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Dalian is a city in the northeastern province of Liaoning. It is a city of about 3.6 million people (the larger sub-provincial area has 6.2 million inhabitants) and is China's northernmost seaport. It is home to many Japanese, Korean, European and American factories (including Intel), with an emphasis on high tech, low polluting industries, which makes it one of the cleanest cities in China. There is a large population of South Koreans, Russians, and other expats in the city, making it appear quite modern and cosmopolitan. There are many Korean restaurants, and restaurants, stores and bars which cater to other foreigners.



Brief History

Dalian is a young city, by Chinese standards. It was founded by the Russians, as the terminus of the Trans-Manchurian Railway. As an ice-free port it was very strategic. It was later captured by the Japanese, and returned to the U.S.S.R. at the end of World War II. It was only returned to China in 1955. You can still see the Russian influence in 'Russian Street' in downtown Dalian, and in many of the old squares. Russian tourists still come to Dalian to enjoy its beaches.



Events and Festivals

China has three "Golden Week" holidays per year. People get a mandatory two or three days off work for each holiday, and workers' companies can grant them the rest of the week off, making each holiday a total of 7 days. As you can imagine, having almost 1.4 billion people with the same days off can make travelling at these times arduous to say the least.

Travelling during the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is incredibly difficult. Chinese New Year is China's Christmas, so the millions of migrant workers and students flood back to their home towns. Everybody else takes the opportunity to spend their hong bao (gifts of money traditionally given at CNY) and go travelling. Most of the time, since you are only allowed to purchase train tickets 6 days in advance and must be present in the city of origin, sometimes only standing room tickets are available. Be aware! The Spring Festival is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Chinese transportation system. Flying will avoid the crowded trains, but book early and expect to pay higher prices. All the main tourist attractions will be crawling with tourists (worse than usual), so unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid it altogether.

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday is 7 days long and usually starts on New Year's Eve.

The two other national holidays are October 1st, National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and May 1st, which is International Labor Day. Almost all Chinese get the two holidays off and many take the opportunity to travel. If you want to avoid the crowds, fly, but it should get a lot less busy towards the end of the week.




The city's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate. Summers from June to September see average highs between 24 °C and 27 °C while nights average between 17 °C and 21 °C. Winters from December to February average around or slightly above zero during the day with nights between -3 °C and -7 °C on average. Average annual precipitation is around 600 mm with half of that falling July and August alone! October to April is fairly dry with occasional some snow.

Avg Max-0.9 °C0.5 °C6.5 °C13.8 °C20 °C23.5 °C26.1 °C27 °C23.6 °C17.5 °C9.6 °C2.6 °C
Avg Min-7.7 °C-6.1 °C-0.5 °C6 °C12 °C16.7 °C20.7 °C21.4 °C16.9 °C10.4 °C2.6 °C-4.3 °C
Rainfall9 mm8 mm13 mm34 mm43 mm84 mm173 mm148 mm62 mm28 mm20 mm10 mm
Rain Days43467912107554



Getting There

By Plane

Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport (DLC) is an airport catering for the city of Dalian and surroundings. There are mainly domestic flights with some international connections to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. There is even a flight to Pyongyang, North Korea.

By Train

Trains connect Dalian on a regular basis to Shenyang and Beijing, with onward connections to other cities. A high-speed railway is planned to be in operation from 2013 onwards which connects Dalian directly via Shenyang and Changchun with Harbin.



Getting Around

By Public Transport

The city has a comprehensive bus system and an efficient Dalian Metro system, which connects Dalian Development Zone and Jinshitan with downtown Dalian. The Dalian Tram system is the second oldest in China.




Dalian Bo Hai Pearl HotelNo. 8 Zhongshan District Sheng Li SquareHostel-
Wanheng Holiday Hotel260 Bayi Road Zhongshan DistrictHotel-
Dalian South Mountain Youth HostelNo. 114, Mingze Street Zhongshan DistrictHOSTEL-
TianTian Youth HostelNo.235,Huabei Street Shahekou DistrictHOSTEL-




Keep Connected


Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.


China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.


Accommodation in Dalian

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Dalian searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Dalian and areas nearby.

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This is version 7. Last edited at 13:55 on Dec 16, 16 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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