The cleanliness and coastal landscapes of Dalian (大连) are reputed all over China. This image of a pristine seaside escape has been widely broadcast around the country and, indeed, world, earning the city such accolades as China's Most Livable City (from the China Daily).
Like a number of other large cities in China's northeast, Dalian's colonial past and proximity to national borders renders it, visually at least, something of a smorgasbord of cultures: British, Russian, Japanese, and Korean influences can all be seen in the city's architecture.
Today, the city's mild climate and beaches remain a big draw for not only domestic tourists but travelers from the region's neighboring countries. A long line of city squares leads visitors to the clear blue sea, lined by a hilly bike and walking path. The path is bookended by Dalian Castle on one end and the Dalian Aviary and Tiger Beach at the other.
About 50 kilometers east of the city proper lies the Golden Pebble Beach Scenic Area (金石滩), a must-visit, according to locals. The real highlight of a trip to Dalian is, of course, watching the sun rise and set over the ocean, and this can be accomplished admirably from a perch on one of the peninsulas at Golden Pebble Beach.