Liaoning Province

[Photo Essay] Dalian Beat

Located in Northeast China in at the tip of the peninsula in Liaoning Province, Dalian has served as the major seaport in China as it faces Bohai and Yellow sea. From a historical standpoint Dalian has gone under the occupation of the British, Japanese, and Russians. With the surrender of Japan in 1945, Dalian was passed to the Soviets which they eventually returned the land back to China in the year 1950. Since then, Dalian has seen much changes and has become one of Asia's largest shipping center. Dalian has a unique feel unlike most other cities in China as the hills within the city reminds me of San Francisco and you rarely see anyone on a bike or bicycle. The numerous number of squares and natural parks along with Russian and Japanese architecture makes Dalian a destination definitely worth visiting. This photo essay is an attempt to capture Dalian as it is today.

Breakfast time in Dalian by the main railway station. The area around the train station was crowded with people at this time.

Russian Street is the first avenue ever built-in Dalian. Now under slight construction, as you can see in the image, this road is mainly a tourist attraction with shops along the sides.

You can see that the architecture in this city doesn't resemble China and has a much more European feel to it than anything.

Gorgeous dogs. With some cities in China being limited to have only one dog per house hold and larger dogs being limited nowadays, this person seems to have it all.

Unused fountain at the end of Russian street

Out of the many squares in Dalian, People's Square is the largest and is the most popular. The green grass caught my attention right away with government buildings surrounding this entire area.

Flowers at Peoples Square

A female police officer navigates traffic around Peoples Square. The TV tower is in the background.

Policewomen on horseback is much more of an attraction than anything of practical use.

Street shops line up on the staircases. People are busy doing their weekend shopping while vendors kill time playing cards. I mostly saw antiques sold here.

Ruso-European style architecture. Again, no bikes or bicycles on the streets.

Dalian Olympic Square: the first ever Chinese athlete to compete in the Olympics was from Dalian.

Soccer seems to be really popular in Dalian.

Mother and son take a walk in the park.

Almost everywhere you go, you can't get away from this blue fence in Dalian. Dalian Subway is under construction like many other cities in China.

The streets of Liaoning Normal University

A little boy rides his 'horse' at Xinghai Square: a popular destination for younger people and families to spend their afternoons in the sun.

People enjoy all sorts of activities and hobbies here.

The amusement park was packed with visitors on a Sunday afternoon.

The weather conditions in Dalian is supposed to be one of the best in China and attracts visitors from all over China.

Seagulls flying around the port makes for a perfect photo opportunity.

Playing with bubbles.

At Xinghai Square. One of the most luxurious apartments in Dalian stand in this area.

A man observes families and friends searching for shells and seaweed on the dock.

The seaside was full of people and couples enjoying the afternoon.

Luxurious housing on the seaside on Xinghai Square.

More luxurious house in the seaside that are being constructed.

There were hundreds of newly built residential towers like this one in the city being constructed.

Sunset reflection on the bay by Xinghai Park

A ferris wheel at Xinghai Park.

Let the dancing begin.

Chinese dance groups shows their talent at Lushun under the cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossoms just make everyone happy here in Lushun.

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[Photo Essay] Xingcheng, China: Old City Walls

Many of you may not have heard of Xingcheng in Liaoning Province and its no surprise with so many destinations to go in China, this country level city witnesses minimal amounts of foreign visitors. Just a 7 hour train ride away from Beijing, its the perfect destination to spend one of the days over the weekend to get away from Beijing. Xingcheng has two highlights of which being one of the best preserved Ming Dynasty town and city wall in China. as well as a beach resort facing the Bohai Sea. This photo essay is my perspective on this city as I hiked along the city wall and peeked into the local peoples daily lives.

Xingchengs city walls have stood since they were first constructed in 1428. A good lap around the wall took about 2 hours to complete. As you can see, the weather was inconsistent, as it rained and stopped raining followed by sunlight upon my visit. (50RMB entrance 25RMB with student card).

Gucheng(Old City) Subdistrict is home to about 100,000 residents most of which were toddlers and older people. The youth in the city seems to have relocated to larger cities for better job opportunities.

You can see the Gulou(Drum Tower) in the middle of the old city. The roads that go through the drum tower are filled mostly with commercial shops(mainly toy shops and accesories). Dont plan to find any restaurants in the old city as I found none.

Along each gate on the north, south, east, and west sides were small markets that consisted of daily products and animals.

Looking east from the old city. The Train station is only about a 3RMB tuk tuk ride away from here. The buildings outside the old city tend to be much higher and newer.

A man talks on his phone along the city wall.

The watch tower on the east end of the wall.

Man walks by a deserted building.

Sneak peak from the west to the east side of the wall.

Rooftops of old city housings.

Most of the courtyards were used as storage for scrubs and other random materials.

Man bikes along the wall.

Mother and daughter are having a conversation.

Man rests along the wall taking a break from his work.

You could see flowers along the front door in most of the residencies in the old city.

A woman walks along the wall. I really like the yellow bricks with the green door.

A new shopping facility is in construction.

The other highlight in Xingcheng is the beach. Creatively, the beaches are named by numbers #1,#2, and #3. You can hope on bus #1 from the old city and get off at the last stop. This statue of the Chrysanthemum goddess welcomes you in.

Xingcheng is really pushing its beaches to become a commercial beach like in Beidahe but seems like they have much more work to do. The sea food was suppose to be famous but I only managed to find a handful.

The sand at Xingcheng Beach was really soft and was perfect to be lazy and stare at the Bohai Sea.

Xingcheng Train Station. A midway stop for trains going from Beijing to Dalian and for most trains coming from north-eastern China to the south.