Dali is set near the Erhai lake with huge mountains in the background. We decided to explore the surrounding area on foot to escape the tour groups with the flag carrying leaders and the punters all wearing the same ugly baseball caps.
About 2km's North of Dali, you can find the rather imaginatively named "Three pagodas". We have seen so many beautiful pictures of the pagodas reflected in a lake, we tried to find the exact place. A week later someone told us that this is as real as it gets, the posters were either super-imposed or the lake has been filled-in.
This is inside the pagoda site, where the fee has trippled in the last two years. Jason was lured in with the promise of a museum - he found this was instead a Chinesism for another cheesy place where you could pay for a photo with a woman dressed in local costume.... No thank-you.... He was not too disheartened as he had used his padi diving pass in order to get student discount.
We think this 15 metre odd statue is the Buddhist goddess of mercy. She also seems to have a bit of a penchant for attending rock concerts dressed as a hippy. Here she is giving the band the "horns" / "North Shore Salute".
We took a very slow chairlift up the top of the surrounding mountain to check out the view. We were pleased that we were again given another option to have a photo with a local woman in costume.... might be time to move.
Jason's face sums up the place, he had just been told off by a local important woman for spending too long in the toilet....well he will keep eating these local dumplings on the side of the road!
As the cable car was also three times the price mentioned in our guide book, we took a quick walk down, which was actually faster than the chairlift. We passed a lot graves.
There were also temples of angry young men along the way looking very cultural revolution.