Yunnan, at the southernmost tip of China, is a cradle of cultural and culinary diversity. Many people know it as the origin of Shangri-la, but it is also home to the region of Dali, a place that has become synonymous with the province. If you go to Yunnan, you must go to Dali.
The region is cherished for its unique food – famed Ham, mushrooms varietals, cheese-making (a rarity in China), and rare herbs; temperate climate, surrounding rivers and mountains; ethnic diversity – bordering Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar it has been a cultural blotter; and overwhelming hospitality – many a traveller has settled in Dali having fallen in love with the Old Town. Mei returns to her childhood home and journeys through the region, sharing a personal and beautifully illustrated chronicle of exactly what makes Dali so special.
Mei Zhang is the founder of WildChina. She was born in Dali, Yunnan, and later moved to the United States where she completed her graduate studies at Harvard Business School and began a career in corporate consulting at McKinsey & Company. Mei was recognized in The Daily Beast’s 2012 list of Women in the World for founding sustainable travel company WildChina, which has been a Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist winner several years running.