Dalian is situated on the eastern
bank of Eurasian Continent and southernmost
point of Liaodong Peninsula in the northeastern
part of China. Dalian's ideal location makes
the city a water gateway for northeast China
and Inner Mongolia. Dalian is comprised
of a series of bays and islands; people
have estimated that the city has as many
as 705 islands of different sizes, covering
a total area of 30,000 hectares. More importantly,
Dalian is sheltered from the winds and waves
of the sea, allowing the city to have a
mild climate all year round. Dalian's greatest
feature is its stunningly beautiful natural
scenery with so many things to do. Abounding
with lush gardens, circuses, magnificent
architecture, beaches and summer resorts,
the city is as close to paradise as you
are going to get. Amongst the top things
to see in Dalian, the most popular are Bangchui
Island, Tiger Beach, Fujia Village, Lushunkou,
Taiyanggou, and Baiyu Mountain. There is
also the Golden Pebble Beach Holiday Resort,
where one can get a glimpse of the unique
Perhaps only remembered now
as an item of historical trivia, Dalian's
early history had a profound geo-political
effect on the shape of our modern world.
A Brief Overview:
The origin of Dalian dates back
to when the Sushen people began to settle
the area. However, its prominence in history
did not begin until the 6th century.
At that time, the Korean Kingdom
of Koguryo (Goguryeo) fought the Sui Dynasty
of China for control of the vital Dalian
port region. The capital city of Bisa was
established and developed for several decades.
But by 668 the Koguryo Kingdom was pushed
out of the area by the Tang Dynasty of China.
Under the Tang Dynasty, Dalian
was known as "Sanshan Pu" and
later "Qingni Pu" in the 7th century.
By 1371, the port region came under the
control of the Ming Dynasty. "Qingni
Wa" became the name of Dalian during
The British arrived in 1858
and seized land to established a port for
trade. When the territory was returned to
China in the 1880s, the area was fortified
as a strategic naval base. However, it was
again attacked and briefly held by the Japanese
in 1895. Japan withdrew its claim on Dalian,
but by 1898 China gave vast sections of
the peninsula to Russia as part of the Liaodong
While under Russian control
from 1898 to 1905, the area south of Dalian
was renamed Port Arthur. It was valued by
the Russians for its year-round access to
the Pacific Ocean, and it was extensively
refortified for naval use.
The area of Dalian was transformed
during this period, from a minor fishing
port into a modern commercial port. It was
given the Russian name Dalny (Distant),
taken from the Dalianwan Gulf (Talienwan
in historical literature).
Within a few years, the Russo-Japanese
War erupted over control of the region.
The first modern conflict between two foreign
powers on Chinese soil came at the battle
of Dairen (Dalian) on May 30,1904. The battle
was won by Japanese forces under the command
of general Hikato.
The Treaty of Portsmouth in
1905 brought an official end to the war.
Russia withdrew from the Liaodong territory
and its lease was transferred to Japan,
who renamed it Kwangtung. (Note: the naval
tactics Japan used against the Russian Fleet
at anchor in Port Arthur would be modified
and applied years later to attack the American
Fleet at Pearl Harbor.)
Port Arthur, renamed "Ryojun,"
became an important Japanese naval base
and was an administrative center of the
territory from 1905 to 1937.
The Russian name of "Dalny"
was changed to the Japanese name "Dairen"
(Great Connection), and commercial center
was enlarged and modernized. Dalian became
the capital of Kwangtung in 1937 and developed
rapidly in the 1930s and early 1940s as
the main port and logistical center for
Following the defeat of Japan
in World War II, the ports of Dalian and
Lushun (Port Arthur) were placed under joint
Soviet-Chinese control in 1945. They were
returned to full Chinese sovereignty in
1955 after the Russian occupation ended.
Dalian and Lushun had remained
as two separate cities during their colonial
history, but were later combined into one
administrative zone and renamed as the city
In 1981 "Dalian" became
the official name for the city and metropolitan
area. Lushun and many other cities were
re-classified to a district, as these surrounding
towns were absorbed within the Dalian administrative
Dalian has been known by many
names since its foundation, and controlled
by an equal number of Chinese rulers and
foreign powers. This mix of conflict and
culture for 1500 years makes it one of the
most unique cities in China. And its history
as a commercial port continues to promote
Dalian as top economic center as well.
A Note About History:
It is no secret that Sino-Japanese
relations are not always on the best of
terms. And while history is based on facts,
the interpretation of events is often colored
to fit political perspectives.
In this regard, Discover
Dalian is mindful of the feelings pertaining
to these historical tensions and remains
a neutral entity. Information presented
both here and on the tour refrain from making
any moral judgments about past events. The
accounts are offered without bias or political