X-Phase has been very eventful and we still have 3 days left! On the 18th we had the opportunity to visit local artisans in Dali. Kyle set up 2 activities for us to choose between. Most of us went to a local cloth dying location. They use aged and crushed indigo leaves mixed with water to dye silk and cotton. We used thread to create our own patterns inspired by local designs. In addition, others went to a local pottery studio where they used a wheel as well as hand crafting to create multiple pieces.
On the 19th we drove 2 hours to Chicken Foot Mountain. We hiked 3 hours to the top, where we got hotel rooms for only 30 RMB or 6 USD! The hike was entirely comprised of climbing flights of stairs surrounded by the forest. The view was breathtaking which made the trek all worth it. While hiking, we saw a lot of monkeys. On the 20th we hiked down and returned to Dali.
We are now staying at a youth hostel in Dali Gu Cheng. Dali Gu Cheng is one of the old towns and it very busy at all times. Last night we explored and got local food for dinner. Today, (the 21st) we decided to go to Dali University and watch a Chinese movie. The movie was called “Dying to Survive” and it surprisingly showed negative feelings about the Chinese government for a movie being promoted by the government itself.
Tomorrow we will have a talk about China and Taiwan at a local’s house and then we will go and explore a local art district. On the 23rd we will visit a local NGO and we may cook dinner there. Lastly, we will take a bullet train to Kunming where we will reunite with our teachers and start our urban home stays!
-Ulysses (photo by Kyle)