One of China’s most popular seaside resorts, the beautiful city of Dalian which is located on the southern tip of the Eastern Liadong Peninsula is famed for its reputation as a good destination for sightseeing, recuperation, and holiday making.
Skirted on three sides by the sea, its long coast is also a gateway to a myriad of islands where the landscape is breathtaking and the city proper neat and tidy. Various conventions and large-scale events usually choose Dalian as their venue due to the area’s over-all relaxing atmosphere and incomparable natural beauty.
There is also its accessibility with the Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport with its 86 domestic or international air routes, and railways linking the city to all parts of northern and northeastern China.
Dalian also boasts of having rich natural resources and has long been reputed as the “Apple Land” and the “Aquatic Product Base”. There are many kinds of quality fruits produced here such as apples, peaches, cherries and grapes.
Visitors may also enjoy the great deal of delicious seafood which are produced and exported from here such as abalone, prawns, trepangs, scallops and crab; and its seafood such as comb shell, urchin, stichopus and wakame.
Dalian also enjoys a very good tourist trade during the seasonal events such as the Dalian International Fashion Festival, colorful and spectacular fireworks displays during Spring and the New Year, the International Marathon Competition, Pagoda Trees Festival, and the International locust Watching.
The city is also popular among tourists for its very pleasant climate. Backed by mountains and facing the sea, its geographical location makes for a climate that is neither extremely cold in winter, nor utterly hot in summer.
Not to Miss Sights in Dalian
Bangchuidao Scenic Area
5 kilometers east of downtown Dalian, the Bangchuidao Scenic Area is made up of Bangchuidao Island and Bangchuidao Guesthouse. Named after the bangchui (a wooden baton used by the ancient Chinese as a washing tool,) the ginseng-shaped islet is situated just 600 meters away from the seashore. Covering only 0.3 square kilometers, the tiny islet features steep cliffs, craggy stones, a wide variety of flowers and singing birds.
Bangchuidao Guesthouse is the state guesthouse of Dalian. Built in 1960, the luxurious hotel covers 87 hectares and has a building space of 42,137 square meters. Now the hotel has been outfitted with standard golf course, bowling alley, tennis court, swimming pool and other modern recreational facilities, which ensures visitors a happy stay amidst beautiful and very serene surroundings.
Jinshitan Scenic Area (Golden Stone Beach)
Fifty kilometers from town is the national scenic park known as the Jinshitan Scenic Area. Home to several natural wonders, the park’s main attraction is its wide collection of splendid rock formations flanked by five miles of coastline.
These come together to form a natural museum of marine-erosion rocks, goes and shapes which were formed during the Sinian to the Cambrian periods. Appreciated greatly for their scientific and aesthetic value, visitors may enjoy these magnificent structures from sightseeing buses that shuttle along the coast.
In addition to these, other recreational facilities such as a 36 fairway golf course, forest hunting grounds, a turf, a yacht club, a bathing beach, and a coastal park complete with hotels have been set up to accommodate the visitors to Jinshitan.
Port Arthur (Lushun)
Located on the western end of Dalian City, Port Arthur affords tourists with attractions ranging from the historic to the splendors of nature.
Rich in natural resources as well as its historical heritage, Lushun has become a National Key Scenic Spot, National Nature Protection Area, and National Forest Park by virtue of its now famous attractions. These fall into two categories namely, the natural scenery and historical sites relating to the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895:
The Garden of Lions and Tigers
Covering an area of more than 300,000 square meters, it has three separate sections: the garden of tigers, of lions and of bears. The animals roam freely in their respective surroundings. Visitors, from the safety of their cars, can get quite close to them and enjoy a breath taking and very fascinating experience with some of the world’s fiercest, yet most beautiful big cats.
The Island of Snakes
Home to over 1,500 snakes, this small island off the coast of Lushun is filled with exotic rocks and lush forests that provide a natural environment for the island’s reptilian residents.
In Lushun, there is a snake museum which, in addition to fixed exhibits, is home to relevant research. This is the prime Snake Eco-museum in Asia, and its hundreds of viper specimens ensure plenty of excitement for visitors. The Snake-Island Natural History Museum is also well worth seeing.
The Bird Station
Opposite the Island of Snakes stands a volcano called “Laotie Hill’, which is a stop off point for millions of migratory birds that come there each spring and autumn. It is possible to see more than 200 species of birds preparing for flight to and from warm lands in the south depending upon the time of year. On the sea ward side of the hill there are steep towering crags.
Stepping on the Century-Year Beacon, you can look over the boundary between the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea, where the water is half yellow and half blue. Near the hill, there are also some important Neolithic sites that are well worth a visit and perhaps, a few photo opportunities..
Russo-Japanese War Site on East Crest Hill
Once the site of a Russian fortress during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, the site now houses the Cultural Relic Protection Unit as well as the patriotism education base in Dalian. Historical and other war materials may also be seen in the museum which was built in 1997.
Originally built in 1917, the world-class museum covers an area of 25,000 square meters and follows the lines of elegant European style. Over 100,000 cultural relics are displayed in two themes: historical cultural relics and local cultural relics. Among them, there are bronzes, ancient coins, paintings and calligraphies, mummies, and some foreign relics.
White Jade Hill
Using forced Chinese labor, the Japanese raised a tower on the crest of the hill to commemorate Japanese soldiers who died in the war. The tower has a height of 66.8 meters and has become one of the evidence of Japanese historical crimes against the Chinese. The Park of White Jade Hill includes the Naval Weapon Museum, Bird Garden and Rock Museum.
World Peace Park
In 1998, the world’s heads of states each wrote a poem in their mother tongue praying for world peace. These collected, the seashore park, which was completed in 2002, now includes psalms written by the past Chinese President Jiang Zemin and American President Clinton.
The bronze statues of 96 heads of state and their poems are carved as the major feature. There are also artworks and fine stamps with the theme of peace presented by world countries.
Cemetery of Soviet Martyrs
With an area of 48,000 square meters the cemetery ranks as the largest for a foreign nation in China. Buried here are Soviet martyrs who fell during the war of Liberation of Northeast of China and the War against US Aggression in support of Korea, as well as those died in the Lushun garrison in 1945-1955.
Memorial of Myriad Loyalists
Set up to commemorate the nearly 20,000 Chinese people who died in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, which left only 36 survivors. To hide all evidence of their guilt, the Japanese ordered local peasants to collect the bodies for cremation.
The ashes of the victims were buried at the eastern foot of White Jade Hill. In 1896, after the Japanese retreat, corps of the Qing Dynasty built the Stele of Myriad Loyalists. It is listed as one of the National Patriotism Education Demonstration Bases.
Reputed as the “Mini Guilin” of Dalian, the Bingyu Valley with its towering, cloud shrouded peaks and serene rivers reflect a combination of Guilin and Mount Huangshan’s picturesque scenery.
There are however, features that are unique to the valley such as fascinating formations of rugged rocks and cliffs, and caves that include one, which was used once as a former temple site.
The uncontaminated valley boasts of clean, clear waters, and lush vegetation. Many species of ornamental and herbal plants and a huge number of different animal species thrive in the protected confines of the park.