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Dalian Travel Guide

Dalian Overview

Dalian is located at the Liaodong Peninsula in northeast China, it borders the Yellow Sea in the east, and the Bohai Sea in the west. Dalian has a total area of 13,237 square kilometers and a population of 6.17 million (2010).

Dalian is a famous seaside tourism city and a summer resort thanks to its islets scattered all over like stars, picturesque scenery, pleasant climate, beautiful buildings in the city proper, and fascinating night scenes.

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. The Dalian Tram system is the second oldest in China.

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.

Dalian Facts
Dalian Geography & Climate
Anshun Festivals
Best Time for Dalian Travel

Area Code: 0411

Zip Code: 116000

Area: Dalian has a total area of 13,237 square kilometers.

Population: The population of Dalian on August 20th 2010 is approximately 6.17 million.

Administrative Division: The city administers 6 districts, 3 county-level cities, and 1 county: There are 92 sub-districts and 69 town/townships .Ganjingzi, Zhongshan, Xigang, and Shahekou Districts make up the urban centre. Changhai County is made up entirely of islands east of the peninsula.

The city's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate, characterised by humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. The city experiences a one-month seasonal lag due to its position on the Liaodong Peninsula. Average temperatures range from −3.9 °C in January to 24.1 °C in August. Annual precipitation averages 602 millimetres but is heavily concentrated in the summer months and can vary greatly from year to year. Despite the coastal location, the area receives 2740 hours of sunshine per year, or 62.5% of the possible amount.

Falling within the temperate zone, it is the warmest place in Dongbei (the northeastern part of China). Unfortunately in summer, since it is a port city, it is sometimes plagued by monsoon. Generally speaking, Dalian has four distinct seasons, with no freezing winter or sweltering summer.

The annual average temperature stays somewhere around 10 degrees C.. August is the hottest month, when the daily temperature is infrequently below 24 degrees C., with extremes as high as 35. January is the coldest month, when it averages minus 4.9 degrees C., with extremes as low as minus 24.
Climate Data Table for Dalian

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
0.0 1.1 7.8 15.6 20.6 24.8 27.3 27.7 24.2 18.7 10.1 4.1
-7.0 -5.3 0.6 7.1 12.0 17.1 21.2 22.5 16.6 11.2 3.5 -3.7
Rainfall (mm) 9 6 14 25.3 47.2 83.6 140.8 155.1 65.6 29.0 24.0 12.2
Days of rainfall 0.4 0.34 0.7 1.28 1.9 2.7 6.6 5.9 2.7 1.0 0.8 0.4

Tiaohua Festival is one of the most intriguing Guizhou Minority Festivals. It is held during the first month of the lunar calendar, put on by the Miao Minority. 'Tiaohua' means 'Ganpo' in Miao language. During this festival, boys and girls of the Miao Minority put on their finest traditional clothing,and boys play the lusheng (an instrument) while girls dance to the music around blossoming trees. Activities include a crossbow shooting competition, needlework competition, climbing pole competition, and martial art performance.

Baishu Festival (also called 'Sacrificing Mountain God') is one of the traditional festivals celebrated by Gelao Minority on the third day of the first month of the lunar calendar each year. For this festival, a one-meter high, one-meter wide hut is erected under the manito tree (thousand-year-old tree) using birch branch, and small, colorful, triangular flags are hung on thetree. The pigs, sheep, and chickens that will be used in the sacrifice are guided around the tree three times before being slaughtered. The candles and joss sticks will be burned afterwards while those participating in the ceremony worship onbended knees, praying for the blessing of the Mountain God.

Ox King Festival is a shared traditional festival celebrated by the three mainminorities Buyi, Miao, Gelao in Anshun. The Buyi Minority celebrate this festival on either March 3rd or April 8th of the lunar calendar every year, and is commemorated by sacrificing and bringing gifts to Ox King (such as the five-colored stickyrice meal). The Miao Minority often celebrates this festival during April and June of the lunar calendar, referring to it as 'Tiaomihua Festival'. For Gelao Minority this festival occurs on October 1st of the lunar calendar (said to bethe birthday of the Ox King) at which time they feed their farm cattle by hanging glutinous rice cake on their horns.

Changxin Festival is also called 'Chixin Festival'. It is celebrated by three area minorities - Buyi, Miao and Gelao, but most celebrated by Gelao Minorityon July 7th of the lunar calendar every year. The old in the village will guide the young to select ripe melons and fruit along with corn, all of which are then placed under an old tree. Then they will slay chickens, pigs, or sheep, in sacrifice to their ancestors and the manito. After the sacrifice, they will set off firecrackers, sing folk songs and perform martial arts. During the festival, people from Gelao Minority will free captive animals mainly including wild animal and fish.

Best time to visit Dalian
The best time to travel is from May onwards when the Dalian Chinese Scholar Tree Blossom Affairs and Commodity Export Fair open in the city. They run through to mid-September. These mild and comfortable months welcome huge numbers of tourists from different areas in China and the world.

Late May to middle September is the peak travel season in Dalian when scenery is most beautiful and weather most pleasant but it's a bit crowded everywhere.

What to pack
If you want to travel Dalian in spring, you need to wear jackets, sweaters, shirts and jeans to protect yourself from the last of the winter cold.

The summer period from July to early September has an average temperature of around 20 C. If you travel to Dalian in summer, bring T-shirts, shorts, skirts, sandals, sunglasses, hats and suntan oil with you. The summer is also the rainy period in Dalian, however most rain falls at night. You will still need to take an umbrella or rainwear with you in the evenings.

In late September, Dalian welcomes autumn and the cold air begins to control this area. Whilst tourist crowds retreat from the seashores, it is a perfect time for fishing as it is the migrating season for fish.

From late November, the cold north winds become stronger and dominate the city till the following February. January is the coldest month and you need to wear an overcoat, sweater, jeans, gloves and warm shoes. Winter sports such as skiing, mountain climbing, horse-racing and winter swimming have attracted many sports adventurers who wish to spend the New Year period in the city.

Try to Avoid domestic travel seasons
Try to plan your Dalian tour to avoid the peak holidays. Because they are popular with Chinese tourists, Dalian attractions become more crowded in these periods.

The most crowded seasons in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07). Spring Festival and the National Day golden week are the most crowded time for travelling.

Dalian Tours & Tings to Do