Dalian is known for its impressive coastline and many beaches. Though I’ve lived on the Alberta prairie for well over 30 years, I’m still a coastal girl at heart and I’ve been looking forward to warmer weather so that we could begin exploring that part of the city.
When the temperature climbed to at least 15ºC each of the past two afternoons, I decided that today might finally be the day to visit the shore. The day dawned bright and sunny and though it was a little cooler, the wind wasn’t blowing. I couldn’t wait any longer!
Our Lonely Planet guidebook suggested taking the bus to Fujiazhuang Beach. From there, we could walk a combination of sidewalks and boardwalks that run along the coast to Xinghai Square, a distance of 4 or 5 km. If we wanted to, we could continue further along the seaside but we haven’t been to Xinghai Square, the biggest city square in Asia, yet so we thought we’d probably spend some time there instead.
The guidebook told us to catch bus 5 on Jiefang Lu not far from the railway station. We know that area fairly well now but we couldn’t find bus 5! After walking along Jiefang checking the various bus stops, which fortunately have signage in English as well as Chinese, we discovered that bus 22 went to Xinghai Beach so we decided to take that one and see where we ended up. As it turns out, we were about 2 km from Xinghai Square but in the opposite direction from where we intended to be. Since we don’t have a city map, we didn’t know that until after we got back to the apartment and I looked it up on Google Maps!
In the meantime, we were on a beach which was all that really mattered to me! The sound of the waves lapping the shore and the smell of the sea was exactly what I was looking for even if there was no boardwalk to stroll on. For a crisp April day, Xinghai Beach was a happening place. While not as crowded as I’m sure it will be when summer comes, there were plenty of people walking the pebbly beach, sitting in the sunshine or flying kites. While I picked up bits of sea glass to add to my collection, many of them were picking up seaweed to take home and cook for dinner! Others were fishing.
We walked the full length of the beach then wandered through an amusement park that’s located at one end. There we rode the rather squeaky and dilapidated ferris wheel in order to get a better view of the area but the windows were so badly scratched that my pictures didn’t turn out very well!
Heading back toward the bus stop hoping to retrace our route and find our way home, we noticed that the tram also ran by and stopped there. There are only three tram routes in Dalian and we hadn’t ridden one yet so when we saw that one was coming and heading in the right direction, we ran for the stop and jumped on. We didn’t know for sure where it went but we knew that it would eventually end up in the city centre. As it turned out, it was a much shorter and quicker ride than the bus would have been.
I’m still determined to do the seaside walk but it will have to wait for another day!