China is a country of vast contrasts from open countryside, to mountains, desert, tropics and cool Northern climates. Dalian is a city with a remarkable and unforgettable presence, it deserves a consideration for an itinerary of China. It reminds me a lot of the Scandinavian and Baltic countries of Europe where a cool climate and deep seacoast make a beautiful arrangement.
What is more, China often gets pummeled internationally for its pollution challenges, Dalian is anything but that, it is the cleanest big city I’ve seen in China so far and the sea air is simply refreshing.
Arriving to Dalian
This will most likely be in a flight or a train. Train hopping around China is affordable and quite easy even if you don’t speak a word of Chinese. Very often the concierge in your hotel can assist you in getting train tickets. I took a sleeper train from Beijing to Dalian and saved a night in a hotel while making the 8 hour journey.
This public area is adorned with sculptures, fountains, paved stone and over ten boulevards which radiate out into other parts of the city. It is really a lively hub. The city’s financial district is built around it and one can find good shopping centers, massage parlors and there are many hotels and restaurants here.
This was the most striking feature of Dalian for me. This is the largest square in Asia and it is massive. It is paved with a yellow colored stone and sits on a flat plane between large cliffs and the sea. It is a hike from the downtown area, but buses 22, 23, 28, 202, 406, 801 or 901 make it an easy commute. The architectural features around the park are stunning and the Sun Asia Ocean World has an amazing aquarium as well as the best collection of fossils in China.
This area also known as Port Arthur sits on the West end of Dalian and has remarkable views of the the Liaodong Peninsula. Lushun has many historical sites which tell of Russian and Japanese influence and has many buildings and artifacts which speak to this history.
Victory Square Shopping Centre is the largest and most accessible mall in the city. There are many shops, a huge food court, gaming arcade and one could spend most of the day here, so its better to decide beforehand what you’d like to see. Times Square is also found in the heart of the city and it is very polished as it hosts the higher end and more luxurious brands for purchase.