[Travel] Dali, Erhai Lake and Xizhou Bai Village

Rise and shine for our second day in Dali. We booked our Erhai cruising trip with our hostel Jade Emu Hostel for 120 CYN per-head. The trip is 6-8 hours long around the lake with several stops over. Joining the tour also another Indonesian boy who is studying in Hunan province and his significant other.

Our first stop is one of the Bai (白和) village, Xizhou (喜洲), a 20 km north from Old Town Dali (大理). Xizhou (喜洲) is another village for trading post along the Ancient Chamada (茶马道, Tea and Horse) road.

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Sifang Street (四方街)

Xizhou (喜洲) center is Sifang Street (四方街), or old town square/market. They sell many hawkers delight like mushrooms, various meat on a stick for barbecue and Xizhou baba (喜州粑粑), a flat bread like we found in Baisha Village, Lijiang, in sweet or savory version.

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Barbecue various meat, chicken, seafood etc.

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Xizhou baba (喜州粑粑)

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Typically Xizhou (喜洲) buildings have Bai architecture with ornate gateways, white washed walls and hexagonal patterns, square courtyard with surrounding buildings interconnecting. Because Xizhou (喜洲) is also a port town for trade, some homes owned by rich tin, silk, musk and other goods merchants, are lavishly decorated.

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Looking around, there are some houses not fully restored are open for tourist to look around up the the courtyard and the outer kitchen, even see their farm produce and live stock. We go in one of the houses still on repair and the courtyard messy. But this is interesting because we got to see real people with real lives here, with laundry in the courtyard and hanging dried beed and innards, cracked walls and faded paint.

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From Xizhou (喜洲), we go around Erhai lake (洱海). It’s at 1.972 meters above sea level with the area of 250 square kilometers, one of the largest lake in China.

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We see some farmers slaughter a pig on the lake side as we take photos here.

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They dressed like Naxi women but their headdress is that of Bai (白和) ethnic group

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Another view with clear water in a small pond

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I’m happy I got this shot since we’re a fast moving van. From Shuanglang (双廊) City port we hop on the boat to Nanzhao Folklore Island (南诏风情岛).It was previously named Yuji Island (玉玑岛).

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Mother Shayi (沙壹母)

Once upon a time, this woman from the Ailao mountain, went fishing. She get into contact with a log. Unbeknown to her, the log is a dragon incarnate. She conceived ten sons who later become the Yunnan’s ethnic groups, in particular the Bai (白和) and Yi(彝族) people.

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The Goddess Guan Yin (观音) Statue on the Luck of Yunnan square

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Bai (白和) with their ethnic cloths

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We take the same back to the shore for lunch. Some of the places are like a spring break destination. Girls wearing high heels and boys with yuppy cloths. And of course all the Chinese tourists. The island and the shorefront estates are gear towards modern China and for me, it lost its Bai (白和) identity.

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Food and drinks are often expensive as well, price I can find in large city like Shanghai.

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Shorefront estate

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Little Putuo Island (小普陀)

The island is at the east of the lake, close to Wase village. The floating island has a temple that worship the Buddha Bodhissatva (菩薩) and the Goddess Guan Yin (观音). Going to the island, a person can pay 30 CYN and be ferried to the island but we opt not to.

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We go back to the hostel in the afternoon. The next day we go to see the Three Pagodas.

Dali Trip:

See also Chinese Minority Ethnic Group custom at Shanghai Museum post here.

Source information: GoKunmingLinden Center, DK Eyewitness Travel China, Tripadvisor, Wikitravel

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Teesh Osita says:

    I honestly find the local stories interesting.. because imagine a woman encountering a LOG and conceiving ten sons out of it. Hehe

    1. Hahaha, like the story of Mahabharata epic story: Ghandari’s 100 sons. Anything can happen :P

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