By Kartika Putra
In Yunnan, we saw a different China to what the stereotypes suggest. The pollution, the crowds, the high rise buildings were left behind. As the ancient Chinese proverb says, ‘the mountains are high and the emperor is far’.
That evening we arrived in Dali. The new town was another intimidating high rise cityscape, however our taxi took us 15kms closer to the snow-capped mountains on the horizon and by the time we reached Dali old town we were satisfied. Peaked tiled roofs with white and blue tiled memorials on the walls; paved streets; an instant relaxing of the shoulders; fresh mountain air. We were on the cusp of our journey and we could see the stars.