We sat on a bus for six hours from Dali to Kunming. We checked into our slightly dodgy hotel. Our room hadn’t actually been cleaned yet (and was a bit gross) and the first floor was a brothel. We caught a bus into town and there were police everywhere. Riots about the Diaoyu/ Senkaku Islands dispute. I didn’t know anything about them before that, but they are a group of uninhabited islands that fall between China, Japan and Taiwan. They are rich in fish, close to shipping lanes and may have oil. We visited a flower and bird market. The flowers were a bit of a let down. There were a few pot plants and mostly fake flowers. There was a street of puppies, and another of lizards, birds, snakes, rabbits, turtles, chipmunks and insects. It all felt very sad. We walked to the lake which had beautiful lotus flowers and large groups of people dancing and doing exercise classes. We had a quiet night with a few beers. The following day we visited the stone forest which was the main reason for our visit to Kunming. Hundreds of limestone karsts as far as you could see, lots with interesting shapes. They are very similar to those in Ha Long bay in Vietnam except on land, though we were told they used to be under water.
Last Stop: Dali
Next Stop: Yangshuo