind the pagodas were destroyed during the 1920s earthquake and later in the Cultural Revolution and were rebuilt starting in 1986.

The Central Pagoda (the one in the centre in the photo below) is almost 1200 years old and represents a period when Dali was a Buddhist Kingdom.

The other 2 pagodas are on each side to the left and right of the centre one.

The Congshen Temple (崇圣寺) behind the Three Pagodas has recently been rebuilt and reopened, after deteriorating in the 20th century due to earthquakes, fires and the Cultural Revolution. It is a massive complex that continues far up the mountain.

Next was a cruise by boat on Erhai Lake (洱海).

This is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, "sea shaped like an ear" in Chinese, implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake is an important food source for the local people (Bais), who are famous for their fishing method: they train cormorants (seabirds 鱼鹰) to catch fish.

The caught fish deep-fried for sale at a resting point:Despite the cold, it was a clear day with blue sky and white clouds.
A quick lunch before we set off for Lijiang (江). We tried to go for non-spicy food where possible!

I didn't have much time nor mood to handmake gifts this year. Only managed to tat a few of my favourite holly paperclips and decorated some tic tac boxes (part of the lots here):

The Christmas swap hosted by Bonnie Jean Larsen (USA) arrived before the new year. Top left ATC done by Bonnie herself, bottom ATC by Eileen Britten, and the Angel ATC by Marie Schroller (USA).

This was my last doll ATC swap for the year. The theme was "Leaves and Trees", the pair was hand-drawn by Lisa Ricchio (USA), this being her first swap for doll ATCs.

Hope everyone has a good start in the new year, and a wonderful year ahead!


Val said...

your holiday pics are beautiful. thanks for sharing. see you soon.

Maureen said...

The Congshen Temple looks so colourful! - and hasn't your son grown! - he's taller than you are.
I've been looking forward to these pictures,and I will go back and read it all more slowly when I have time.
Thank you for showing them!

Singtatter said...

Hi Val, where are your photos of your holidays? I'm waiting!

Hello, Maureen! My boy is even taller than my hubby now, they really grow fast. More photos coming!