Dalian, China

During this trip I went to China for 5 days, to visit sites in Dalian and Shanghai.  The map on page one shows where Dalian is, just west of North Korea.  I was wondering if we'd fly the direct route, which would take us over the Democratic People's Republic, or if we'd go the long way around.

First, leaving Narita airport, we waited for a bit, and I noted that they have a Category III ILS system, which allows automatic landing of so-equipped planes in zero visibility.  Nice.

We took off and headed southwest back over Tokyo before heading west, and I thought this view might be interesting for some of you to see.

Business class had the option of a fish or beef course, I had the beef, but it still came with a pressed fish jelly loaf, as seen on the left. 

The flight plan took us south of Seoul, but we ended up flying just north of it before heading west, well past North Korean airspace.

Here's the only halfway decent picture of South Korea I got before the clouds came back.

The Port of Dalian - it's China's third or fourth largest city and it's largest port.  How much stuff you own came through here?

It's an industrial powerhouse, but not an especially beautiful place.

I'm not sure if dolphins are native to the area or not.

Most of the taxis are Jettas from the early 90's.  Some are definitely in better condition than others.

We ate dinner twice at this Dalian Chinese seafood restaurant that's famous and the place to go. 

This is the main dining room, but on the second night we had a private room upstairs. The decor is fancy but unusual, in that there are replicas of the Mona Lisa and Madonna and Child on some walls, and artistic elements from other cultures strewn around.

The special dining room - it's a huge lazy susan surrounded by seatings.

The big thing here is everything is fresh, because you choose your dinner out of the tanks.

The first night we played it a little safe, just scallops, prawns, and a fish.  For the big dinner they went all out- this huge guy.

These are abalone.

They wanted to eat the turtle but I dissuaded them to give him a reprieve.

These are some sort of sea slug, not too appetizing.

The lobster came out raw on dry ice, and put back together.  There were other dishes including jellyfish but none quite so visually striking as this.

I never had a chance to drink Bang beer at the European Well-known Fashion center, which had no fashions I had ever heard of, just some that were oddly spelled brands similar to those I've seen in the US.

This building across the street from the hotel qualifies as one of the world's ugliest, in my reckoning.  It's this weird nasty yellow/brown combination with sections that look like they're rusting or the paint came off.

The hotel is in the fur district.  There were several other fur companies within a few blocks.

Another Chinese knockoff.

The government buses even swiped a line from Forrest Gump.

I'm not sure if Ikea's gone nuclear but it sure looked like it.

On my way out of Dalian on China Eastern, which only sold economy seats even though there were 8 business class seats available and unused, and whose motto is "Dalian airline carring [sic] because of the love", we were given a lunch for the 90 minute flight.  Hot chicken and rice, and some muffin-like breads.  The foil contained contains Radish Zhou, a preserved radish including "Cinese prickly ash powder and gourmet powder." I declined.  The rest wasn't bad.

Off to Shanghai!