June 15, 2008

down to Dali

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:53 am by changisme

So a quick note. We came out of shangri-la and down the mountain. Well, in fact, we went up and down several times, but overall, we came down from 3300 meters to 1300 meters. The scenery has changed several times. There were the alpine medows, the mountains in th clouds and he corn and Qing ke, then there’s the rice fields, which is what I love the most. We also saw parts of tripical forests and hilly areas, where hardly anything grew.
We came to Dali, where the Bai ethnic group resides. It’s an old touristy area, and quite boring(the old town is just like a shopping mall), but we rented bikes and rode into the country side. I chated with some locals. Aparently, the price of rice did rise, but they aren’t happy because so did the fertilizers!! It earns them more money to grow rice than corn, but rice needs more water. I asked about the specific prices and the amount of fertilizers they use for corn and rice and so on. The local I asked was very clear and detailed about these things, even thogh tey wouldn’t even know where the next dock is or how far the next village is. I feel kinda bad in a way that they are so closed up in their lives or pasentry, but on the other hand, they do know a lot of things I haven’t a clue of.
I also wish I knew their dialect, because it would be so much easier for me to converse with them. they don’t speak very good mandarin, and I’m worse, as I don’t speak even a little bit of their dialect.
One thing interesting though, here in Dali, people keep mostly milk cows, whereas up in Lijiang and Shangri-la, people kept oxens for working mostly. I don’t really know why, maybe here is more accessible to outside market and chipping dairy product is more profitable.
I wish I could talk to the locals a little more, the farmers seem to be pretty interested in talking because it’s the relaxing time of their year. According one of them, April and May was pretty busy. Anyway, my traveling partners either don’t knwo Chinese or don’t really understand their mandarin or don’t feel like talking to tthem. I always have to sneak my chances.

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