Dalian travel guide
Dalian is a stunning beachside destination located in Liaoning Province, one of the three most north-eastern provinces in the beautiful country of China. Home to more than 2.6 million people and proclaimed the nation's 'most liveable city', Dalian has many cultural attractions and things to do to keep tourists from all over the world busy exploring.
Zhongshan Square (Zhongshan Guangchang) is the best place to start your exploration of Dalian. This is a public area shaped in a huge square and is surrounded by various buildings that just ooze grandness and opulence. Indeed, Dalian Binguan is the beautiful and famous hotel where the movie The Last Emperor was shot. At night, huge numbers of people venture here.
If you make your way west of Zhongshan Square you will find yourself in Friendship Square (Youhao Guangchang) where, located in the centre of a traffic circle, is a colossal ball which, when lit at night, looks like a gigantic disco ball taken from the 1970s.
Next, make your way down to Labour Park (Laodong Gongyuan). This is quite a hilly park where you can relax and unwind. Football (or soccer for Americans) is the most popular sport in Dalian and so a gigantic football was erected here. There is also a chairlift which will transport you to the TV Tower to enjoy some spectacular views. The best part is coming down – by way of a chute you slide down, with many twists and turns down the hill.
To get a complete understanding of the history of the city in modern times, head to the Dalian Modern Museum (Dalian Xiandai Bowuguan) where the exhibits will truly interest you.
A trip to Dalian is not complete without sampling its beaches. There are various beaches in Dalian, all well worth a visit or two, but Bangchuidao Jingqu is perhaps the best. The soft, golden sandy and secluded beach can be found 5km southeast of Dalian in a hotel complex frequently visited by members of the Communist Party.
Other beaches worth your attention include the pebbled Fujiazhuang Beach and Tiger Beach Park (Laohutan Leyuan). A colossal sculpture of a tiger made from marble overlooks the small beach and there is also an amusement park for when you need to get off the sands.
Dalian has something for everyone and so those who like to shop will enjoy the city's wonderful shopping opportunities. Qingni Jie has various upmarket department stores as well as a shopping centre located underground Victory Square.
Restaurants in Dalian feature a lot of seafood and the famous Dongbei style of cooking. You will also notice many Korean and Japanese restaurants due to the deep-rooted history of these regions.
There are many hotels in Dalian which would suit any type of budget. Most of the really cheap hotels will not take foreigners so if you are on a strict budget head to one of the many hostels or guesthouses. The mid-range hotels are very comfortable and are of decent sized. Four or five star hotels can be a little expensive but are of international hotel chains most people know.
Dalian is a fabulous city where the atmosphere just draws you in and once there, will not let you go. A city which is much cleaner than the rest of Chinese cities, Dalian makes for a fantastic destination to visit.