To Dalian, China... Thanks For Everything!

China's Northeastern corner called my name as I boarded my China Southern flight on the eve of 2019s Mid-Autumn Festival. The working week had finally concluded, allowing me to make my way to Beijing's Capital International Airport. Dalian, a port city within China's Liaoning Province had lured me to see its working docks and much, much more! Getting all of that, DLN! 

Arriving the night before the holiday weekend commenced definitely saved me time, after resurfacing from my Holiday Inn Express hotel I was able to witness the first of many colonial reminders that existed within modern Dalian City life! Colonialised by both Russia and Japan forces, I was originally drawn to Dalian because those past foreign influences can still be seen within present day Dalian. You already know that I'm all about that Empire! Walking from my hotel I was lucky enough to see a restored Japanese Era tram that passed through the streets, within China that can be a pretty rare sight to see! Casting my mind back to my time in Hong Kong, it was another reminder that a foreign entity had influenced transport within another Chinese City. On the look out for Dalian's Russia Customs Street I used Apple Maps on my iPhone to help me find my way. I caught a glimpse of a building that had a striking European likeness, I had arrived successfully! Dalian City knew I was ready to shop! Yes, Dalian felt right! 

I was particular with my shopping expectations as I made my way along Dalian's Russia Style Street! I was ready to negotiate the best price using my Chinese language skills, no sly whispering would be getting past me! The first Russian dolls were offered to me at a criminal price, as soon as they realised I understood their figures in Chinese and that I was not going to fall for their chat it didn't impress them at all! Sharp with my Chinese bartering skills I managed to get a lovely wooden Russian style doll. Sniffing out the Chinese imitations in order to find a true Russian made headscarf took some going, using those language skills and my common sense I secured a fair price indeed. My eyes were firmly looking for a special brand of Russian milk chocolate that I had found in Harbin, getting my price sorted I had some gorgeous tasting Russian chocolate for the win! The chocolate brand that I had chosen had a little girl on the wrapper, she shared an uncanny likeness with her blonde hair and big blue eyes like my Niece! 

Yes, I was very hungry, slightly disheartened by the lack of a Russian restaurant along that tourist trap street. Disheartened? I wouldn't go that far because I had a plan! I consulted my favourite restaurant app for some choices. Finding 'Friday Russian Restaurant' through the rain was such a relief, being such a short trip I refused to buy an umbrella! Ordering my food was such a treat, it was going to be a fulfilling meal for certain! Going with a Baltika 3 to drink, I ordered the freshly made 'Borscht' soup. For my main I decided to get inventive, pairing a beef burger like serving that had a fried egg on top. Going for some gloriously rich mashed potatoes had me in food heaven! The meal tasted gorgeous and certainly filled a generous space in my stomach, it was just amazing! Wanting to catch a glimpse of a 'Dockyard Realness' in Dalian I dropped the pin correctly on my Apple Maps guide once again. Located within a twenty minute walk I found myself at Dalian's Xianglujiao Xinhai Wharf. I love it when things fall into place. 

If truth be told I was supposed to meet up with a friend in Dalian, his lack of adventure and ability to think outside the box wasn't going to kill my current buzz. Securing an all important address, the communication between us ceased, it was for the best. I used my research and sense of adventure to find the wharf in Dalian that served a sense of 'Belfast/Liverpool 'Port Realness!' The cranes and industrial surroundings within the waters of that dock gave me a slice of something that I had wanted to see! I saw a mix of military, cargo and commercial vessels in one tight maritime space. The immediate area had been fashioned into a 'Liverpool One' like shopping complex, it was interesting to see such a regeneration project that oozed a western nature in China! Beijing being a landlocked city it had me feeling all kinds of memories from Wuhan because of the waters presented to me in Dalian, those waters! At that point I had seen quite a lot during a short space of time in 大连市! Things felt correct! That sun needed to set! 

Refreshed and styled for the night ahead, I didn't feel like getting a taxi to that certain underground bar. I knew where I had my sights set on! Walking the short distance from my hotel allowed me to be fronted with Dalian's Zhongshan Square. The nighttime had the square lit up with thousands of lights dazzling, I loved my life when I caught a glimpse of a billboard display that featured singer, Lizzo! Dalian's square reminded me of Changchun's People's Square but on a more tight knit scale with hints of Shenyang's own square also snatching a certain likeness! I was ready for the night ahead, that nighttime skyline feeling had me walking all the way to the venue! I felt one with the night, the city streets were kind. Tucked downstairs I found the bar in-question, I ordered my drinks to find a quiet karaoke bar. It didn't take long before being invited onto a table where I joined some guys, one definitely caught my attention. That first night created the foundations for the following night in D! I was out to have a good time! 

Feeling rough the next day, I relaxed to the max in my pricey hotel room. Making my own entertainment that afternoon, Dalian proved that certain delights are consistent with their healthy measures within China's Northeastern region. It's true what they say about Chinese men in China's Northeastern region, they are very generous in certain places! Do you get what I mean? McDonalds was the chosen cuisine of the day, I relaxed until the sun had gone down. Dressing down in my vest-like t-shirt, jogger shorts and trainers, I headed back to the same venue as I did the previous night. There had been some shade thrown in my direction so I used an invitation at a nearby another table as the perfect ammunition that was needed. Dalian's underground Gay scene had me walking into a live Chinese cabaret show, complimentary beverages for me that night as I had a very nice new friend who covered my tab. The performers slayed and the patrons were very friendly, those foreigners acted the fool. I knew what I wanted! 

Devilish Dalian...

Joseph Harrison 


  1. Between buying russian dolls and the rain, this post has such a romantic feeling to it🥰🤗 I'd certainly lose my heart in Dalian😅

    1. It was a raucous Weekender that ran like clockwork!

      It wasn’t just the rain that went down! It was eventful!



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