China is a huge country and has a very big land area. Depending on what city you come to in China will have a big impact on your perceptions of China. Imagine the difference in your perception about the USA if you came to Los Angeles, CA versus Upstate, NY. China has the same dynamic. Coming to Dalian, China is going to be very different than coming to another city say in the south of China. In this post, I want to give you some basic information specifically about Dalian so that you can have a better idea about what this area of China is like.
What is the climate of Dalian like?
Dalian has a fairly mild climate. Dalian, China is about as far north as Washington D.C. in the United States. The winters are cold but bearable, and the summers are warm but not too hot. Generally in the winter the average high will be about 37°F and the low will be about 23°F. In the summer, the average high will be about 84°F and the low will be about 71°F. Another factor that is involved in Dalian weather is the wind. Because Dalian is right on the ocean and on a peninsula, there is often a lot of wind. The wind will make the weather in the winter seem even colder, but when it blows during the warmer months it can make the hot weather more pleasant. Dalian usually has low amounts of precipitation. It averages only 24in. of precipitation annually. Most days will be sunny without rain though many days, especially in the summer, will have fog roll in off the ocean.
What crops does Dalian produce?
Cherries: Dalian is known for its cherry trees. Japan occupied Dalian for much of its history and during their occupation they planted many cherry trees in the area around the city. During the spring when the cherry trees bloom they light up the landscape with pink and white flowers. In late May and June, the cherries get ripe. You will find vendors selling them all around the city. You also can drive just a little way out of the town and pick cherries yourself at a local orchard. I would say that cherries are by far Dalian`s most famous crop!
CHERRY TREE IN FULL BLOOM OUTSIDE OF DALIAN
ORCHARD FULL OF RIPE CHERRIES IN DALIAN
CHERRIES RIPE ON THE TREE
Apples: A surprising fact that you may not know is that China is the world`s largest grower of apples. In fact, they grow over twelve times the amount of apples as the United States, which is the world`s second largest grower. Dalian is located in the Liaoning province in the north part of China which along with the other nearby provinces grow tons and tons of apples. There are apple orchards located around Dalian and apples are one of the major crops of this region.
map of apple production around the world/Location of area around dalian circled in red
Apples from a local orchard near Dalian
Seaweed: Seaweed is a popular food in many Asian countries including China. Dalian is located on the ocean shore, and seaweed is a very popular food here as well as in other Chinese cities. Many people harvest seaweed and sell it locally in Dalian. Dalian also has many aqua-farms where seaweed and other kinds of seafood are raised and exported to other Asian countries. Dalian is a big player in the seaweed industry in China. In fact according to a book on China`s foreign trade policy Dalian accounted for 90% of the countries seaweed exports to Japan.
Other Fruits and Vegetables: Dalian farmers are not limited to just growing the crops mentioned above. Many other crops such as corn, pears, and other common fruits and vegetable are grown around Dalian.
pears from an orchard near dalian
corn from a farm near dalian
What types of roads does Dalian have?
Expressways: Dalian is not isolated from other major Chinese cities. You can drive from Dalian on expressways to get to other major cities in China. Probably the most famous expressway that is used for travel from Dalian is the Shenyang–Dalian Expressway connecting Dalian with Shenyang. This road is currently eight lanes wide, 400 kilometers wide and is a toll road.
Roads Inside The City: Dalian has all different sizes of roads. All the roads I have seen since living in Dalian have been paved roads. There are many narrow roads but also many roads that have several lanes. I have seen roads as wide as ten lanes. Most of the roads seem to be in fairly good condition. There are several traffic lights in the city, but not as many as you might expect to see with so many roads going so many different places. Round about circles are used in place of traffic lights at many intersections.
Wide road in Dalian
LOCAL FOUR LANE ROAD
Traffic Round About Circle
Traffic: The roads inside of Dalian are full of cars and often have lots of congestion. You can always count on there being traffic during rush hour. Some interesting features that add to the congestion of the roads is the fact that people often park in the right lane of the roads clogging up that lane for travel. Also, Dalian has several bus routes and buses are always going everywhere, switching lanes, and making it hard sometimes for traffic to get around them. Adding to this, pedestrians regularly cross the road in front of the cars forcing the cars to slow down or stop for them. It may sound like this is a nightmare, and sometimes it is. Generally, though, despite all these different factors the traffic will move at a slow but fairly steady pace.
BUSES FILLING THE ROAD
PEOPLE RUNNING IN FRONT OF THE CARS
Parking: Finding a place to park is often a challenge when going places in Dalian. There is often parking available in the paved areas in front of buildings though these areas many times look more like a sidewalk than a parking lot. Most malls and other big buildings will have an underground parking garage sometimes going down two or more stories. These are convenient to use. It is hard to find legal parking outside of these two different areas (at least somewhere close to where you are trying to go). You should count on paying for parking at most places in Dalian. There are not just big, open parking lots available for you to use for free. Parking is often a pain that you just have to deal with here.
PARKING GARAGE IN DALIAN
cars parked in open area in front of building
Resources used in writing this article:
Photo Credit “Appleoutput” by AndrewMT – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons”
- China’s Foreign Trade Policy: The New Constituencies Routledge Contemporary China Series Editor Ka Zen Published 2007