My sunburn has not yet subsided. Yunnan coffee is awesome. The hash brown, scrambled eggs, super-thick toast, vegetable salad and sauces, even the funky salt and pepper shakers make for one of the best breakfasts I've had in China. The atmosphere here in Ancient Town Youth Hostel is the sort I dream of. In fact this whole town kicks arse over Dali.
Lunch in the restaurant that has been frequented by China's first, and still most famous rock star. I can't read the menu, but I have my own hero, Yak, ordering for the 3 of us again.
Yak and I walked to the Black Dragon Pool and discovered yet another price hike. Basically we side-stepped the pay gate and crept through a hole in the fence a hundred metres up. I've since learned this is a popular technique for many of the sights throughout the country!
For 3 yuan I visited the Kanxue Tower and wandered through its flowering garden, the empty card house, the dining hall with its working kitchen for the hotel - for some bizarre unimaginable reason 2 legs of meat have been hung on the wall and left to rot.
Yak again comes through with exciting hopes. During a late dinner in the hostel, he presents me with an airfare quote 1-way to Lhasa. The man should be in politics pulling string like this, but let's see what extra fees I probably have to pay...
Listening to the Himalaya soundtrack makes me think of the region's pre-1950 past. A train line to Lhasa is due to open sometime in the next year. Travel restrictions for foreigners may be dismantled by 2007. I suspect big changes for Lhasa are imminent.