Dalian American International School

Life in Dalian

What's Dalian Like?

Welcome to beautiful Dalian, situated in Northeast China. Dalian is unique among Chinese cities due to the historical influence of Japanese and Russian architecture and culture still on display throughout the city.

As the summer host of the World Economic Forum, Dalian has entertained world leaders in technology, finance, business, communications and politics. This event, combined with Dalian’s reputation as a premier tourist destination in Northern China, has led numerous Fortune 500 companies to open offices or factories here.

Divided into roughly three major areas, downtown Dalian, the Dalian Development Zone and Golden Pebble Beach, the site of DAIS. Because these three areas are linked by both highway and light rail service, commutes between the three is reliable and inexpensive.

Regardless of which part of the city, you’re in, beaches and mountains are never too far off. Many of these mountains offer great trails for hiking and are dotted with temples and pagodas to discover along the way.

Location

Liaoning Province,
China

Population

6.17
million

Time Zone

UTC+8
(China Standard)

Weather

Monsoon-influenced humid continental climate

Getting Around

Getting around in Dalian has never been easier. Recent extensions to the existing highway system have made car and bus transport faster and more efficient.

Vehicles

With ride hailing service Didi (similar to Uber, Lift or Grab) now available in English, taxis and private cars can quickly get you to your destination without the worry of a language barrier.

Those who choose to drive also benefit from the efficient roadways to get around easily.

Flying

One of the key advantages of Dalian’s location and developed tourism industry is that air travel in and out of the city offers much to those who wish to venture beyond the city. With the city’s direct flights to cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong and other Asian travel destinations both within and outside of China, there’s no shortage of places to visit.

Rail

Aside from flying, the high-speed rail system connects Dalian to other northern cities, allowing for easy and affordable weekend trips to Harbin for the famed Snow and Ice Festival or Dandong to visit the China-North Korea border.

Having Fun

Seafood

Dalian is famous for seafood! Any visitor to the city will surely to taken to sample all that the Bohai sea has to offer at the numerous seafood and Japanese restaurants.

Restaurants

Good coastal eating is not hard to find and for those who avoid the sea, fantastic international cuisine such as Korean, Indian, Thai, French and American restaurants will not disappoint.

Nightlife

Dalian offers much from jazz clubs, to cocktail bars, discotheques and brew pubs. Though not numerous, the variety ensures a good evening on the town.

Football

The climate of Dalian offers much for the outdoor enthusiasts, but there are other ways to keep busy. The Dalian Wolfhounds Irish Football team is always looking for players who wish to hone their skills or learn a new sport. If you prefer the stands to the pitch, tickets to cheer on the Dalian Yifeng Soccer team are affordable and always available.

Chinese Arts

If you’re interested in learning about traditional Chinese arts, classes on tea, calligraphy, water color painting, archery, and Chinese language are available for everyone, regardless of background knowledge. Even though Dalian does have its own dialect, most learners of Mandarin find that speakers in Dalian are often easy to understand and are consistent with Standard Mandarin.

Sightseeing

While the views from the mountains provide great subject for budding photographers, any visitor has to see Dalian from the water. Captained sailboats and yachts of various sizes are available for hourly or daily rental and provide great views for those looking to practice their shots.

Health

There are numerous clinics and university affiliated and public hospitals, offering medical services at very affordable rates. For those who prefer private healthcare, international-standard clinics and hospitals have a wide range of services. The most recognized of these private healthcare providers are:

  • Raffles Clinic
  • Vitup Clinic
  • Baijia Maternity HospitalPre- and post-natal care
  • Melinda Maternity HospitalPre- and post-natal care

Safety

Dalian is an incredibly safe city for both locals and expats. Though crime is relatively unheard of, police are quick to respond to any reported incident and work diligently to resolve all legal disputes encountered by expatriates in the city.

Wellness

Though the cost of living in China generally and Dalian particularly is quite low, trips to the many local markets for fresh fruit and vegetables make healthy eating affordable and easy.

Coupled with Dalian’s beaches for swimming, mountains for hiking and expansive parks with biking and running trails, a healthy lifestyle is easy to maintain. Being in the north, Dalian winters can make outdoor fitness inadvisable, however, gyms, spas, indoor tennis courts and pools around the city make staying fit not just a seasonal activity.

One benefit to Dalian’s international expatriate population is that a number of faith communities exist, all of which offer spiritual and communal fulfillment. For those seeking secular opportunities to connect with the community, there are service and social clubs available.