We are staying at the Jade Emu in Dali. It's a clean and comfortable hostel for only 120 a night. That's 120 RMB a night, or about $20 U.S. a night. It includes two bedrooms, a bath, a kitchen area, TV, and free WIFI. I think hostels are underrated. Most we've stayed in offer better services that some of the five stars. In addition to the ping pong table, dartboard, and free Internet computers, they offer a reasonable breakfast too.
Our room is on the second floor of the inn. It's a perfect temperature outside. A gentle wind fills the curtains that eventually spills into the room sweeping over our beds in the evenings. The sun neons the clouds above the Dali mountain peaks providing a soft evening light down the lush green valley below it.
We rented a car and drove here rather than fly. It's a longer trip but certainly a more beautiful view of the countryside. Eric is in town so we decided to take a trip to Lijiang and Dali is on the way.
This morning we went into town for a breakfast of eggs, fresh bread, local cheese, and fresh coffee. Dali town has underground waterways, cobble stone streets and shops of tourists. But that's not why we stopped here.
The real reason we stopped is The Bad Monkey Bistro, a micro brewery and restaurant. They brew a wonderful orange and coriander ale, copper in color and creamy on the finish.
Next we went across the street for a meal. What's great about these small towns is that they don't care if you carry your beer over to another restaurant. So after ordering our ale we took our mugs across the way to eat yak steaks. We sat under umbrellas, away from the light rain and talked for an hour or two.
As the sun set we walked through the town and made videos of the small waterfalls cascading through the streets.
Finally, near the inn we found a granite yard and snapped a picture under the moonlight.
At a mountain spring up the hill we filled our water bottles for tomorrow's walk around town.
Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember. - Oscar Levant