Dalian: Wikis


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—  Sub-provincial city  —
Chinese transcription(s)
 - Simplified 大连
 - Pinyin Dàlián
A view of the Dalian
Location of Dalian within Liaoning in China
Coordinates: 38°55′15″N 121°38′21″E / 38.92083°N 121.63917°E / 38.92083; 121.63917
Country  China
Province Liaoning
Settled 1899
- Transfer of sovereignty to Japan (Treaty of Shimonoseki) 17 April 1895
- Russian occupation

- Japanese occupation
3 March 1898 - 2 January 1905
1905 - 15 August 1945
- Transfer of sovereignty to the PRC 16 April 1955
City seat Xigang District
 - County-level

6 districts, 4 counties(citys)
 - Mayor Li Wancai
 - Sub-provincial city 13,237 km2 (5,110.8 sq mi)
 - Land 12,574 km2 (4,854.8 sq mi)
Elevation 29 m (95 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 - Sub-provincial city 6,130,000
 Density 463.1/km2 (1,199.4/sq mi)
 Urban 3,478,300
 - Major ethnic groups Han
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 116000
Area code(s) 0411
GDP 2008 [2]
 - Total CNY ¥ 385.8 billion
 - Per capita CNY ¥ 63,198
US$ 9099 (nominal)
HDI (2008) 0.834 - High
Coastline 1,906 km (excluding islands)
License plate prefixes 辽B
City flowers Rosa chinensis
Website http://www.dalian.gov.cn/
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 大連
Simplified Chinese 大连
Japanese name
Kanji 大連
Hiragana だいれん
Korean name
Hangul 다롄
Hanja 大連
Russian name
Russian Далянь or Дальний
Romanization Dalian or Dalny

Dalian is the governing sub-provincial city in the eastern Liaoning Province of Northeast China, facing Shandong to the south and the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the west and south. Dalian is southernmost city of Northeast China and China's northernmost (still warm water) seaport. Dalian is the second largest city of Liaoning Province.





In the Qin and Han periods (221 B.C.-220 A.D.), the Dalian region was under the jurisdiction of Liaodong county. During the 3rd century through 5th century, when China was split into Sixteen Kingdoms, The neighbor kingdom of Goguryeo maintained control of this region. In the early Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Dalian region was under the jurisdiction of Andong Prefecture in Jili state, and in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125), it was under the jurisdiction of Dong Jing Tong Liaoyang county. Dalian was named Sanshan in the period of Weijin (220-420), San Shanpu in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Sanshan Seaport in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and Qing Niwakou in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Qing Dynasty

In the 1880s, the Qing government constructed loading bridges and fortifications with built-in cannons, and set up mining camps on the northern coast of Dalian Bay, and it became a small town. At that time, Jinzhou, north of downtown Dalian, now Dalian City's Jinzhou District, was a walled town and the center of political and economic activities of this area.

British, Russian, and Japanese Occupation

The settlement was occupied by the British in 1858,[3] returned to the Chinese in the 1880s, and then occupied by Japan in 1895 during the first Sino-Japanese War. Nearby Port Arthur was named after Prince Arthur, one of Queen Victoria's sons.

While Japan's intention to lease Port Arthur and its surrounding areas, based on the Treaty of Shimonoseki, met with the Tripartite Intervention by France, Germany and Russia, the Russian Empire in 1898 succeeded in leasing the peninsula from the Qing Dynasty, and a modern city was laid out with the name of Dalny (Дальний).[4] Linked to the Trans-Siberian Railway's branch line, Dalny became Russia's primary port-city in Asia. The Russian government contributed more than 10 million golden rubles (equivalent to 11,5 bn of today's rubles) into the city foundation and building.

Dalny was the main battlefield of the Russo-Japanese War (1905).

Dairen (Dalian) in 1912

Both Dalny (Qingniwaqiao 青泥洼桥 of Zhongshan District, Dalian) and Port Arthur (Lüshunkou) were developed and heavily fortified by the Russians in the period prior to 1904. Consequently, some historians blame the fall of Port Arthur during the siege of Port Arthur on January 2, 1905 for the failure by Admiral Eugene Alexeyeff to concentrate on the naval base and its fortifications, instead splitting precious resources shipped 5,000 miles across the single tracked Trans-Siberian Railway and Manchurian railways.

After the Russo-Japanese war Port Arthur was conceded to Japan (Treaty of Portsmouth), who set up the Kwantung Leased Territory or Guandongzhou, which is roughly the southern half (Jinzhou District and south) of the present-day Dalian City. Since the foundation of Manchukuo in 1932, the sovereignty of the territory moved from China to Manchukuo. Japan still leased it from Manchukuo. In 1937, the modern Dalian City was enlarged and modernized by the Japanese as two cities: the northern Dairen (Dalian) and the southern Ryojun (Lushun).

Post-World War II

With the unconditional surrender of Japan in August 1945, Dalian passed to the Soviets, who had liberated the city in advance of the end of hostilities and governed the city until 1950. During this period the Soviets and Chinese Communists cooperated in the further development of the city, its industrial infrastructure, and especially the port, which remained as the free port rented by the Soviet government. The city had been relatively undamaged during the war.

In 1950, the USSR presented Dalian to the Chinese Communist government without any compensation. Soviet troops left in 1955. After the departure of the Soviets, China made Dalian into a major shipbuilding center. In the 1990s the city benefited from the attention of Bo Xilai (son of the important first generation Party elder, Bo Yibo) who was both mayor of the city and provincial party official, who, among other things, banned motorcycles, created large, lush parks in the city's many traffic circles, and generally built things up very attractively. He also preserved much of Dalian's interesting and attractive Japanese and Russian architectural heritage. He is the former Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic.


Location within China

One of the most heavily developed industrial areas of China, the Dalian administrative district today consists of Dalian proper and the smaller Lüshunkou (formerly Lüshun city, known in western and Russian historic references as Port Arthur), about forty nautical miles farther along the Liaodong Peninsula. Historical references note that the Russian designed city of Dalny (Alt. Dalney), on the south side of Talien Bay was 40 kilometers from Port Arthur/Lüshun (known today as Lüshunkou or literally, Lüshun Port).

Dalian - Landsat photo (circa 2000)

Dalian is located west of the Yellow Sea and east of Bohai Sea roughly in the middle of the Liaodong peninsula at its narrowest neck or isthmus. With a coastline of 1,906 km, it governs the entire Liaodong Peninsula and about 260 surrounding islands and reefs. It is seated at south-south-west of the Yalu River, and its harbor entrance forms a sub-Bay known as Dalian Bay.

Environmental Protection

  • In general, the condition of environment quality was good. The average content of the four pollutants in the air reached Class Ⅱ of National Ambient Air Quality Standards and there were 353 days with air pollution index (API) over Class Ⅱ (Good), including 108 excellent days with Class Ⅰ(Superior).[5] Dalian frequently ranks Grade 2 for air pollution according to SEPA.[6]
  • The water quality of offshore marine space maintained stable overall. The annual average content of monitoring indicators for water quality met Class-II of the national seawater quality standard, except Inorganic Nitrogen in Dalian Bay and southern coast. The water quality of drinking water sources maintained good and complied with Class-III of Environmental Quality Standards for Surface Water.
  • The urban traffic noise was in line with the national regulations and standards. Dalian won 6th Kitakyushu Environment Award.


The city's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa), characterised by humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Average low temperatures in January are at around -6° C, while average high temperatures in July are at around 27°C. Annual precipitation averages 610 mm but can vary greatly from year to year.

Climate data for Dalian (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) -0.4
Daily mean °C (°F) -3.6
Average low °C (°F) -6.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 8.9
Sunshine hours 198.0 200.2 238.8 256.9 277.6 254.7 220.7 240.8 251.5 234.6 182.1 183.9 2,739.8
% Humidity 56 56 55 56 61 73 84 81 69 62 60 58 64
Source: The Monthly Mean Radiation data of China (1971--2000) 中国气象局 (Chinese) 2009-11-19



Dalian is the second largest city of Liaoning Province, after Shenyang, the provincial capital. Dalian City is governed by the Mayor and its Dalian Municipal People's Government.

Municipal Government

The Municipal Government is located in the main building on the north side of People's Square on Zhongshan Road, originally built as the Administrative Office of Kwantung Leased Territory, and other buildings in downtown Dalian. There are the Commerce, Foreign Economy & Trade, Hygiene, Information Industry, Police, Religion, Science & Technology, Transportation and other city-level bureaus, which work closely with the corresponding agencies at the district level.

There are, in addition, 4 national leading open zones (对外开放先导区):

  • The Development Zone (开发区)
  • The Free Trade Zone (保税区)
  • The Hi-Tech Industrial Zone (高新技术产业园区)
  • The Golden Pebble Beach National Holiday Resort (金石滩国家旅游度假区)

Administrative divisions

(see Political divisions of China)

The city administers 6 districts (区 qu), 3 county-level cities (市 shi), and 1 county (县 xian) :

  • There are 92 sub-districts and 69 town/townships .[7]
  • Ganjingzi, Zhongshan, Xigang, and Shahekou Districts make up the urban centre. Changhai County is made up entirely of islands east of the peninsula.
Map Subdivision Hanzi Land Area km² Population(Regd) as of 2007[7]
Administrative divisions of Dalian
Total 全市 12,573.85 5,781,853
Dalian City Proper
Xigang District 西岗区 23.94 307,123
Zhongshan District 中山区 40.10 353,775
Shahekou District 沙河口区 34.71 642,954
Ganjingzi District 甘井子区 451.52 704,356
Dalian Suburban and Rural
Lüshunkou District 旅顺口区 512.15 208,874
Jinzhou District 金州区 1,352.54 717,169
Wafangdian city 瓦房店市 3,576.40 1,025,262
Pulandian city 普兰店市 2,769.90 826,619
Zhuanghe city 庄河市 3,655.70 921,496
Changhai County 长海县 156.89 74,225


Permanent population of Dalian at the end of 2008 totaled 6.13 million. The total registered population on household was 58,337 thousand, with a net increase of 51.8 thousand over the previous year, of which, non-farming population was 34,783 thousand, accounting for 59.6 percent; farming population 23,554 thousand, accounting for 40.4 percent.[1]


Friendship Square in Dalian

The city has enjoyed a continuous double-digit increase in GDP since 1992. In 2008, the city's GDP registered a 16.5 percent increase, reaching RMB385.8 billion, while per capita GDP hit RMB62,940. According to a nationwide appraisal by the National Bureau of Statistics, Dalian ranks eighth among Chinese cities in terms of overall strength. The city’s main industries include machine manufacturing, petrochemicals and oil refining, and electronics.

Seventeen enterprises in shipbuilding, internal-combustion engines, and finished oil and bearings are the largest firms of their kind in the country. Dalian is an excellent location for businesses involved in metal and lumber processing, component parts consolidation and distribution.

The city is also striving to build up an IT and software center – it is now an increasingly important software exporter to Japan. Finance and other service industries are growing as well. At present, some 23 foreign-funded banks and financial institutions have set up branches or agencies in the city. The exhibition industry is also doing well. The Xinghai Convention and Exhibition Center has hosted over 300 events, including the Dalian Import and Export Commodities Fair and Dalian International Garment Fair.

Agriculture and Aquaculture

Dalian was originally an agriculture and aquaculture-based area, which, after the opening of the ferry between Yantai and Lüshun during the early 20th century, began to be populated by the farmers and fishermen of Shandong, across the Yellow Sea. Corn, vegetables, fruit such as apples, cherries and pears are Dalian's typical agricultural products. Aquaculture is well developed in Dalian, exporting seaweed, scallops, sea urchins and others to Japan, Korea and other countries.

Heavy, Light and Distribution Industries

Even before and during the Sino-Japanese War, the shipbuilding and locomotives industries were a thriving industry, such as the companies which later became Dalian Shipbuilding Co. and Dalian Locomotive & Roll Stock Works (DLoco). After the War, Dalian became an important center of the heavy and light industries, including companies such as Dalian Heavy Industry Co., Dalian Chemical Group, and Wafangdian Bearing Co.; and of the distribution industry, including such as Dashang Group. Overseas retailing giants, such as Wal-Mart from U.S.A., Carrefour from France and Metro from Germany have recently opened stores in Dalian. Mycal, the Japanese retailing chain store, was bought out by its Chinese partner, Dashang Group, and is operated as Mykal.

Dalian Port is emerging as a very important port for international trade. A new harbor for oil tankers, at the terminus of an oil pipeline from the Daqing oilfields, was completed in 1976. Dalian is the largest petroleum port in China, and also the 3rd largest port overall. Accordingly, Dalian is a major center for oil refineries, diesel engineering, and chemical production. Also completed recently is a newer port on Dagushan Peninsula on the northern suburbs, specializing in import/export of mining and oil products. Together with its Dalian Railroad Station, Dalian International Airport and two major express roads to Shenyang-Changchun-Harbin in the north and to Dandong to the east, Dalian has become an important distribution center. Dalian International Airport is the largest airport in Northeast China, and has direct flights to Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei and several other Asian cities.

Dalian Development Zone

Dalian has been given many benefits by the Chinese government, including the title of "open-city" (1984), which allows it to receive considerable foreign investment (see Special Economic Zone). The Development Zone was established in Jinzhou District, to which many Japanese manufacturing companies, such as Canon, Mitsubishi Electric, Nidec, Sanyo Electric and Toshiba, followed by Korean, American and European companies (such as Pfizer). In March 2007, Intel announced plans to build a semiconductor fabrication facility (commonly known as a fab) in the Development Zone, Dalian. It is Intel's first fab to be built at an entirely new site in over 15 years. The fab at Dalian will make the chip sets that support Intel's microprocessors and is expected to begin operation in the first half of 2010. (Source: The Wall Street Journal; March 26, 2007; Page B6)

Industrial zones

Financial Industry

Dalian is the financial center of Northeast China. There are the Dalian branches of China's five major banks: Bank of China, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, and Agricultural Bank of China. Dalian Commercial Bank is now called Dalian Bank, which among other things handles processing of the Dalian Mingzhu IC Card for public transportation. Foreign banks, such as Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Bank of East Asia, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Mizuho Corporate Bank also have branch offices. JPMorgan Chase, ABN,Deutsche Bank are also intending to open branches in Dalian, due to the city's prosperous population and booming industry.

Dalian Commodity Exchange is the only one of its kind in China, expanding the futures market beyond soybeans. A "Financial Street" around the new Commodity Exchange building is now being planned.

IT Industry

Since the 1990s Dalian City has emphasized the development of the IT industry, especially in Dalian Hi-Tech Zone and Dalian Software Park in the western suburbs near Dalian University of Technology. There, there are not only Chinese IT companies, such as DHC, hisoft and Neusoft Group, but also American, European, Indian and Japanese IT companies, such as Accenture, Dell, Genpact, HP, IBM, Liferay, SAP AG, Oracle Corporation, Siemens, Alpine, CSK Holding, Panasonic, NEC, Sony, Cisco,Netapp, British Telecom, Aspect, and Fidelity. Currently, the "Lushun South Road Software Industry Belt" Plan is proceeding, including Dalian Software Park Phase 2.

Dalian has recently become an important center for information technology offshoring and business process outsourcing, similar to Bangalore in India; the city was described in "The World Is Flat" by Thomas Friedman (2007). In another way, Dalian is the forerunner of China's "Re-Development of the Old Industry Bases in Northeast" National Project, which began in 2002.

The Intel Fab 68 project is under construction in Dalian. The plan was announced on 26th, Mar., 2007. It is Intel's first chip-manufacturing fabrication in East Asia.


Dalian is a very popular destination among Chinese tourists and foreign visitors, especially from Japan, South Korea and Russia. Its mild climate and multiple beaches as well as its importance in the modern history of China make it an especially nice place to visit. Some of the most famous beaches are Tiger beach, Xinghai beach, Jinshitan beach and Fujiazhuang beach. It is one of the three Best Tourism Cities (2006), along with Hangzhou and Chengdu, recognized by the National Tourism Administration.

Four Inner-City Districts

Laohutan is famed for its natural scenery. There is the Underwater World, the Bird Park and the recently completed Polar Region Zoo. The dolphin show is a major attraction for the Polar Region Zoo.
  • Zhongshan Park
  • Xinghai Square, Xingghai Park and Heishijiao.
  • Xinghai Square was built at the centennial of the City of Dalian (1998) and is slated to be East Asia's largest square. Xinghai beach is in side Xinghai Park. It is about 800m long and is an excellent place for swimming.

Jinzhou District and Development Zone (in the northern suburbs)

Jinshitan beach, the Golden Pebble Beach is a tourist attraction with splendid coves and rock formations. There is also a golf course (Jinshitan International Golf Course), cross country motorcycling, a theme park (Dalian Discoveryland) and a game forest. It is a good place for someone who wants silence and peace and it is excellent for swimming too.

Lüshunkou District (in the western suburbs)

The fiercest battle site and the signing site of the ceasefire treaty, of the Battle of Lüshun during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05).

Three Northern Cities of Greater Dalian

  • Anbo Hotspring and Ski Course, in Pulandian City
  • Zhangxing Island International Golf Course, in Wafangdian City
  • Binyugou Scenic Area and Buyun Mountain Hotspring, in Zhuanhe City


Local Transportation

Dalian is one of the many cities in China where there are no longer many bicycles, and where there are few motorcycles, because their sale is prohibited. The number of cars on Dalian streets has increased dramatically in recent years, but traffic continues to circulate relatively smoothly. The city has a comprehensive bus system and an efficient Dalian Metro system, usually called Qinggui (), which connects Dalian Development Zone and Jinshitan with downtown Dalian. Trams in Dalian is the second oldest in China.

Domestic and international

Dalian has a modern and recently (2006) expanded international airport, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, with direct flights to the most major cities in China, and to the selected cities in Japan and South Korea.

The city's location means that train trips to most Chinese cities outside China's northeastern region require changing trains in Shanghai or Beijing. Most of the direct city to city express trains are overnight trips. In August 2007 construction started on a Harbin-Dalian high speed passenger railway, which is expected to be completed in 2013, connecting Harbin, Dalian, Changchun, and Shenyang.[8]

In addition to local and express bus service to Beijing and other areas in the northeast, Dalian is connected by passenger ship service to neighbouring coastal cities, such as Tianjin and Yantai, as well as Incheon, South Korea.

Life and Culture

Zhongshan Square in Dalian

Dalian was rated No 1 of the most livable city in China in 2006 according to China Daily.[9] Dalian is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities of China, and it is often compared with San Francisco or Seattle.

Dalian Dialect

Standard Mandarin is usually spoken in Dalian because it is a city with people from various locations. Among the Dalianites, however, the Dalian dialect is used, which belongs to the Jiao Liao Mandarin subgroup spoken from Shandong Province to Liaoning Province. The majority of the original Dalianites were the poor farmers and fishermen who had come from Shandong Province in a large population move called "Chuang Guandong". Among the Dalian dialect's features are a few loanwords from Japanese and Russian, reflecting its history of foreign occupation [10], which is a very rare case in the Chinese language.


Sports play a big role in the local culture. The city's mayor encouraged a top league football team with foreign aid and a lot of city cash to increase the city's image in the country and bring local fame. They have been caught out several times though and the heyday of the Super Team has passed. The city's football team has dominated the sport in China and Asia by winning 7 titles out of the past 9 years of Chinese professional football league. The city is also a powerhouse producing numerous track and field champions.
The Dalian's football club is Dalian Shide (大连实德), one of fifteen teams in the Chinese Super League. Prior to 2000, they were known as Dalian Wanda (大连万达). Dalian Shide(Wanda) achieved success as:
  • Premium A Champions 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002,2005
  • Asian Club Championship Runners-Up 1997
  • Asian Cup Winners' Cup Runners-Up 2001
  • Chinese Super Cup Winners 1997, 2001, 2003
  • China FA Cup Winners 2001

City-Wide Festivals

Xinghai Square(星海广场), the Xinghai Conference Center, the Dalian World Expo Center and the hotels on Renmin Rd. are the places where Dalian's major annual events are held: Fireworks Displays (Chinese New Year, May 1 and October 1), Dalian International Walking Festival (May), Dalian Locust Flower Festival (May), Dalian International Marathon (June), China International Software & Information Service Fair (June), Dalian International Beer Festival (July-August), Dalian International Auto Show (August) and Dalian International Fashion Week (September).
Every September Dalian hosts the Dalian International Fashion Festival (大连国际服装节). This festival is a chance for many major foreign companies to showcase their new products and sign up buyers. Before the festival, the city holds an opening ceremony attended by government officials as well as famous stars of the entertainment world.

Zoo and Museums

Dalian is the home of three zoological parks: Dalian Forest Zoo, Sun Asia Ocean World, and Polar World. The Forest Zoo has a free-range animal section as well as a more traditional zoo. Shengya Ocean World includes an underwater conveyor through a transparent tunnel. Polar World is the only park devoted to polar animals in China. Dalian is also home to a number of public squares, including Xinghai Square.and it also famous for beer festivals, every year it attracts a lot of tourism.

Plastination center

The German anatomist Gunther von Hagens runs a plastination center in Dalian.

Food and Restaurants

The local cuisine heavily depends on variety of fresh seafood and fruits, both of which are abundant in the area.

In popular culture

The computer game Battlefield 2 has a single-player/multiplayer map labeled as the "Dalian Plant", wherein the United States Marine Corps engages the People's Liberation Army to take control over an nuclear power plant. However, in reality, there presently aren't any nuclear power plants in or near Dalian. (Although Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant[11] is being built in Wafangdian, part of Dalian Prefecture-level City - over 100 from Dalian city center).

Inter-Governmental and People-to-People Communication

Japan maintains a Consulate General office and a JETRO office in Dalian, reflecting a relatively large Japanese population.

Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry has about 700 corporate members. Those Japanese who had lived in Dalian before the War have organized the Dalian Society. There are such voluntary groups as the Lilac Society (for women) and the Dalian Mountaineering Association.


Five religions (Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam) are "officially approved" by the Chinese government. Taoist temples are not found in downtown Dalian, but in Lushunkou District (Longwang Temple), and in Jinzhou District (Jinlong Temple in Daweijia, Xiangshui Temple at the foot of Dahei Mountain, and Zhenwu Temple in Liangjiadian). Buddhist temples are in downtown Dalian (Songshan Temple on Tangshan Street), on the northern side of Anzi Mountain (Anshan Temple), at Daheishi (Thousand-Hand Buddha & 500 Luohan Statues), in Lushunkou District (Hengshan Temple at Longwangtan), and in Jinzhou District 'Guanyinge-Shengshui Temple on Dahei Mountain). Dalian Islamic Mosque is on Beijing Street.

Dalian Catholic Church (built in 1926) is in downtown Dalian, west of Dalian Railway Station. Protestant churches are near Zhongshan Square (Yuguang Street Church, the former Dalian Anglican Church, built in 1928 in the British Consulate General's premises by the Church of England and Anglican Church of Japan jointly), on Changjiang Road (Beijing Street Church, now called Cheng-en Church, originally built in 1914 by the Danish Lutheran Church), on Xi'an Road (Christian Church for the Korean Chinese), east of the airport (the newly built Harvest Church, which can seat 4000 people), in Jinzhou (the newly built Jinzhou Church) and in Lüshunkou District (Lüshun Church, a former Danish Lutheran church). There are many other underground Christian fellowships ("house churches").

Local Celebrities

Toshiro Mifune (三船 敏郎 Mifune Toshirō?), Mifune Toshirō (1 April 1920 – 24 December 1997) was a famous Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He was born in Qingdao, China, to Japanese parents, and grew up in the Chinese city of Dalian[12] with his parents and two siblings.

Dong Jie, (Chinese: 董洁; Born April 19, 1980) is a popular actress from Dalian, Liaoning, China. In 2000 she played the female role of Wu Ying in a Zhang Yimou art-house film. Her movie, Happy Times (幸福時光), was also extensively filmed in and around the city of Dalian.[13]

Yu Nan (Chinese: 余男; Born September 5, 1978) is a Chinese actress born in Dalian. She played a small role in the Wachowski brothers' live-action adaptation of Speed Racer.


There were 23 general institutions of higher education (and another 7 privately-run colleges), 108 secondary vocational schools, 80 ordinary middle high schools, 1,049 schools for nine-year compulsory education and 1,432 kindergartens in Dalian. The students on campus of all levels (including kindergartens) totaled 1108 thousand.

There are the following schools of higher education and research centers:

Colleges and Universities

Some universities are undergoing relocations from the metropolitan area to the suburban districts. In 2007, Dalian University of Foreign Languages (except for its Schools of Chinese Studies 汉学院 and Continuous Education 培训部) and Dalian Medical University (except its Hospital) were moved to Lüshunkou District, just east of Baiyin Mountain Tunnel (白银山).

Missouri State University Branch Campus Dalian is a dual management private school with a western director.

Research Centers

High schools

  • Dalian Maple Leaf International School(大连枫叶国际学校)
  • Dalian No. 24 High School(大连市第二十四中学)
  • Dalian Yuming High School(大连育明高中)
  • Dalian No. 8 High School(大连市第八中学)
  • Dalian No. 1 High School(大连市第一中学)
  • Dalian No. 2 High School(大连市第二中学)

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Dalian is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b Population and EmploymentDalian China
  2. ^ "Dalian Chief investment portal: 大连投资政务门户网站" (in Chinese). Dalian Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau. http://www.sfj.dl.gov.cn/servlet/TableList?cmd=detail&tbname=news&id=200806120003. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  3. ^ Dairen had been an insignificant fishing village called Chingniwa when Great Britain took the Bay of Dalyan from China. The British renamed the bay Victoria Bay after their queen., Kuramoto pg 19.
  4. ^ Czarist Russia brought in their finest architects to this insignificant fishing village to build their dream city, a "Paris in the Far East", copying the layout and architecture of Paris. Nicholas II named the city "Dal'nii" - the faraway place - and declared it a tax-free commercial port., Kuramoto pg 20.
  5. ^ Dalian China - Environmental Protection
  6. ^ Ministry of Environmental Protection of China.
  7. ^ a b Dalian Statistics Yearbook 2008
  8. ^ "Work begins on Harbin-Dalian passenger-only rail line". People's Daily Online. 2007-08-24. http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/6247071.html. 
  9. ^ Jing, Fu (2006-01-03). "Beijing drops out of top 10 'best city' list". China Daily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2006-01/03/content_508828.htm. 
  10. ^ 大連方言について (in Japanese)
  11. ^ Dalian Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Station
  12. ^ IMDb Biography
  13. ^ Variety Magazine 18 May 2001

Further reading

  • Hess, Christian A. (2006). "From colonial jewel to socialist metropolis: Dalian, 1895--1955." Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, San Diego.
  • Kuramoto, Kazuko. Manchurian Legacy: Memoirs of a Japanese Colonist, 1st edition. Michigan State University Press. October 1, 1999. ISBN 0-87013-510-4, ISBN 978-0870-135101, ISBN 0-87013-725-5, ISBN 978-0870-137259.
  • Matz, Leigh. Blue Sky Red Tears, 1st edition. DigitalKu. November 30, 2004. ISBN 0976316811, ISBN 978-0976316817.
  • McKnight, Tom, (ed.). Geographica: The Complete Illustrated Atlas of the World, 3rd revision. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2001. ISBN 0-7607-5974-X, ISBN 9780760727140.
  • Perrins, Robert John (1998). "'Great connections': The creation of a city, Dalian, 1905-1931. China and Japan on the Liaodong Peninsula." Ph.D. dissertation, York University (Canada).
  • Song Li. Everyday Dalian: Life In Modern Manchuria (Photography Book), Foreword by Phil Borges. 1st edition. DigitalKu. February 8, 2008. ISBN 0-9763168-5-4, ISBN 978-0-9763168-5-5.
  • Theiss, Frank. The Voyage of Forgotten Men, 1st Ed. Indianapolis & New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1937.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Downtown Dalian around Labour Park
Downtown Dalian around Labour Park
Dalian is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.

Dalian (大连; Dàlián) [1] is the second largest city in Liaoning Province, Dongbei (North East), China and the largest port in northern China as well as a major destination for Chinese tourists. Located at the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, the main part of the city is on its own sub-peninsula, with the port to the north of the town centre and natural coastline dotted with beaches to the east and south.

Map of Dalian
Map of Dalian

Dalian, as a city, is young by Chinese standards, dating from 1898, though smaller settlements had long existed in the area. Like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Qingdao, Dalian's development stemmed from colonial occupation, in this case by Russia. Under Russian rule Dalian, or Dalny as it was known, became the southern tip of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the main port of the eastern Russian empire. Following the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5, the city was transferred to Japanese control and renamed Dairen. The Chinese government resumed control following the Second World War (though the city was jointly run with Russia until 1955) and in 1950 was again renamed by the newly formed Communist regime, this time to Luda City. There followed a period of relative stagnation until the city (once again named Dalian) was opened up to foreign investment in 1984. This sparked the first period of redevelopment of the city, the second period coming with the appointment of Bo Xilai as mayor. Under Bo's stewardship, the city became a model example of redevelopment, with extensive redevelopment of its infrastructure and open spaces and a new focus on tourism and commerce and away from heavy industry.

Dalian is less reliant on heavy industry than its Northeast counterparts, and what heavy industry there is is mostly located in the development zone far outside the city center. This, combined with the city's many parks and green hills, wide thoroughfares and army of street cleaners, make Dalian a more pleasant city to visit and live in than most Chinese cities of comparable size. Though most of the tourist industry in the city is targeted at the domestic, rather than international, market, overseas tourists should still find enjoyment in the city. The large number of foreign businesses in the city and foreign students and teachers at the city's many universities ensure that there are plenty of companies (from upmarket hotels to bars and coffee houses) which cater to those who do not call China their native home. The city has a population of around 6,000,000. Dalian's perhaps most abuzz when it hosts the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Champions (summer Davos).


Mandarin is the main language of Dalian, and most Dalianese speak a fairly standard version of the dialect, though the local variety (known as Dalian-hua and related to the Shandong dialect) can sometimes be hard to follow for those unfamiliar with it. As in the rest of China, English is increasingly spoken, but still not understood by most Dalianese. Outside of the more expensive hotels and businesses that cater to overseas customers, a grasp of basic Mandarin phrases (at least) is advisable.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -1 0 6 14 20 24 27 27 24 18 9 2
Nightly lows (°C) -8 -6 -1 6 12 16 21 21 17 10 2 -5
Precipitation (cm) 1 1 1 3 4 6 17 14 8 3 2 1

The city is best visited in summer or autumn, any time between Jun and Oct. However, during the summer school holidays (early Jul-late Aug) the city attracts large numbers of domestic tourists, making long distance transport tickets and hotel rooms harder to find and some sights more expensive. The Labour Day (one week around May 1), National Day (one week around Oct 1) and Chinese New Year (four weeks during late Jan/early Feb) holidays see similar, though smaller, influxes and so it may be preferable to schedule visits outside these times. Sometimes Chinese cities are less populated during national holidays, as many of China's new urban dwellers return to their hometowns for the holiday.

Dalian districts
Dalian districts

Dalian in fact encompasses 8 districts and 3 sub-cities. Visitors would likely have a need to spend in only 5 of the city's 8 districts (and none of the sub-cities), 4 of which follow (and to locals, "Dalian" is used when referencing):

  • Zhongshan District (中山区 Zhōngshānqū), home of Dalian's financial and commercial center. This district is the easternmost district of Dalian's 4 "downtown" districts.
  • Xigang District (西岗区 Xīgǎngqū), home of the municipal government district. On the western border of Zhongshan District.
  • Shahekou District (沙河口区 Shāhékǒuqū), mainly a residential area, though Xinghai Square and the many universities in the district may attract visitors. On the western border of Xigang District.
  • Ganjingzi District (甘井子区 Gānjǐngzǐqū) is by far the largest district, running from Heishijiao University and high tech area in the south to the southern edge Jinzhouqu in the north and to Yingchenzi in the west. For all its size, however, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport is the only location within the district most travelers are likely to visit. On the western side of Shahekou and north of Lushunkou Districts.

The wider Dalian administrative area encompasses 4 further districts and 3 sub-cities (北三市 Běisān​shì three northern cities)​​. Jinzhouqu District, Lushunkou District, Kaifaqu District and Changhaixian District, a small group of islands east of the Liaodong Peninsula, represent the other half of Dalian's 8 districts. Wanfangdian, Pulandian, and Zhuanghe represent the 3 sub-cities within the municipal territory of Dalian. Pulandian is the future home of the municipal government headquarters, with the center of control no longer in Xigang District as the China's central government's plans continue to build growth in the district areas north of Dalian's city center. Of these remaining districts and sub-cities, Kaifaqu is the likeliest to be visited as the name translates to "Economic Development Zone" and thus it is home to several factories and shipping centers.

  • Kaifaqu (开发区 Kāi​fā​qū) lies immediately north of Ganjingzi District. The main attractions in the district are the Golden Pebble Beach and Xiangshui Temple.
  • Lushunkou District (旅顺口区 Lǚshùnkǒuqū) occupies the very southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, with the historically significant city of Lushun (formerly Port Arthur) at its center.
  • Zhuanghe District (庄河市 Zhuānghéshì) well north east of Dalian city is a mostly rural district with the impressive Bingyu Valley as its main, or rather only, attraction.

There are numerous sub-districts within each district, which would equate to a "neighborhood" but far too numerous and specific to be of much help to travelers.

Get in

By plane

Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport (大连周水子国际机场 Dàlián Zhōushuǐzǐ Guójìjīchǎng), (IATA: DLC), +86 411 8665 2071, [2], to the north-west of the city center, offers direct flights to many Chinese cities and a few international destinations. Although busy at times, the airport is fairly easy to manage, having only one terminal and a very simplistic layout. International check-in takes place on the west end of the building.

When needing to venture from the airport to the city, be sure to hail a taxi from the official taxi queue on the east side (ground level), just a few feet from any of the glass doors on the ground floor. Failing to use one of these could prove problematic (unless venturing further outside of the downtown area, where most drivers waiting in the queue will resist driving to).

A regular airport bus departs after every flight lands and runs to the main train station (it also stops at the smaller Shahekou train station so be careful not to get off too soon) as well as Renmin Lu. ¥5. Public buses #701 and #710 also run from the airport to the train station, #701 terminating at Zhongshan Square and #710 going on to the harbor, Sanba Square and Erqi Square. ¥1.

Tickets for outbound flights can be booked in advance from the airport ticket office on Zhongshan Lu, just opposite Xiwang Square.

  • Dalian Central Train Station (大连火车站; Dàlián Huǒchēzhàn), (N of Victory Square), +86 411'' 8260 3331. Direct trains serve most cities in Dongbei as well as Beijing. A daily express train also runs to Shenyang. Tickets can be booked up to ten days in advance from the station, though this requires a degree of Chinese proficiency (or access to someone with Chinese proficiency). Local travel agents and major hotels should also be able to book tickets in advance, often further than is possible from the station (for an extra charge). For further details on train travel in China, including details on the various classes available, see the main China article.  edit

By bus

Long distance buses are available and serve most destinations in the vicinity of Dalian. A popular long distance bus station is on Jianshe Jie, just to the south of the train station along Changjiang Lu. Smaller stations, serving mainly local cities, are located next to the passenger ferry terminal, another about 1.5 km west of the train station at the intersection of Anshan Lu and Xinkai Lu (běi gǎng qiáo station (北岗桥汽车站)), and in Heishijiao in Shahekou District.

By boat

Ferry services run from the passenger ferry terminal (大连港客运站 Dàlián Gǎng Kèyùn Zhàn) on the eastern side of Zhongshan District (along Gangwan Jie) to cities along the Yellow Sea as well as to Incheon in South Korea. A fast ferry runs to Yantai and takes around three and a half hours. Previous services to Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao no longer operate. Tickets can be purchased either from the ferry terminal or from a kiosk at the train station. On long haul domestic ferries (excluding fast ferries) first class berths typically offer a two bed room with a shower, second class offers a four bed room with a wash basin while lower classes may offer only a bunk in a large, shared area, a hard seat, or no reserved place at all.

Public transport map
Public transport map

By bus

Buses [3] are the main form of public transport in Dalian and most services run very frequently. The typical wait between buses is only about five min. Seats are generally hard and, even with very frequent services, buses on major routes can still get crowded at peak times. Although fitted to do so, most operate with air conditioning or heating systems off, although in extreme heat or cold the driver may decide to turn them on. Services start early in the morning (anywhere from 4:30AM-8AM) and usually finish around 10PM, although some services finish earlier/later depending on the popularity of the line. Fare is ¥1-2.

Bus routes that may be of use to visitors include #2 (from Qiniwa station to Tiger Beach), #4 (from Olympic Square to Tiger Beach), #5 (from Zhongshan Lu near Qingniwa to Jingsha beach via Fujiazhuang), #13 (from the west side of Victory Square to the ferry terminal), #16 (from Zhongshan Lu near Qingniwa to the Xinghai conference centre) and #22 (from the railway station to Xinghai Square). Ticket prices for all these routes, as with most buses in Dalian, are ¥1 regardless of distance and exact change must be given.

In addition to the regular public buses there are also three air-conditioned tourist buses. #801 runs a circular route from the railway station and takes in People's Square, Xinghai Square, Fujiazhaung Beach, Tiger Beach, Labour Park and Zhongshan Square along the way. The entire journey takes about an hour and costs ¥20, though earlier stops cost less (the minimum being ¥5). #801B runs from the ferry terminal to Heishijiao via Zhongshan Square, the railway station, People's Square and Xinghai Square while #K901 runs from the Foreign Languages University to the south-western edge of Dalian via Zhongshan Square, the Railway station, Xinghai Square and Heishijiao. Tickets for both buses are ¥2.

Of particular interest to tourists is a bus traveling Binhai Lu for ¥10 (8AM-4PM). It starts from near the railway station and covers the Conference & Exhibition Center, Dalian Seashell Museum, Forest Zoo, FuJiazhuang beach, Yan Woling, Birdsong Forest, Tiger Beach Paradise, Harbour Square and Zhongshan Square. There is a bus every 40 mins and through out the day you can travel in this bus, or just stay aboard for a 90-min ride.

A modern tram near Xinghai Square
A modern tram near Xinghai Square

Dalian has a few trams and trolleybuses, a legacy from the years of Japanese occupation, and which add character to the city in addition to being a practical means of transportation. The occasional hilly street with a tram scooting along past colonial buildings combine to give Dalian a look unique in China. There are two main tram routes: #201 runs largely west-east from Xinggong Street near the Shahekou Railway Station to the Haizhiyun (Rhythm of the Sea) Park on the coast. #202 runs from the edge of the Software Park at Xiaoping Dao to the Jinhui shopping area where the #201 starts. The #203 line was merged into the #201 route. As a result, travelers should note the destination sign on the tram before boarding, as the express and other special trams will skip some stops. Fare is ¥1.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful in Dalian and flagging one down is rarely a problem except in the remotest parts of the city--or in rush hour. Rates start at ¥8 (¥10.40 after 10PM) for the first 3 km and ¥2 for each additional km. Round all taxi fares to the nearest whole number (¥11.60 means a fare of ¥12) as drivers don't accept any coinage less than ¥1. Drivers range in mood, some acting quite gruff and driving dangerously and some keenly interested in where you originate from or other small talk. On the good side, they are less likely to take needlessly long routes compared to other tourist cities in China as Dalian is a relatively small city with a limited number of major highways/thoroughfares. Drivers don't understand basic English, however, so either a knowledge of Mandarin or written directions to the destination is a must (or having a colleague speak to them on your mobile phone). If a driver is looking to pick up additional passengers along your route, encourage him or her to keep on driving unless you're comfortable with what might ensue. Especially during rush hour, when taxis are heavily sought after, it's quite common for drivers to pick up additional passengers if heading in the same direction as those in the cab.

A thing to note on Taxis is however, same as anywhere in China is that during bad weather (eg: heavy rain, snow, etc), most taxi drivers will take the opportunity to hike up prices and will not be willing to use the meters. Plan your trip beforehand if there's bad weather.

Many taxi drivers smoke and play their radios. Some may also hesitate to start the meter so be sure you let them know to start it if you think they've forgotten or up to their tricks. Few use the A/C during the summer so if you suffer from respiratory problems, be sure you're well prepared when coming to Dalian. The nicest thing about the taxis and size of Dalian is that ¥20 can go a long ways in getting around.

Kaifaqu's main light-rail station with Daheishan in background
Kaifaqu's main light-rail station with Daheishan in background

This not a means of transport in the downtown area, but primarily used by travelers with transportation needs to Ganjing District or even further out to Jinzhou District (construction is underway to extend even further north to Pulandian). The light rail (qīng guǐ) can be quicker than a taxi to get to or from areas north of downtown (if traffic is bad on the Shenda Expressway, this mode will easily be the quickest). North of downtown in Jinzhou District, the Economic Development Zone stop serves as a transfer station, with no line transfer necessary to continue north to Jinshitan but a transfer required if wanting to hop on the Jiu Li line (which goes to downtown Jinzhou). Fare is based upon the distance with the furthest distances having a ¥8 fare. (Varying degrees of comfort on commuter buses from ¥1-4; taxis typically charge at least ¥50 but can combine up to 4 separate-party passengers for ¥15 each). Light-rail cars are air conditioned and the waiting stations are sheltered from precipitation but the journey can be extremely crowded during peak hours.

Zhongshan Square
Zhongshan Square
  • Squares – Within China, Dalian is renowned for its squares and green places, with a large number scattered throughout the city, each with its own distinct character. Zhongshan Square (Zhongshan District) hosts the city's financial centre and some fine old Japanese buildings, Renmin Square (Xigang District) is the seat of the city government and boasts an impressive fountain while Xinghai Square (Shahekou District) is the largest square in Asia and home to a wide range of tourist attractions.
  • Old colonial buildings - Though a young city, Dalian's status as a former colony of both Russia and Japan offers an eclectic mix of architectural styles for history buffs. Many of the older buildings in central Dalian were demolished during periodic bouts of renovation, but pockets of history remain with Russian Street (Xigang District) offering perhaps the best concentration of old buildings.
  • Forest Zoo - Dalian has a wide range of tourist attractions, but most of them are geared for the local market. To overseas visitors it would seem more of a tourist trap rather than attractions. The Forest Zoo (Xigang District) is one of the few that does stand up to international expectations, albeit only just. The zoo, set in the hillsides south of the city centre, plays host to a wide variety of animals in enclosures that are modern and spacious by Chinese standards (though not up to the standard of better western zoos). The zoo's pandas, both great and red, are probably its main attraction.
Juicy cherries await picking in late spring
Juicy cherries await picking in late spring
  • Cherry blossoms – Late April is a good time to visit the village of Long Wangtang(龙王塘) (20 min drive from Dalian) to watch its cherry blossoms. The 3,000 cherry trees were planted by Japanese colonists back in 1920s after the completion of Long Wangtang water dam. The nouveau-style dam itself is another interest to visit.
  • Láodòng (Labor) Park (劳动公园). You can walk up or use a seat-lift to reach the peak of the mountain. When you arrive there, you have the possibility to go up the Reach Sightseeing Tower to have a even higher panoramic view. On a beautiful Day it is worthy a trip and the gorgeous view will pay off. To get back down you can take the "First Land Sled" which is a really fun experience. Besides looking at probably one of the biggest Footballs in the World, you can do skiing or ice-skating in winter-time. Especially for children a lots of fun rides are offered. Please watch out! The operators are sometimes cheating their way to get daylight robbery. If you get in such situations please call the police (110) to put an end to their scheming.  edit
A stretch of Binhai Road
A stretch of Binhai Road
  • Relax on one of the city's beaches – There are a number of beaches clustered along the southern and eastern sides of the Dalian Peninsula, the largest of which are Xinghai Beach (星海海滨 Xīnghǎi Hǎibīn), Fujiazhuang Beach (傅家庄海滨 Fùjiāzhuāng Hǎibīn) and Bangchuidao Beach. (棒棰岛海滨 Bàngchuídǎo Hǎibīn). Of these beaches Xinghai Beach is almost invariably overcrowded and Bangchuidao beach is hard to get to and expensive (its located within an exclusive luxury resort) making Fujiazhuang Beach the best bet for anyone wanting to take a dip or simply sunbathe.
  • Travel along Binhai Road – Running along the southern edge of the Dalian peninsula Binhai Road is a pretty, winding coastal road similar to the corniche of the French Riviera. The road is split into three main sections, Binhai West Road {滨海西路 Bīnhǎi Xī Lù} from Xinghai Square to Fujiazhuang, Binhai Middle Road {滨海中路 Bīnhǎi Zhōng Lù} from Fujiazhuang to Tiger Beach, and Binhai South Road {滨海南路 Bīnhǎi Nán Lù} and Binhai North Road {滨海北路 Bīnhǎi Běi Lù} from Tiger Beach to Donghai Beach. It's possible to walk along the entire 35 km (22 mi) stretch in a day, but for those feeling less adventurous the Fujiazuang-Tiger Beach and Tiger Beach-Donghai Beach stretches also make for a rewarding walk. A taxi ride offers a less taxing means of seeing the road.
  • Entertainment – Dalian offers a range of entertainment options, with theatres and concert halls in Zhongshan District for those interested in high culture, including local and international performances. There are dozens of KTV bars and a few bars/hotels offer live music. For those interested in the silver screen, there's a cluster of cinemas in the centre of town around Youhao Square, but these mainly cater to local audiences and so English-language screenings are extremely rare. Those who aren't fluent in Mandarin would be better off going to the Warner-Wanda cinema on the north side of Olympic Square (Xigang District), Ownar Cineplex in the He Ping shopping centre north of Xinghai Square (Shahekou District) or theater at Roosevelt Shopping center. Finally, those visiting during the football season (March-November) should make the effort to catch a game at the People's Stadium, Xigang District, given football's role as a fundamental part of Dalian's identity. Typical of northern Chinese cities, the nightlife comes to an end rather early and the city feels asleep around 10PM and the formal bar closing time is 2AM.
  • Dalian Beer Festival, all of Xinghai Square. 10 days in late-July and early Aug. Thousands of visitors. Day-time folks tend to go for the food and music acts, night-time goers for the beer and music acts. Domestic and regional vendors, some selling brew from as far away as Germany and the U.S. ¥10 admission, ¥30 food, ¥50 beer.  edit
Shide FC
Shide FC
  • Dalian Shide, Jinzhouqu (N of the city by 1-hr car ride). Among the reasons Dalian is known for in China, having won the Chinese league 8 times (most recently in 2005), but the team is not as strong as it once was. They have produced a number of stars who've gone to play abroad, including Sun Jihai (Manchester City) and Dong Fangzuo (Manchester United). Home matches are played on alternate weekends from early Mar-Nov. Ticket prices vary according to the quality of the opposition, with the biggest games costing around ¥20 while entry to matches against lesser teams can sometimes be had for nothing if you're willing to wait until just before kick-off. ¥10.  edit


Dalian has a large number of universities, a number of which offer undergraduate and graduate courses in a variety of majors for foreign students, as well as Chinese classes of varying levels of proficiency. The universities below all offer course for overseas students (see their websites for details on available courses and requirements).

  • Dalian Foreign Languages University (大连外国语学院 Dàlián Wàiguóyǔ Xuéyuàn) 94 Yan'an Lu, +86 411 8280 1297 (scs@dlufl.edu.cn) [4]
  • Liaoning Normal University (辽宁师范大学 Liáoníng Shīfàn Dàxué) 850 Huanghe Lu, +86 411 8425 8562 (robertd@mail.dlptt.ln.cn) [5]
  • Dalian Maritime University (大连海事大学 Dàlián Hǎishì Dàxué) 1 Linghai Lu, +86 411 8472 9210 (pengxuefei@hotmail.com) [6].

You can try to stay at the International Maritime Training Centre Hotel DMU. It is on the Dalian Maritime University Campus. Tel: +86 411 84729710; Fax: +86 411 84729350. Registration: +86 411 84729345, 84729346, 84727951. The hotel has English speaking stuff on reception. Start from ¥150.

  • Dalian University of Technology (大连理工大学 Dàlián Lǐgōng Dàxué) +86 411 8470 8897 (dutsice@dlut.edu.cn) [7]
Qingniwa/Victory Square at night
Qingniwa/Victory Square at night

There are many souvenir stalls around the main tourist sights in Dalian. The typical local souvenirs are Russian-themed items and dried seafood, neither of which are of particular interest to foreign travellers (the first would be a strange thing to bring back from China and the second would violate customs regulations). There are plenty of other shopping areas that would be of more interest. Some general Chinese souvenirs include jade sculptures, shadow boxes with shell mosaics, calligraphy scrolls, Peking Opera masks, etc. Day to day essentials are also available in these shopping areas. As with the rest of China, haggling is pretty much mandatory outside of department stores and supermarkets.

Typical Dalianese seafood
Typical Dalianese seafood

The local cuisine of Dalian is influenced by Dongbei regional style of cooking (which has a not wholly unjustified reputation for being big on portions and relatively low on flavors) and the the city's close location to the sea. Buns, pancakes and dumplings are staples rather than rice or noodles. The city also has a very good reputation for seafood dishes which are well worth trying. Overseas travelers should be aware, however, that in China seafood has different connotations than elsewhere, literally seafood refers to anything edible from the sea. Fish dishes invariably contain plenty of small bones that must be navigated around or crunched through (the local method). Additionally, due to its relation and storied history with Korean and Japanese empires, Dalian has many restaurants serving this kind of fare.

The range and number of restaurants is huge, and the listings provided should be considered as merely scratching the surface of what is available. Individual exploration of the restaurants is recommended. Reservations are generally not necessary, so phone numbers have only been provided for those restaurants where tables may need reserving. Those wanting to stick to the familiar will find a large number of western and Japanese and Korean restaurants available, and international fast food chains are well represented.

For good eats, try the recommendations in Zhongshan District and in Xigang District.

Travelers on a budget will be spoiled for choice in Dalian, with low cost restaurants on literally every street corner (particularly in the more residential areas outside of the main city center). It would be impossible to begin to list them all, so only a couple of options available near the center have been listed in the district articles. The quality of the restaurants can be highly variable. A good rule of thumb when searching for a decent place to eat is, if the decor looks shabby but the place is packed the food is almost always good. Ordering can be tricky for non-Chinese speakers as English menus are incredibly rare in cheaper restaurants, and English speaking staff are even more rare. Try the roadside snack stalls which offer pancakes, rolls, skewers of barbecued meat and candied fruits starting at ¥1. These may cause some upset stomachs or bouts of diarrhea, so be advised.

As with budget restaurants there are plenty of mid-range restaurants to choose from in Dalian (differentiated from budget restaurants usually by being larger and having better decor), so experimentation is the key. The restaurants listed in the various district articles are just a couple of particularly noteworthy examples. The same caveats as for budget restaurants apply as regards language, though quality is less variable.

The more expensive end of the restaurant market in Dalian is generally a seafood restaurant boasting fresh, usually local cuisine or the more authentic Japanese restaurants (as opposed to those which have been adapted for local taste preferences). English menus and English speaking staff are most common in the western-themed restaurants, but even mid-priced restaurants may have English or pictures available.

There are a number of restaurants which serve seafood. Typically those downtown or in Xinghai Square have the best seafood, notably Wanbao and Zihan Fan Dian.


Dalian offers a wide variety of bars and nightclubs catering to a mixture of locals, foreign business people and the teaching crowd. The city lacks a bona fide bar street along the lines of Beijing's Sanlitun or Shanghai's Maoming Lu with bars fairly liberally scattered across the city center (as well as near large universities). There are three main clusters of bars that those wishing to bar hop could concentrate on, however, the first and most centralized along a side street off Wuwu Lu near Sanba Square, the second along Changjiang Lu north of the Shangri-la Hotel and the third along Gaoerji Lu south of People's Square. KTV, or karaoke, is a large part of Chinese culture. There are a variety of such, some catering more to family or group get togethers and some for business outings. Typically the former are based in larger buildings and have little stores inside where drinks and snacks can be purchased, while the latter tend have a row of standing waitresses or mistresses lined up at the front door or shortly upon entering the singing room.

Another good place to go for drinks for those on the cheap are the night markets that spring up during the summer. These offer very cheap draught beer (¥1-3 for a large glass) and barbecued meat, tofu, vegetables and bread in an informal outdoor setting (some may not even have chairs). (This isn't recommended for those who are staying in Dalian a short time or those whom haven't spent a few weeks in China getting their immune system ready unless you're not worried about having any diarrhea issues. Many of the locals don't even eat at these types of places.) Those looking for non-alcoholic drinks, meanwhile, can check out the many coffee shops and tea houses around the city.

Chain coffee shops include Starbucks [8], SPR [9] and Amici Coffee, all of which offer wi-fi (SPR and Amici a food menu as well). Details are in district articles.


Budget accommodation options in Dalian, as in the rest of China, are fairly limited for overseas travelers as most of the really inexpensive hotels do not accept foreigners. The best bet for non-Chinese visitors looking for a bargain are youth hostels or university guest houses. Some universities offer foreign student dormitories to travelers during school holidays. Some (for example Liaoning Normal and DUT) also have hotels on campus which offer rooms year-round. (See the Learn section for contact details). Mid-range 3 or 4 star Chinese-run hotels typically offer clean, decent sized rooms, good quality restaurants and but English-staff is spotty. There's an abundance of such hotels around the city, with a handful standing out from the rest of the pack. Splurge hotels are dominated by larger international chains, nearly all downtown. These hotels tend to be very well run and offer all the amenities that could possibly be expected. Expect to pay international rates, rather than national, for these 4- or 5-star locations.

Some youth hostels do not host foreigners (see discussion page).

Most accommodations can be found in the Zhongshan District.


The local dialing code for Dalian landlines is 0411. The main local telephone operator is China Netcom [10]. Almost all hotels have at least a perfunctory business center offering Internet access (though usually at a far higher price than at an Internet café but most of the splurge hotels offer it for free).

There are a handful of public phones, as in standalone phones. These are few and far between, however, and to use them you need to purchase an IC card which can't be used for anything else. More practical, and cheap, are the phones that can be found at convenience stores or kiosks. To use these simply indicate you wish to use one, dial the number and then hand over the money (usually less than ¥1 for short local calls) to the shop assistant at the end. Not all such phones will allow you to dial outside of Dalian, however, and very few accept international calls (those that do will have the letters IDD on the telephone sign outside the shop/kiosk).

For international calls the best places to go are the phone bars (often labelled 电话吧 (diànhuà ba)), generally found around residential areas. To make a call simply walk in, choose a vacant phone and when finished indicate which phone you used to the cashier (typically the phones have a number written above them). Prices can be highly variable, but a reasonably long call shouldn't come to more than ¥50. A more expensive, and possibly more convenient, option is to ask to use the phone in hotel lobbies.

Calling cards (known as IP cards) are plentiful and, as in the rest of China, offer the cheapest way of calling overseas. Be aware, however, that not all brands of cards offer oral English instructions, so those not fluent in Mandarin would be best sticking to the two main brands (China Netcom and China Telecom).

Mobile phones, and mobile phone stores, are plentiful in Dalian. If you have an international roaming plan then you should be able to use your phone to call within Dalian, though this can be very expensive. For those staying for longer than a week or two it may be cheaper to buy a local SIM card (expect to pay around ¥50-¥100). The two main operators, China Mobile and China Unicom, operate on different standards. Select one of the two operators based on what type of phone you have. China Mobile and China Unicom utilized GSM, China Telecom CDMA.

Internet cafés, as in most Chinese cities, are plentiful and on nearly every street corner, especially in residential areas and around universities. Just look for the characters 网吧 (wǎng ba) on shop fronts. In the town center they're less numerous, though there are a few around the railway station and Victory Square. Expect to pay ¥1-5 for an hour. Wifi is available in coffee shops like Amici and Starbucks scattered throughout the city.

Post offices are scattered around the city, with the two main branches located just east of the railway station and on Zhongshan Square. These branches, as with most larger post offices in the city, offer Western Union wiring facilities, though the branch next to the railway station is the only one which can receive funds.

A traffic policewoman trying to instill order in chaos
A traffic policewoman trying to instill order in chaos

Crime, particularly street crime, is low in Dalian as it is in most of China. That said, the people in northeastern China are on average more aggressive than their southern counterparts and fights do happen. (Most often when alcohol is involved.) While foreigners are unlikely to be targeted, one would be wise to avoid any heated exchanges. Additionally pickpockets do operate, so care should be taken with valuables especially in busy shopping areas or on crowded buses or trains.

Probably the greatest safety risk you'll face in Dalian is from the traffic which can be chaotic at the best of times. China has the highest rate of road fatalities in the world and allowances made for pedestrians are practically nonexistent. Marked crossings seem to serve little purpose other than as target ranges. Dalian's many wide avenues may be good for congestion but by creating more fast flowing traffic than in, say, Beijing they make life harder for pedestrians. The best way to cross the road other than over bridges, through tunnels or at traffic lights is to wait for a gap in the traffic and run. Don't under any circumstances expect cars to stop for you.

Health-wise Dalian's relatively low levels of pollution (comparable to London or Paris and better than Los Angeles) mean health problems from bad air are less of an issue than in other Chinese cities. The water, while technically drinkable, is made drinkable via the addition of hefty amounts of chemicals and pipes are seldom kept in the best condition so boiling is pretty much mandatory, and bottled water is usually a safer bet. Tap water should be boiled or filtered before drinking.Tap water should be fine for brushing teeth and washing with, however. The complete lack of any health inspection mechanism means food poisoning is a constant danger, but most restaurants should be OK. Avoid any restaurants that seem strangely quiet (customers tend not to return to places that leave them on the toilet for a week). It's always a good idea to pack a few diarrhea tablets before leaving, just in case. Hospitals are liberally scattered throughout the city with the Friendship Hospital on Wuwu Lu (+86 0411 8271 8822) the most likely to have English speaking staff. China's hyper-capitalist health-care system means that payment in cash is required before any treatment is dished out, so make sure to bring a few hundred yuan with you should you need medical attention.


Though credit and debit cards are gradually becoming more widely accepted at department stores and supermarkets most stores and all attractions still operate on a cash-only basis and only the very largest or most expensive shops accept foreign credit cards. It's generally best to ensure that you have a decent amount of cash on hand when going out. ATMs are located at virtually all bank branches, and most (though not all) of the large banks now accept foreign debit or credit cards. Bank of China branches all have the ability to take cards from foreign banks, and most offer English instructions. For more advanced financial transactions (converting currency or travellers checks, for instance) the best places to go are the Bank of China branch on the north side of Zhongshan Square and the HSBC branch on Renmin Lu just east of the Shangri-la hotel.

  • Dalian Christianity Cheng'en Church (大连市基督教承恩堂), Changjiang Lu and Beijing Jie. Can use the #201 trolley as the stop is at the intersection of the two streets. Locals and foreigners alike welcomed, with services in Mandarin.  edit
  • Church in Swisshotel. Real Sunday service in a knock-off hotel. Foreign passport owners only.  edit

Get out

There are a number of attractions around the city that, though technically within the Dalian administrative area, are far enough away from the centre to warrant devoting a full day to.

  • Golden Pebble Beach - Located in Jinzhou district northeast of Dalian about 50 km (30 mi) from downtown, Golden Pebble Beach (金石滩 Jīnshítān), named after the unique rock formations of the area, is a tourist destination which has at its heart Dalian's best beach (courtesy of specially imported sand). Surrounded by tourist attractions that could perhaps be best described as traps rather than attractions, it's the beach that's most likely to reward visitors. Swimming isn't too popular because of the temperature and cleanliness of the water but most just spend time on the beach grilling and walking around. Some of the other attractions include the kung fu museum, which doubles as a school for aspiring Jet Lis, and Kingdom of Discovery, Dalian's small theme park. Outside of the main tourist areas there are a lot of the beach-side shops and stalls which shut down during bad weather, so it's best to check the forecast before venturing out. The best way to get to there from downtown is to take the light rail. A single-journey trip takes about 1 hour and costs ¥8. A tourist shuttle is available to get from the Jinshitan light rail station to the beach as well as taxis.
  • Xiangshui Temple +86 411 8764 7565. 8:30AM-5PM. One of the few truly ancient sites in and around Dalian, the Daoist Xiangshui Temple (响水寺 Xiǎngshuǐ Sì) was first constructed during the Tang Dynasty around a thousand years ago, though much of the current temple stems from renovations during the Qing Dynasty. The temple is built around a large cavern, the waterfalls inside give the temple its name ("Water-sounds Temple") and is part of a wider network of temples in the Big Black Mountain (大黑山 Dàhēishān) area. To get there take the light rail train or bus (from the běi gǎng qiáo long distance bus station) to Jinzhou then take a taxi to the temple. Taxi drivers waiting near the Dalian train station and Xi'an Lu will take passengers to Jinzhou for about ¥60-80/4 person max (¥15-20 each).
  • Bingyu Valley - Billed as "Dalian's Guilin" Bingyu Valley (冰峪沟 Bīngyù Gōu), this is a twisting river valley, winding though steep cliffs, in a relatively unspoiled countryside just outside Zhuanghe City and about 250 km (155 mi) north of Dalian city. Entry costs ¥100 but is well worth as there is hiking, boat rides (which cost extra) and enjoying a bit of nature. There are also a number of Buddhist and Taoist temples to explore along the river. It's theoretically possible to visit the valley in a day, but it's perhaps better to stay overnight. The local hotel costs ¥300 for a double room, or you can stay in a local farmer's house for as little as ¥10 (definitely an experience worth having, provided you have someone in your party with a good level of Mandarin). To get to Bingyu Valley on weekends or holidays simply catch the direct bus that leaves from Victory Square at 7:30AM. Tickets cost ¥45 and the journey takes about 2 hours. The rest of the time you'll need to get a bus (2 hours, ¥34) or train to Zhuanghe City then transfer to a local bus to the valley (1 hour, ¥8).
  • Lushun - Formerly known as Port Arthur, is a historically significant city located on the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, about 40 km (25 mi) south west of the city center. While it's possible to visit the various sites on your own (plenty of buses run from Dalian to Lushun and a taxis near Heshijiao will also make the journey) the risk of straying into the forbidden areas (typically former Soviet or current Chinese military outposts) means a guided tour is a more sensible option. Most hotels will be able to offer either tours or advice on agencies who could provide them. It can be difficult for non-Chinese to gain entrance to many of the sights--even if traveling with locals. Significant fines for both the foreigner and any accompanying national citizens can result if an official notices a non-Chinese visiting sites. (If you happen to be from North Korea or Cuba, entrance is allowed.) Snake Island boasts a great reptile center.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Proper noun




  1. A sub-provincial city in northeastern China.



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