Dalian from my South window

Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
Trip End Jul 05, 2008

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Facing almost due South, over Minzhu Square in the forefround and Renmin Rd 2 blocks south.  The tall building on the right is the Dalian World Trade Center completed in 2000.  It is 242m tall, 55 stories, the tallest building in Dalian and at the time the tallest building in NE China.  When completed it was something like the 90th tallest building in the world.  It is now officially (http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=dalianworldtradecenter-d alian-china)
the 138th tallest building in the world and losing ground even in Dalian where it was supposed to be topped by the new world trade center a few blocks away, but that project ran into financial problems, seems to be delayed indefinitely.

The leftmost tall building is one of the matching buildings of my 6 building apartment complex.  Next to that, facing Minzhu Sqaure is the Lee Wan Hotel.  4 stars for about $50 per night.  It seems to be very popular, well regarded restaurant (if you like Chinese food).  It has all the comforts of a real hotel at Chinese bargain rates. http://dlleewan.sinotour.com/
Just beyond the Lee Wan is the red pyramid roof of the Shangri-la Hotel and next to that the Furama Hotel.  2 of Dalian's 5 five star hotels.  They will shine your bald head if you ask them too.  Hotels are where China excels.  With the manpower leverage here they can have people waiting on guests for anything, you name it.  They will carry your golf clubs from your room to the car, vice versa, and shine them coming and going.   They run about $100 per night, except during event weeks when they can spike to more like $600.
Shangri-La:   http://www.shangri-la.com/en/property/dalian/shangrila
Furama:        http://www.furama.com.cn/en/meeting/default.asp
Fortune:       http://www.sinohotelguide.com/dalian/fortune/index.html

In the middle if Minzhu Square there is a Dalian trolley stop, great option to get all over the downtown area and beyond.  1 RMB, Renminbi, (The People's Money), yuan, the Chinese dollar, worth about 15 cents, will get you about a mile West and 2 miles Southeast where it's possible to connect with more trolleys or buses.  

Also in Minzhu Square is a Police substation where I had to go when I rented the apartment.  This building is at least 75 years old, one of the oldest buildings in Dalian.  The policeman told me through the interpreter that it was built by the Japanese, and it is the oldest police station in China.  That's hard to imagine, but inside is like those 1950's Charlie Chan movies.  Everything is lopsided. Windows, walls, desks, floors are greasy.  Paint is peeling, vinyl (surely asbestos) is curling up, woodwork is missing, ceilings are wavey, several generations of lighting are still hanging.  I loved the place.  TV going in the lobby with an old couch that would have been a downgrade in college.  There was paperwork stacked on old lunches with chopsticks still sticking out of the plastic box the noodles came in.  Display cabinets that have not been updated since maybe the 50's.  I saw a Nixon/Mao picture (1972?) in one that was obviously put up years after the first stuff. And they are all smoking, butts and lighters everywhere.

Just above the police station are a pair of new residential towers.  Something about love enhancement, according to the marketing.  Nice concrete frame buildings, looks like they will be about 30 stories tall.

To the left of the new towers the tall white building is called the Rainbow Building , 149m/487f, 39 stories, completed in 2002.  This building has an elaborate light show on the fašade, fully programmable for effects and video.  It's impressive.

Then around to the World Trade Center.  My office buildings is next door, just out of sight South of the WTC.  The tall building to the right on the skyline is the Ocean Hotel tower, 201m/659f, 51 stories, and you can't see it well in these pictures, but it has a twin office tower of 30-stories across the street.  These buildings are on Youhao (Friendship Circle), the one with the animated geodesic sphere.

Around further West is the train station and about 2 miles west is People's Square with City Hall.  

Below my apartment is a retail/restaurant complex with about 30 businesses.  Japanese, Korean, Italian and Chinese restaurants, convenience stores, laundry, coffee shops and at least one cheap night club.  This place was just completed before I moved in, now filling up with tenants.  One interesting fact is that the construction workers live on site.  About 20 or 30 males move from one space to the other as they are rented.  These are not apartments, they just move in to the commercial spaces, set up the bunks, move the portable toilets, and cook on charcoal burners that look like old missile shells.  I have not been invited in for dinner yet, but several of the more sophisticated migrants seem to be having great sport making fun of me as I go to work in the mornings.  One morning a lady who happened to be near apologized for them (I think). 

Another interesting arrangment is in the cargo containers near the port and rail yards.  I'm not sure what all goes on there, but it seems like more than storage.  Picture show an every day group hanging out near one of the more popular containers.

There is an excellent website on Dalian's tall buildings: http://www.skyscraperpicture.com/dalian.htm
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wandering100 on

Police Station
Do you think that they'd let you take pictures inside the police station?

wandering 100

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