Business takes me once again to
the vibrant, growing city of Dalian
China. On a northeastern peninsula near North Korea,
it's a growing center of high-technology, software
development, outsourcing, and heavy manufacturing.
My journey starts by a relatively early-morning trip from Tokyo
via the Narita
), which only make 1 stop between Tokyo and
the airport. All seats are reserved on this train, but
the automated ticket machine, along with helpful JR staff
ladies make getting a ticket easy. Cost: 2800 Yen.
Since the earthquake and tsunami, quite a few power plants
have been offline, and the effort to save electricity is
widely publicized and public awareness, and compliance, is
high. On the train is an interactive screen which shows,
to within the last hour, the results of how much less
electricity is currently being used, relative to a baseline or
prior forecast. At the time I took this (sometime after
7AM on September 4), the city was only using 58% of the
baseline. Good job Tokyo! The stats are available
at the Tokyo
Electric Power Company
) forecast site
I'm also pretty impressed that the system on the train picks
up the data live and updated every 15 minutes during the
The meal on the flight was not bad, there was hot rice in a
banana leaf (left), and a set of nine small bites, including
such things as potato salad. Along with a citrus drink
and a fruit gelatin dessert.
Since relations with North Korea have not improved, our flight
took us well past their claimed airspace before turning toward
This wasn't my first
trip to Dalian
, but last time I didn't notice it's other
title: The Romantic City. Guess the ad agency's not
doing their job in spreading the word.
This trip from the airport took us past the shipyards, where
they are building some pretty huge ships, mostly container
carriers. Some big cranes abound.
Downtown. The weather's a lot nicer this year, last
year's visit was just after a huge dust storm blew in from the
west and made everything grey and dusty.
The New World Hotel is pretty nicely appointed.
Nice lobby, with a bar, lounge, and a good breakfast
We went for a walk, and passed by a well-known local
department store, called the "Friendship store", which sells
pretty much anything you'd think it might. Some of the
city architecture is certainly distinctive, doubly so because
you can open the windows even at high floors. Not so in
most high-rises I go to.
We were tired so we stopped at a local Starbucks. We
think it was real. They were selling sweets in the shape of
Starbucks logos and bunnies, which correlate to this year in
Me and my friend Noriko hanging out in the plaza.
A photo shoot group was walking around the plaza taking shots
Something seems wrong
with this logo. There were some other buildings in the
area with similar names to well-known brands, which were also
slightly off from the well-known one.
Another view of the shipyard.
Yeah, we're in the PRC.
We had dinner at the in-hotel chinese restaurant, which was
quite good. Some wasabi-coated shrimp tempura, beef and
snow peas, and scallion pancake.
Also had their version of Dan-dan
. Spicier than some others, good!
Just a shot for those of you who like to locate places on the
Saw this bus advertising something Disney-esque, but we
weren't sure it was advertising a real Disney property, as
there aren't any in China.
Dalian City Hall.
Lunch on our first work day was at a local chinese restaurant,
where rice paper wrappers were used to wrap up different
dishes, including spicy chicken in a sweet sauce (kind of
mu-shu style), green beans and garlice, and shrimp. The
chicken's on the right, and sits on a bed of tofu that has
been made into a thick sheet kind of like paper, with a grid
For dinner we went to Wanbao Seafood Restaurant (couldn't find
a link, a search will bring up reviews), which we went to last
year as well. As before, we chose our food before they
killed and cooked it. Here's the company gang posing
before the tanks of lobsters.
Prawns, which were served alive in a glass bowl with a little
water. You ripped the head off and ate it while it
wiggled. Well, they
These are a local Dalian specialty, some sort of sea
They served fresh scallop (not sure if it was cooked or not)
with diced garlic.
Here's the sea worm. After cooking, it was kind of
smoky, like a dry rub barbecue. Not bad.
The signature dish is the live lobster. While you can't
tell from this photo, the head portion of the lobster is still
moving a little bit, and the little wiggly things by its mouth
were still moving back and forth. All this while it's
thorax was cut and the meat removed and sliced up and served
sashimi-style, with no seasoning. It's kind of tasteless
until it's cooked. The boat has dry ice under the
lobster and that makes the smoke/water effect.
Here's the meal with other items, including pork buns, the
live shrimp, large snails, and some other kind of scallop
served with cucumber.
Also had sea urchin. I'd had this at a sushi place in
Tokyo and didn't like it, but this time it wasn't bad.
Back at the hotel, they had these masks in the closet in case
An American/European style breakfast at the hotel. Mmm
eggy-weggs and hashed browns.
At the airport, YKK
advertises on the carts. Most of your zippers probably
came from Dalian.
On the N'EX back, it was later in the day, so electrical
utilization was up.
The return flight had a nice meal too, some hot chicken bits
and rice along with salad, and an adult beverage.