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Home >> China City Guide >> Liaoning Province >> Dalian

Dalian


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Dalian city, China Liaoning Province
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Dalian trip China tour travel

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 "turtle-shell" rocks.

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 that era.

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 lease.

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 Japanese-controlled Manchuria.

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 of Luda.

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 authority.

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 influence.

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