spent the better half of this day trying to resolve my bus ticket to xishuangbanna situation. after talking with a bunch of travel agencies, nobody wanted to help me, but told me instead to go into the city (xiaguan, AKA new dali) and buy it myself. without any other options, i took the 40 minute bus ride into the city.
xiaguan (new dali)
after spending so much time in ancient towns, big cities scare me now. the first bus station i visited didn't go to xishuangbanna (i found out after pushing my way through 2 counter masses). the second one did, but there was also a bus to lancang (my second destination, after lincang) which i thought about taking (not sure how long it'd take, but probably something like 20 hours). in order to buy that ticket though, i have to come to the bus station on the day of departure and ask if they have any empty seats. ticket still unpurchased, i came back to old dali.
back in town i bought a roundtrip ticket to ride the airtram and see the mountains of dali. some of the scenery were pretty, and i ended up walking about 12km (around 10 miles). surprisingly, i didn't feel tired. maybe because it was on nicely paved mountain roads. maybe because the slopes were gradual. or maybe after spending so much time up in the mountains, my body has been re-energized for low-altitude hiking! whatever the case, i barely made it back to the departure point to take the airtram back to the base of the mountain, where i got a minibus taxi back to town.
dali mountain orchid