This April I was fortunate enough to be able to tag a long on a business trip with my friends’ company to China. On this trip I was able to travel to six different cities over the span of 10 days. Even though a lot of my time was spent traveling between cities, business meetings, and watching presentations, I was able to explore and see a little bit of each city I went to (some more than others). The two cities that I spent the most time in was Beijing and Dalian.
The Forbidden City in Beijing was spectacular and definitely a once in a life-time opportunity, but Dalian was still my favorite part of the trip. Why? I’m not quite sure, but this city felt different than the others I visited.
Dalian is a port city located on the Liaodong Peninsula, at the southern tip of China’s Liaoning Province. There’s ocean views, sea-breeze, and the weather was beautiful when I arrived.
One fun fact about Dalian is that it was actually founded by the Russians in 1898, and you can see some Russian style architecture on “Russian Street” aka Eluosi Fengqing Jie. Which, unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the actual street, but it was cool to see.
I stayed right near Zhongshan Square, and this part of the city is lined with colonial buildings that have Renaissance architecture and other styles.
Sometimes, when exploring a new city in a completely different country, it’s easy to not notice the names of all the restaurants and cafe’s that you visit. For instance, the food I had in Dalian was amazing, and each restaurant I visited was one of a kind. During my stay, the two places that stuck out the most was a hipster style cafe and a unique Cat Cafe. Ironically, both of these cafes were in the same building.
The hipster style café was a coffee bar that overlooked the sea port. The view was amazing, and the décor to this coffee bar was unique and magical. For instance, one thing I noticed during my stay in China was that there are pin-wheel decorations everywhere… and I couldn’t find out why.
We shared a delicious moose cake, that had a hint of rose flavor, and we all ordered our preferred drinks. The local coffee style I had was very similar to a Cappuccino, but it was not one.
On top of my drink, there was burnt sugar and a touch of caramel. It had a very distinct flavor that I’m sure I won’t be able to find again.
It was delicious and I wish I could order the drink I had at a local Starbucks.
The next cool spot we explored was a cat cafe. Unfortunately, when we showed up the place was actually closed, but the owners were nice enough to let us come in and meet all the cats.
This grey cat was my favorite cat to meet, and the owners referred to him as the “king” of the cafe. One thing I find interesting is that they really weren’t kidding about this cat being the king because he even had his own portrait.
The night that I was there, we walked around Xinghai Square. This square is a section of the city that is located right on the water, and it has carnival rides and games. It’s also an area that has unique statues and artwork in designated areas. My favorite view was a field of glowing red roses.
Xinghai Square is also located right near The Castle Hotel, which is a luxury hotel with architecture that reminds me of Hogwarts. From the outside, it looks like a castle on top of a hill, overlooking its’ kingdom. Unfortunately because it was night, I was unable to capture a picture of the exterior that would do this castle justice. Luckily, I was able to go inside!
If I ever go back to Dalian, China this is where you’ll find me staying at the Castle Hotel!
Someone once told me, to seize every opportunity when it comes my way. So, if you ever have a chance to go to China, go to China! Even if it’s just for a work trip, there’s still so much that you can see!