Category: Liaoning

Jan 24 2010

Dalian to Yantai to Qingdao, China

The boat was delayed and arrived in Yantai at 8am instead of 6.30am. Yantai is the 3rd largest city in Shandong and is also a port city.

Got to Yantai bus station

and got the 9am bus (69 Yuan~USD$10) to QingDao.

From Yantai to Qingdao, it’s around 250 km.

View Larger Map

Most transportation companies in China are state owned, including bus companies, bus station, subways and train station.
However, the bus to Qingdao was pretty comfortable, fast and punctual. There’s a small tv screen at every row. This is not the type of service I expect from a state owned company.

Arrived at the bus station at around 12.30pm and took bus 5 to ShiLiYiYuan. From ShiLiYiYuan, I found the xiangguang er road and hiked up the hill since the hostel is in an old observatory on top of the hill. Got a dorm room for 25 Yuan~USD$4.

8 beds dorm

Qingdao is the largest city in Shandong with a population of around 7 millions. It is famous for its German style architecture because the city was a German colony in the beginning of 20th century.

Church down the hill from the hostel.

So far I had not used couchsurfing in China because I thought I knew a little more Chinese cultures. Somehow, I sent a few messages just yesterday on couchsurfing and Byron was quite nice to be my guide for today.

German governor’s building

Western style red roof building

Home of Lao She, a Chinese nobel prize nominee for literature.

Old German prison

Old municipal building

A few western style buildings at ZhongShan road

Zhan Pier, also a symbol of QingDao beer

With Byron, the man

MalaTang and RouJiaMo (10 Yuan~USD$1.4)

Check out another hostel called KaiYue. With a nice bar and the sign seems a little similar to Starbucks.

There are tons of signs like this in China.

PiCaiYuan, street selling multiple kinds of food

Took bus 25 to May 4th square, WuShiGuangChang.

May 4th movement happened in 1919 where students from Beijing protested Chinese government’s weak response to the Shandong Issue under the treaty of Versailles where Shandong was handed over from the Germans to the Japanese after the end of world war 1. The protest sparked a nationwide chinese nationalism movement.

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Jan 23 2010

Dalian day 2, China

Walked south from the hostel to the beach.

Western style building

Big Clam at FuJiaZhuang Park

The beach

Walked southwest towards Xinghai square.
Dalian Safari

Castle

Back to XingHai square

Lunch, HunTun and Tomato Egg noodle (10 Yuan~USD$1.40)

Visited the Dalian Modern Museum. The museum is about the development of Dalian from a backwater small village to a big city today.

Took bus 16, a double decker bus, from the southwest part of the city to the northeastern part.
View on bus 16

Dalian Tram

Land reclamation

RenMin Square where office of the municipal government is located

Japanese style building at south of RenMin Square. Dalian was a colony of Japan in 1930s and there some old Japanese style building still remains.

As a coastal city, Dalian is famous for its fried squid
Fried squid, 4 Yuan

Olympic Square

Flag lowering ceremony as the sun goes down

Went to the train station and got on a bus to Dalian port at 10pm.
Got a ferry ticket from Dalian to Yantai 2 days ago on the train, (130 Yuan~USD$19, 6.5 hours boat ride, hard seat).

The boat, DeYinHai is huge and can even fit a thousand passengers, trucks and cars.
Sleeping berth cost 260 Yuan, but usually they provide last minute discount for just 180 Yuan

Hard seat 130 Yuan

I just took a hard seat since it’s only 6.5 hours ride. The boat should have left the port at 11.50pm. However, the boat was delayed and left slightly before 1am.

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Jan 22 2010

Dalian, China

Arrived at Dalian train station at 12.40pm.

View from the train station. The sky is blue and clear here.

Dalian is the second largest city in Liaoning with a population of around 3 millions. Dalian is a relatively new city dating from 1898. The city was colonized by British, Japan and the Soviet before the city was returned back to the Chinese government. As a port city, Dalian develped very well under the leadership of the mayor Bo XiLai, moving away from heavy industries to tourism, commerce and IT outsourcing. Dalian has recently become an important center for information technology offshoring and business process outsourcing, similar to Bangalore in India. It’s also the financial center for Northeast China. Dalian commodity exchange is one of the only 3 commodity exchange in China.

View while waiting for bus 702

Tried to find my way to the only one youth hostel in Dalian recommended. Took bus 702 to TaoYuanShanZhuang and found the hostel after an hour. Melly Hostel (38 Yuan~USD$6).


View Dalian in a larger map

Dalian is quite hilly and greener than a typical Chinese city.

Lunch, beef noodle (7 Yuan~USD$1)

Took bus 404 to XingHai GuangChang.

Took the light rail to the last stop of Dalian western area. At the west part of Dalian, there are quite a few universities and there is the Dalian software park. Dalian is sort of the Bangalore for Japan and there are many outsourcing firms servicing Japanese companies. Intel is also opening a new fab in Dalian, actually I do have a friend, WangMiao who was just sent back by Intel to Dalian the night I am leaving the city.

Tianjin street, famous for street food

ZhongShan Square

Dinner, chicken rice (8 Yuan~USD$1.2)

Around TuanJieLu, there is a street with many Russian style buildings

Dalian has influences from other cultures and even some signs are in Japanese, Russian and Korean.

There are many shopping malls in the city center.
One of the transparent shopping mall.

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Jan 21 2010

Shenyang day 2, China

Walked to the 918 Museum

from the hostel, an exhibition about Japanese invasion against China in 1931, September 18. Sep 18th was also called the Manchurian Incident where a bomb damaged the Japanese controlled railway and Japan took this as an excuse to attack China. That night, Japan occupied Shenyang and in 18 months occupied the whole DongBei, northeastern China.

Some gruesome pictures

Total number of Chinese killed 20 millions, wounded 15 millions. Number of Japanese killed 2 millions. The numbers seem so big and I can’t imagine how terrified the people must had felt during that time. I am thankful that the world is becoming a better place now and I can even indulge in my hobby of traveling.

Concluding remarks

ZhongJie, a shopping street in Shenyang

Lunch at the food court in HappyFamily mall (13 Yuan~USD$2)

In almost all major cities in China are now constructing subways. All subway companies are state owned if I am not mistaken. Companies digging the tunnel and companies making the subway cars are also state owned. That’s why the government has a lot of power to push through the project of constructing subways very quickly. The government has a lot of money now since many state owned companies pumped back money to the government. I also heard from some individuals that municipal government love pet projects like building subway systems because it’s lucrative for their own pockets.

Marshal Zhang’s Mansion behind Zhang XueLiang statue. He was the warlord and ruler of Manchuria after his father was killed by the Japanese. In December 1936 he kidnapped Chiang Kai Shek (the Xian Incident) and somehow Kuomingtang and the communist then made peace to fight the Japanese.

Catholic Church

Went to Wu Ai market and finally bought a compass there. Wu Ai Market in Shenyang is the biggest wholesale market in the northeast of China.

Television and radio tower.

There a US embassy in Shenyang. I remembered seeing on tv years ago where North Koreans tried to rush in the embassy and the Chinese guards prevented them from going in.
Security was pretty tight around the US embassy.

Since it’s a low season for tourism, there are only 3 of us at the hostel.
XiaoGao and XiaoXia

From Shenyang to Dalian is around 5 hours. Trip taking 4-6 hours is a pain because it’s not long enough to get on an overnight train and not short enough to travel during the day. I hope to arrive in Dalian in the morning in order to maximize my time in the city when it’s bright during the day, so got a 5.52am train ticket to Dalian (33 Yuan ~USD5).
Went to the bath house where I stayed the first night with XiaoXia since it’s close to the train station and she also wanted a massage. Sent XiaoXia back to the hostel and missed my train to Dalian by just 2 minutes. This was the first transportation that I missed in my travel so far. Got on a next train K7382 (55 Yuan~USD$8) at 7pm to Dalian.

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Jan 20 2010

Shenyang, China

It’s around 300 km from Changchun to Shenyang.

View Larger Map

The train was delayed for 2 hours and arrived at Shenyang north station at 2am in the morning.

Since it’s late and I needed a shower, took a cab (9Yuan which is the starting fare)to a bath house to spent a night. Bath house is very popular in China and is a cheap alternative to ZhaoDaiShuo or hotel. Usually bath house has hot pool, sauna, continuous hot water, free toiletries and other services such as different types of massage, some even provided illegal services.
This bath house I stayed at only cost 38 Yuan and included a 30 minutes massage, what a great deal.

ChangHuiGuangChang

A traveller told me that there’s a hostel here and is the only one in Shenyang. Tried to find my way to a hostel by taking bus 271. Got off at ChangKeZhan and wasn’t able to find the place. So had my breakfast first.
HunTun and ZhengJiao (6 Yuan~USD$0.90)

Walked for 1km north and finally found the place. The hostel is called ShanPi hostel at the 5th floor of 21 YaLvJiang road.

Beds (40 Yuan~USD$6)

Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning province and is the largest city in DongBei, Northeastern China with a population of almost 7 millions. The city was also the capital of Manchu in the 17th century before the Manchu conquest of Beijing in 1644.

Took bus 113 to DadongMen, GuGong is just few blocks west.

Dragon Ball without the Z

Shenyang Imperial Palace, this is the second Imperial Palace in China with a Manchu style of architecture. It’s also called Mukden Palace. The palace was constructed by the first Manchu emperor, Nurhachi and his sons from 1625 till 1936. The palace was the residence of the Manchu rulers before they moved the capital to Beijing during the Qing dynasty.

FengHuang Pavillion

Room of ZhuangFei, Concubine Zhuang. The place looked quite simple.

Qing Dynasty Emperor pics, from left, KangXi, QianLong and JiaQing

From GuGong, took bus 140 West to Liaoning Provincial Museum. Like other provincial museums in China, it’s free and the museum has a good content.

There are a lot of interesting artifacts in the museum. Lots of artwork from Ming and Qing dynasty.

Manchu, Chinese and Mongol writing on this plate. Manchu used scripts that are very similar Mongolian alphabets, except they have dots on the script.

Like most cities in China, there are a lot of constructions going on in ShenYang. 2 big projects are Forum 66 and SUnwah IFC. I did a search and found that those 2 projects are ranked quite high up as 100 tallest construction going on in the world now.

Shenyang has a big Korean population. Most of the ethnic Koreans are either borned in China or from North Korea.
Went to XiTa which has a Korean town.

Ate Korean cold noodles (7 Yuan~USD$1). I remembered at New York city Korean town, a bowl of Korean cold noodles cost USD$12, not including tips and taxes.

There are tons of shops seliing dog meat. Some even have fresh dog meat, dogs that were just killed.
Dog Meat

LiLianCongRouDaBing (5 Yuan~USD$.8), a kind of fried bread with vegetables and pork. It’s a Shenyang famous I guess.

The biggest statue of Mao is in Shenyang, ZhongShan square.

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