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Dalian with a 13,237 square kilometer lies in the Liaoning province of China with the Yellow Sea to its east and the Bohai Sea to its west. This second-largest port city has a large population that contributes to its growing importance as a major financial, shipping and logistics center. Considered as the summer resort of China, Dalian is a cosmopolitan city that exudes luxury. Along with the plethora of panoramic views, travelers are most drawn towards Dalian’s 20th-century architecture, sunny beaches, seafood-based cuisine, temperate climate and the historic battlefields that offer a rare glimpse into the troubled past of north China.
Considered as one of the most developed cities of north China, Dalian’s strategic location at the southern tip of the Liaodong makes it an important commercial center. This prosperous city is noted for its locomotives, shipbuilding, electronics, chemicals, petroleum products, textiles along with fishing and a thriving IT sector that makes its GDP grow at a rapid pace. Five major banks of China have their branches in Dalian making it an important financial center of north China.
Having undertaken its urban development strategy as ‘all-region urbanization,' Dalian has adopted a holistic approach towards balancing the socio-economic development of rural, urban as well as industrial sectors to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. Constructed in 1997, Xinghai is the largest public square that covers a total area of 45,000 square meters and is arguably one of the major attraction that hosts the annual International Beer Festival. Visitors are often impressed by Dalian’s distinctly European feel in its scenic spots of bustling Downtown, Binhai Road and Xinghai Bay.
Dalian has become a driving force for the development of China’s tourism industry. This coastal village combined both Chinese and western styles in its infrastructural development in its early days. The City Squares of Dalian bear a European influence in its architecture and also provide a place for communication and entertainment. With 1900 kilometers of coastline, fishing contests, beach cultural festivals, swimming and shopping by the seaside bring infinite charm to your seaside holiday in Dalian. The Dalian International Walking Festival offers a stunning scenic view that makes it a popular exercise destination for the local people. Whether it is the pomp of the Lantern Festival Montreal of The Chinese New Year, the Dalian Fireworks Festival or Sakura Blossom Affair, these events emphasize cultural communication, promotes enthusiasm and showcases the local culture. The interesting modern and ancient exhibits of Dalian’s museums, popular art galleries and occasional international art fairs simply unmissable.
Dalian is a relatively young city with only 100 years of history in comparison to other Chinese cities. During the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century, the British occupied Dalian. In 1895, the Japanese occupied the eastern Liaodong Peninsula after the Sino-Japanese War. In 1898 the area around Dalian Bay and Lushnkou was leased by the Russian Empire to link them to the Trans-Siberian Railway making the beginning of construction of Dalian Harbour.
After the defeat of the Tsarist regime in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Dalian came under the control of Japan. In 1945, USSR took control of Dalian and in 1950, it was eventually returned back to China after the end of World War II. For the next five years, Russian influence on Dalian continued until the Chinese government took over the sovereignty of Lushun. Both Russia and China have contributed towards making Dalian into a Maritime port. Finally, in 1985, Dalia was designated as a Special Economic Zone which transformed its agricultural and aquacultural economy into a rapidly developing industrial city.
Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport-DLC serves the city of Dalian. Located in Ganjingzi District, this airport lies about 10 km from north-west of the city center. Due to the rise in global air traffic this airport underwent major expansions making it the busiest airport in Northeast China. Air China, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Xiamen Air, Shanghai Airlines and Tianjin Airlines are some of the major carriers operating in and out of this airport. Travelers of 53 countries do not need a visa while transiting through Dalian International Airport for a 144-hour stay which is equivalent to six days.
As the public transport system of Dalian is highly developed, there are plenty of options like light rail, tram, bus and taxi that offer convenient, cheap and safe modes of travel. Renting a motorbike outside the Downtown area or taking short walks through controlled crosswalks and pedestrian tunnels can be easier alternatives to see around this fairly compact city. There are air-conditioned tourist buses that are available every 40 minutes for picking travelers from the railway station and ferry terminal.
The fare for the airport shuttle bus costs around 10 RMB and runs from the airport to Renmin Road. The flat-rate fare of most taxis is CNY 8 for the first 3 kilometers that increases by CNY 2 for every kilometer. The night time rates are higher by 30% for a taxi ride to cover a distance of 10 kilometers from the airport to Downtown. As Dalian is a busy port, it is convenient to take passenger ships or boats to the nearby coastal cities like Welhai and Yantai.
Regardless of whether you are an art aficionado, nature lover or simply a travel buff, Dalian offers a host of a wide range of sights and sounds to capture your imagination. Drive through picturesque Binhai Road with the sea as the backdrop for your obligatory vacation photos. Xinghai Square replete with beautiful parks, bronze statues, and lavash restaurants. The majestic buildings and prestigious art galleries of the Russian Culture Street is a reminder of Dalian’s role as a Russian Treaty port. The oldest European style architecture can be seen in the buildings of Zhongshan Square. The Tiger Beach Ocean Park offers an interactive experience with animal exhibits and an aquarium for kids and kids at heart alike. Make sure you check out the Tiger Sculpture Square at the Lahoutan Ocean Park that has marine life-forms of more than 200 species. Witness vibrant religious celebrations in the popular Taoist temple of Xiangshui. Appreciate the cultural heritage of Dalian by visiting the various museums like Dalian Modern Museum, Dalian Natural History Museum, Lushun Museum, and Dalian Art Exhibition Museum. Pack a picnic and unwind at the Labor Park that has a unique blend of leisure activities and cultural activities in a serene atmosphere. Obtain special permission from the local police to visit the Russo-Japanese war site and military port of Port Arthur that has cemeteries of martyrs. Apart from sightseeing, one can indulge in recreational activities like laying golf at the Golden Pebble Beach Golf Club or enjoy at the Bowling Centres.
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