Transit passengers from 53 countries including the US, Canada and all members of the EU can spend up to 144 hours in Liaoning province without a visa. This visa-free policy allows foreigners from these 53 countries with visas and plane tickets to a third country to transit through Liaoning province for a visa-free stay of up to 144 hours. The information below provides a suggested itinerary for a six-day trip.
Day one: must-see sights in Shenyang
Known as "the birthplace of one dynasty and two emperors", Shenyang boasts a proud history. It has three UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites as well as more than 1,500 historic and cultural relics. Shenyang is also an important industrial center in China and is the core city of Shenyang Economic Zone. Among the landmarks of Shenyang there are Shenyang Palace Museum, Shenyang Qipan Mountain, the 9.18 Historical Museum, Marshal Zhang's Mansion, and Beiling Park.
In the morning, you can visit Shenyang Palace Museum, a perfect place for you to take a tour and learn more about the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Shenyang Palace Museum [Photo/Asianewsphoto]
Shenyang Palace Museum, located in the center of Shenyang city, is a former imperial palace from the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was first built in 1625, and after the end of monarchy in China, the palace was converted into a museum. It is one of the only two well-preserved palace complexes in China, with the other being the Forbidden City in Beijing.
In the afternoon, you can take a stroll to Marshal Zhang's Mansion and have a look at the old mansion. The mansion, covering an area of 5.3 hectares, is renowned for its historic buildings and connected courtyards with their palatial dwellings, eaves and ridges, carved beams and painted rafters. As the former residence of a famous beauty and popular icon Zhao Yidi, it is the largest and most well-preserved famous person's residence in Northeast China.
Marshal Zhang's Mansion Museum [Photo/Asianewsphoto]
With nightfall comes a chance to enjoy the city's nightlife. Filled with exotic charm and flashing neon, Xita is the most popular nightspot in Shenyang. There you'll find exotic cuisines with singing and dancing taking place most nights throughout the area.
Xita Korean Street [Photo/IC]
Day two: Shenyang's natural scenery
In the morning, you can go up to Shenyang Qipan Mountain to enjoy the natural scenery. Qipan Mountain Scenic Area is the biggest natural scenic zone in Shenyang and covers 190 square kilometers. The zone includes plant and animal reserves, a water sports area, a ski area, a central service area, a hunting area and a villa area.
Qipan Mountain [Photo/travel.syd.com.cn]
Coming back from the scenic spot in the afternoon, you can relax with a performance in Shengjing Grand Theatre at night. It is a new Shenyang landmark built to enrich the cultural lives of locals. Shaped like a diamond, the theatre allows visitors inside to enjoy Hunhe River landscape views during the day, and allow passers-by to view performances from outside at night. Symphonies, traditional operas, and Western dramas are often staged at the theatre.
Shengjing Grand Theatre [Photo/IC]
If you finished touring Shenyang, you can buy a train ticket to Dalian and experience the high-speed train that runs at an average speed of over 300 kilometers per hour. It will only take you about two hours from Shenyang Railway Station to Dalian North Railway Station.
A high-speed train pulls in the station. [Photo/VCG]
Day three: spiritual tour of Dalian
Located in the southern part of the Liaodong Peninsula and southeast of Liaoning province, and being one of the first 14 coastal cities to open up to the outside world, Dalian serves as an important port in the province of Liaoning. As an international center for airlines, logistics and regional finance in Northeast Asia, it is also Northeast China's largest port.
Among the landmarks of Dalian there are Dalian Natural History Museum, Russian Style Street, Xinhai Park, Lushun Museum, Dalian Shell Museum, Xinhai Square and so on.
If you are interested in various museums, you can choose Dalian Natural History Museum as your first destination. It is a comprehensive museum that conducts research on and exhibits a vast range of specimens.
Dalian Natural History Museum [Photo/IC]
There are some 200,000 specimens in the museum, 6,000 of which are extremely rare. These collections feature marine specimens and Jehol Biota fossil specimens, including the black whale specimen unique to China.
Dalian Natural History Museum has 12 halls with different themes, including dinosaurs, marine life, wetland, and biodiversity.
The museum is well equipped with advanced facilities, including touch-screen computers, large screen color TVs, security monitoring system and electronic guided tour equipment, as well as shopping and catering services. These modern facilities allow for a comfortable and convenient stay for visitors.
After that you can visit the Dalian Shell Museum, the world's largest professional shell collection museum. Visitors may enjoy looking at priceless seashells walking through an 800-meter spiral ramp inside the museum. The museum exhibits over 50,000 shellfish specimens, 3,000 ancient fossil specimens and a large number of plastic mollusk specimens.
Dalian Shell Museum [Photo/VCG]
At night you can take a walk on Russian Style Street. The 500-meter street takes up an area of 50,000 square meters, featuring 38 Belarusian-style buildings constructed in the period of Russian-occupied Far East, including the former Russian City Hall. Keeping with the same theme, the street has Russian restaurants, clubs and souvenir shops, and acts as a source of entertainment and relaxation.
A building on the Russian style Street [Photo/VCG]
Day four: beach tour in Dalian
Dalian is uniquely blessed with having a number of good beaches, such as the Dalian Golden Pebble Beach. The region has an oceanic monsoon climate, with mild temperature and four distinct seasons.
The environment at Golden Pebble Beach is among the best in the country. Fresh air, clean sea water and spacious seashore that extends four kilometers along the coastline attract tourists, especially swimmers, from home and abroad every year. It is also the location of the marine sports center where various training sessions are held.
Dalian Golden Pebble Beach [Photo/VCG]
Some of the other attractions include the Kung Fu Museum and Kingdom of Discovery. There are a lot of beach-side shops and stalls near the area, which shut down during bad weather, so it's advisable to see the weather forecast before venturing out. The best way to get there from downtown is to take the light rail. A single-journey trip takes about one hour. A tourist shuttle bus or taxi may be available to get from the Jinshitan Light Rail Station to the beach.
A trip to Dalian Golden Pebble Beach may take a whole day and at night you can relax at the Laotieshan Leisure Resort.
Laotieshan Leisure Resort [Photo/ltswq.com.cn]
Tested by the Central Research Institute of Hot Springs, Japan and the Test Center of Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Geology and Minerals, Laotieshan hot spring surprisingly provides drinkable water, without the need for processing. It is also known as "hot brandy", with which you can cook delicious fish and meat, as well as sweet rice.
Day five: Dalian to Dandong
Before you go to Dandong you can have fun at the Tiger Beach (Laohutan) Ocean Park. Situated on the south-central coast of the city, the Tiger Beach Ocean Park (Laohutan Ocean Park) is the biggest modern beach in Dalian.
You can go to the park to see natural scenery and magnificent man-made creations, especially at the Tigers Sculpture Square and Tiger Beach Polar Region Marine Animals World. As a modern ocean park, Tiger Beach Ocean Park specializes in tourism, recreation, shopping and is regarded as the favorite park of the people in Dalian.
Tiger Beach (Laohutan) Ocean Park [Photo/VCG]
If you finished with your tour of Dalian, you can buy a train ticket to Dandong in the afternoon. It will take you about two hours and a half to get there.
Dandong, located in the southeast of Liaoning province and on the border of China with North Korea, is the central region of Northeast Asia. It is an important intersection of the Huanghai Sea Economic Circle and the Bohai-rim Economic Circle.
Day six: Dandong
In the morning it is suggested you pay a visit to Phoenix Mountain, a national 4A tourist attraction, with its highest peak, "Zanyunfeng" 836 meters above sea level. Divided into east and west mountains, it covers 183 square kilometers.
Located in Phoenix Mountain, Heifengkou Skywalk is the first skywalk in Northern China, with more than 3,000 meters in length and an average elevation of more than 760 meters. Built on the cliffs, one side of it is steep rocks, while the other side is a deep valley.
Heifengkou Skywalk stands on the mountain. [Photo/cnfhs.com]
As your last destination you can choose to visit Flyover Ditch (or Tianqiaogou) Forest Park. It is a favorite resort destination for tourists with a variety of tastes, and even includes hunting among the activities.
The park belongs to a range forming Changbai Mountains, which was formed 140 million years ago—the Jurassic Period. The park covers an area of more than 4000 hectares, with forest coverage reaching 96%. As a national 4A tourist attraction, there are 72 tourist attractions in total. There's nothing more relaxing than surrounding yourself by the beauty of trees and mountains.
Flyover Ditch (or Tianqiaogou) Forest Park [Photo/tianqiaogou.com.cn]
You could try Ma's Steamed Dumplings, which having a 200 year history were originally created in 1796 by Ma Chun. Ma's Steamed Dumplings became popular because of a strict selection of ingredients, sophisticated method of production, delicious taste, and beautiful shape. The fresh and mellow fillings are made of sirloin, hind leg and flank oil with very strict production requirements.
Ma's Steamed Dumplings [Photo/VCG]
West Tower Cold Noodles are made with a high level of cooking skill for immediate consumption. Springy and chewy with a spicy and refreshing flavor, they are considered the best delicious cold noodle dish in Shenyang. Made using a noodle machine with flour and starch, the noodles are placed in boiling water and served with a special soup. Diners can add chili powder to adjust for taste. The tasty and refreshing noodle soup is eaten ice-cold.
A certain pie created by Li Guangzhong from Lishu county, Hebei province, in 1842, contains bacon cooked in a soup with more than 10 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine. The pastry is made of flour, the above-mentioned soup and other seasonings. It is even more delicious served with shallots, fermented flour sauce, mung bean porridge, and jujube water.
Dalian is well-known for its selection of high quality seafood.
The meat of abalone, considered one of the "marine treasures" for its tender meat and high nutritional content, tastes fresh and light. A dish or soup using it as an ingredient is bound to be a feast for the taste buds.
Dalian Abalone [Photo/IC]
Pan-Fried Potato Jelly with Seafood is a favorite staple eaten by local residents in Dalian. It's strongly recommended visitors to the city should try this specialty.
Sea cucumbers, belonging to a group of animals called echinoderms (meaning spiny skin), are one of the few sea foods containing high protein, low fat, and low cholesterol. Sea cucumbers from Dalian are considered special as they have one more row of spines than those from other places. Sea cucumbers can be eaten year-round, with the preparation method depending on the season.
Located on the border of China and North Korea, Dandong is a combination of two different cuisine styles. For example, in one meal you can taste glutinous rice cake from Korea and seafood from Dandong at the same time.
Glutinous rice cake [Photo/IC]