Located on the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, on the coast of the Yellow Sea, Dalian backs onto China's northeast to the north, and faces the Shandong Peninsula to the south. Its mild winters and summers have earned the city a range of names, including 'Window of the Northeast,' 'Pearl of the North,' and 'City of Romance.' Dalian is a popular tourist destination, and is also a major Chinese regional economic center and foreign trade port; it is one of China's 14 coastal open cities. The city is well developed economically, and it has for many years been Northeast China's leading city in terms of economic output, and one of China's most developed cities.
Nicknamed the "Forest of Strange Stones," Jinshatan is unique in China, or indeed anywhere else on the planet. With its unique pink and yellow mottled 'turtle cracking rocks,' the area is an ideal tourist destination in northern China.
Address: On the coast of the Yellow Sea, on the northeastern tip of Dalian City.
Laohutan Ocean Park
Laohutan is China's largest modern seaside resort park, the biggest scenic spot in the south of Dalian, and also a Chinese 5A Grade scenic spot. The Park is a place of superlatives – it is home to Asia's largest coral museum, as well as the world's largest—and China's only—collection of polar marine life, the nation's largest bird life reserve, Niaoyulin, the country's largest carved granite statue, of a tiger, and an amazing gallery of horse carving art.
Address: Located centrally along the coast to the south of Dalian.
Dalian Sightseeing Tower
Built on the slopes of beautiful Lushan, to the south of the Labor Park in Dalian, the Dalian Sightseeing Tower is 190 meters tall and 360 meters above sea level; it is the world's first tower constructed with a steel space frame truss structure. The Sightseeing Tower is a Dalian landmark and a Triple A Class scenic spot, providing the highest and best vantage points of the city. Be it verdant mountain slopes, blue oceanscapes, or stunning city views, you will not be disappointed.
Address: 99 Lushan Alley, Zhongshan District, Dalian
The people of Dalian are known for their love of beautiful clothes, and outdo anywhere else in China when it comes to fashion – historically, the city has always been known as a 'shopping paradise.'The city of Dalian is divided into four districts, each of which has its own shopping districts – the best include Qingniwaqiao, Xi'an Road, Tianjin Street, Peace Plaza, Wenzhoucheng on Erqi Square, and Zhanbei Plaza.
Qingniwaqiao Shopping District
A venue able to satisfy every shopping need, stylish fashionistas can explore the 3-floor shopping mall beneath Shengli Square, where you will find a wealth of avant-garde fashion and unusual baubles. Lovers of world-renowned high-end brands and luxury goods should head for Parkland Mall, Dalian's premier mall, where you will find world brand names including Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
Address: Located beneath the plaza in front of the main railway station
Xi'an Road Shopping District
This area is more of a Mecca for commerce, and is home to Carrefour, Walmart, Jinhui Department Store, Parkson Shopping Center, Fujia Xintiandi, Jiche Shopping Mall, Friendship Shopping Center, Roosevelt Center, and many more. The area is however crowded and relatively chaotic, and is located in Dalian's Shahekou District, the terminus for public buses from the city's northern suburbs.
Address: Xi'an Road, Shahekou District, Dalian
Dalian is close to the sea, and fresh food predominantly comprises seafood; the lengthy intermingling of foreign and Chinese influences has allowed the city's own unique flavor to slowly develop. You won't forgive yourself if you visit Dalian without trying its seafood. However, avoid the months of July and August – fresh seafood is hard to find in the summer months, because of the city's distance from the sea. Dalian's best-known specialties include roasted whole prawns, steamed 'lantern' abalone in the shell, sea cucumber over vegetables, 'eight immortals crossing the sea,' pearl urchins, steamed scallops, and steamed sea bream.
Roasted whole prawns
Devein but do not peel the complete prawn, add ginger, onions, and stir-fry in vegetable oil; add a little Shaoxing wine, sugar, and salt, then return to the frying pan to roast slowly. After removing from the frying pan, join the prawn heads and tails to form a petal pattern, and place on a large round plate to resemble a rich red, enticing peony blossom.
Recommended restaurant: Fisherman's Pier (Haibin Road Branch)
Address: 98 Haibin Road, Jinjiaokaifa District, Dalian.
Steamed 'lantern' abalone
Take live abalone in the shell, cut into a lantern shape, and replace in the shell; season with onion, ginger, salt, MSG, etc., and then steam for 7 minutes. This dish retains the original shape and color of the seafood, but resembles a lantern when picked up with chopsticks; especially refreshing and delicious when sprinkled with a little bit of the juice when eaten.
Recommended restaurant: Wanbao Seafood Restaurant
Address: 108 Jiefang Road, Zhongshan District, Dalian (close to Labor Park)
Salted fish biscuits
Full of the salty, delicious flavor of the sea. Dalian is surrounded by sea on three sides, and used to be a heavily reliant on fisheries; in order to be able to dock and sell their catch of seafood as early as possible, fishermen set out very early, meaning that they would eat at least one meal while out at sea – they took with them salted fish biscuits, an easy and convenient meal. The biscuits are not only utterly delicious, but also very affordable.
Recommended restaurant:Salted Fish Biscuit King
Address: West side of the main gate, Jinhua Quarter, Heping Road, Jinzhou New District, Dalian
The Dalian region is served by the Ha'erbin-Dalian and Shenyang-Dalian high-speed railways. The Ha'erbin-Dalian HSR stops at Dalian, Dalian North, Puwan, and Wafangdian stations. The Shenyang-Dalian HSR is one of six major railway lines in China, and major stops within the Dalian region include Dalian, Dalian North, Jinzhou, Pulandian, and Wafangdian stations.
Dalian has a well-developed public transport system. More than 100 public transport routes crisscross the city, including two tram lines – China's only trams. Dalian's public transport normally runs at intervals of 3-8 minutes, a figure which shrinks to 1-2 minutes at rush-hour. Two double-decker sightseeing bus lines also run in the city. Public transport is one man operated, with one-way ticket prices ranging from CNY 1-2; payment is by card (cash is also accepted), with no change given; except for the trams, most public transport requires you to board at the front and exit at the rear.
Daylight hours (5:00-22:00) CNY 8 for the first 3 kilometers, CNY 2/kilometer thereafter; Nighttime hours (22:00-5:00) CNY 10.8 for the first 3 kilometers, CNY 2.34/kilometer thereafter. Taxis with a blue light are State-run, those with a white light are run by a cooperative or joint venture, while those with a yellow light are privately run.
The Dalian Metro currently operates Line 3 (comprising the Baoshui line (running from Dalian railway station to Baoshuiqu), the Jiuli line (running from Dalian railway station to Jiuli), and the Jiuli branch line (from Kaifaqu to Jiuli)), and the Jinshatan line (running from Dalian railway station to Jinshatan), all of which are rapid transit.
Currency：Chinese Yuan (CNY)
Dalian has a northerly temperate continental climate with distinct seasons, and is the warmest place in northeastern China; it is a well-known summer resort. Annual average temperature only reaches approximately 10℃; the city is hottest in August, with an average temperature of 24℃, although this can reach as high as 37.8℃; January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of -5℃, although this can reach as low as -21℃. Annual rainfall is 550-950 mm. Most rain falls in the summer, when there are numerous storms, although rainfall is more likely at night rather than during the daytime.