China. Tree-lined hilly streets with manageable traffic and fresh air, a surfeit of early-20th-century architecture and an impressive coastline, complete with swimming beaches, are just some of its charms. Toss in a decent restaurant and bar scene and serious shopping, and that frequent Dàlián epithet, the ‘Hong Kong of the North’, looks like more than just bluster.
Dàlián is a fine place to unwind for a few days. But after lazing on the beaches and strolling along the southwest coastline, pay a visit to the historic port town of Lǚshùn. The old battlefields and cemeteries offer a rare first-hand glimpse into some of the north’s most turbulent days.
A recent survey named Dàlián China’s ‘most liveable city’, and if you linger on its beaches, explore its modern museums or stroll through its shopper-thronged pedestrian areas, you’ll see why. Perched on the Liaodong Peninsula bordering the Yellow Sea, Dàlián is one of China’s most prosperous cities. And even as many flashy towers are being built, this lively, relaxed city retains some early-20th-century architecture and refreshing acres of grass.
Several beaches surround the city, and relaxing by the sea is one of the main reasons travellers visit Dàlián. Dàlián’s extremely successful football (soccer) team also lures many fans.