Red Beach in Panjin, Dalian, and Xiuyan town
After an unforgettable experience in Inner Mongolia, we headed back to Shen Yang to recuperate our energy. For the remaining week before our visa in China expires, we took a couple of day trips to Panjin and Xiuyan (Viv's dad's hometown) and spend 3 days in Dalian.
In Panjin, the main attraction near the city is Red Beach. This red beach is definitely not the same as the one we saw in Santorini. The one here is covered with a red colored reed-grass. It's a cool sight to see. We barely saw any tourists around which was perfect!
At the entrance, we found bird nests along the side of the main office building. We heard these cute baby chicks chirping
Shuttle to the jetty. It takes about 20min by boat to get there.
A sea of red!
Next, we did an overnight trip to Viv's dad's hometown in Xiuyan to visit some relatives. Xiuyan is known for Xiuyan jade, which is the jade used to produce the largest jade Buddha statue in Anshan (in an earlier post). Subsequently, we walked around a couple of the many jade markets that can be found in this town.
My god, not only are the jade markets huge, but some jade pieces for sale are gigantic too! I saw a sculpture of a tiger with a surrounding landscape that was about 2m x 1.5m, all carved from a single piece of jade. You can't help but be amazed by the craftsmanship on these incredible works of art. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera to take pics 😦
In the evening we had dinner with the relatives and followed them by car to a restaurant in a remote part of town. I thought we were going to eat somewhere in the main town itself, but we ended up driving across the bridge into the outskirts. We continued to follow them and took a turn into an unpaved alleyway, passing by a crummy residential area that is best described as a slum. I'm thinking we were going to some hole in the wall place. Surprisingly, when we arrived, we saw a large restaurant building that was relatively new. It's such a stark contrast to what I would have imagined a restaurant in this area would look like. Maybe the land was super cheap to purchase but I can guarantee that none of the residents living near this restaurant could afford a meal here.
Anyway, we got the room with the biggest table…LITERALLY. It was the largest single table I've ever seen! It could fit 40 people easy and equip with the biggest lazy Susan ever. The middle was decorated with fake turf and flowers. You could have easily turned this into a one hole mini putt game.
We were leaving after the dinner and saw a couple of wild frogs at the front door eating bugs that were all over the ground. Ahhh yes, we're still in the village after all.
We spent our last China tourist stop in Dalian for a few days. Overall the outing was pretty tame. We checked out the aquarium which had the longest fishtank with an underwater walkway in the world. You can walk past people if it's moving too slow for you 🙂
Next day we did a coastal city tour that included a couple of viewing points at the top of the hill (reminded me a bit of the Stanley Park sea wall drive), local beach, religious park, and another rock geopark. The highlight was the rock park. It seems like the rocks naturally point to one direction when they extend from the ground.
The tour stopped by a driving range to smack a few golf balls. I guess this is a great way to introduce people who've never played golf. It's becoming more popular since a lot more middle class Chinese nowadays.
On the schedule as well was the shooting range where you get two shots each with a BB gun. What? Not real guns? Boooo!! And there were crazy lineups just for this?
Touch it for good luck.
Mud crack. This turtleshell-like rock formation only appears here and in Canada. Neato
The rock geopark
So we finished our two month stint in China and move forward! We head back to HK on route to Macau for a couple of days and off to Singapore. Unfortunately we had to skip Taiwan for now due to Typhoon Tembin at the time. Till next time China!