Dalian TRAVEL / VISA APPLICATION / INVITATION LETTER
     
DALIAN, CHINA 大连

The impression Dalian gives to the world is of a city of lawns, squares, fountains and gardens. This is all thanks to the former mayor of the city, Bo Xilai, who initiated a 'Green Storm' - a widespread environmental campaign which brought numerous green squares, forest parks and seaside scenic spots to the city. People say it is 'A City Built in Gardens'. Running from downtown there is a 40-kilometer (25-mile) road known as Binhai Lu winding along the coastline, northeast to southwest. This coastal area is a paradise for beach vacationers. The famous scenic spots of Bangchuidao Scenic Area, Tiger Beach Ocean Park, Jinshitan Scenic Area, Dalian Forest Zoo and Xinghai Square are scattered around this region. In addition to the stunning cliffs and scenic parks, numerous places along the coastline are good for beach resort visitors and water sports lovers. Meanwhile, you can sample the authentic Dalian-style seafood in a fisherman's house at an incredibly low price. Besides, there is a large entertainment park - Discoveryland Theme Park, inside Jinshitan Scenic Area, where you can feel the excitement of adventures.
Zhongshan District, originally the colonial residential area of the Russians and containing Nicholas Square, (Zhongshan Square) is a bustling downtown area of the city. The square (Zhongshan Square) has ten avenues radiating from it and is one of the most famous squares in the city. Renmin Square, originally called Stalin Square and marked out to be the administrative center of the Russian colonists, now houses the government's financial institutions in Euro-style buildings. The old tramlines built by Japanese colonists and left behind through the ages tell the history of the city.

大连是中国著名的避暑胜地和旅游热点城市,依山傍海,气候宜人,环境优美,适于居住,夏无酷暑,冬无严寒,年平均气温为10℃,年降雨量700毫米左右,无霜期6个月。大连是中国首批“优秀旅游城市”,不仅有丰富的中国近代人文历史旅游资源,还有许多风景奇秀的自然旅游资源。南部沿海风景区、旅顺口风景区、金石滩风景区和冰峪风景区是大连四大名胜风景区。每年一度的大连国际服装节、烟花爆竹迎春会、赏槐会、国际马拉松赛等大型活动,融经济、文化、旅游为一体,享誉海内外,给城市发展带来了无限商机和活力。旅游业已发展成为大连的新兴产业,2004年接待海外游客52万人次,旅游创汇3.5亿美元、旅游总收入达170亿元。

100年前,一批对法国文化情有独钟的沙俄工程师揣着巴黎的城建图纸来到这里,希望在这块远东的土地上再造一个“东方巴黎”。由此形成了大连的一大特色——以广场为中心,街道向四面八方辐射。大连的广场特别多,不大的一块地方,只要有四面辐射的街道,就称之为广场。全城有80多个广场,难怪外地人到大连很容易晕头转向的,搞不清东西南北。大连不仅广场最多,广场文化也同样丰富多彩,绿地、白鸽、雕塑、喷泉自不用说,还有全国独一无二的女骑警和圆舞曲。

作家陈祖芬曾说大连有四宝:“服装节、马家军、足球队和薄熙草”。现任重庆市委书记的薄熙来在任大连市市长时,对种草情有独钟,签名时草书“来”字像“草”字)。薄市长在大连刮起了“绿色风暴”,使垃圾场上崛起了星海广场;坟墩头上建起了森林动物园;昔日荒僻的渔村、渔港变成了如今闻名遐迩的“金石滩”、“海之韵”;数百家工厂、数十万居民大动迁,腾出来地方搞绿化。于是有人戏言:“大连的草种比粮贵”。的确,这几年大连绿地多了,空气清了,城市靓了,经济也搞活了。

著名景点
金石滩、旅顺、冰峪沟、星海湾、老虎滩极地海洋动物馆、老虎滩四维影院、圣亚海洋世界、森林动物园、滨海路、女骑警、大型节庆活动、大连海鲜、大连紫檀阁、现代博物馆、自然博物馆、贝壳展览馆。
最佳时间
举世闻名的避暑旅游胜地大连属于北温带季风型大陆性气候,是东北地区最温暖的地方。年平均气温10℃左右,其中8月最热,平均气温24℃,日最高气温超过30℃的天数只有10至12天。1月最冷,平均气温-5℃,极端最低气温可达-21℃左右。60%-70%的降水集中于夏季,多暴雨,且夜雨多于日雨。

大连旅游的旺季从每年5月下旬的赏槐会和出口商品交易会开始,一直到9月上旬的国际服装节结束。这期间,大连几乎被游人趟平了。9月过后的大半年里,海水凉了,人潮淡了,而大连的美丽并没有随天气和人气而淡去。游人走了,游鱼便回来了,9-10月份是海边垂钓的佳期。再冷一点,冰峪沟的冰灯会开了,或到金石滩的狩猎场去狩猎,也不失为淡季游大连的余兴节目。
购物
在大连 ,您应首先着眼于富有浓郁“大连味儿”的海鲜、水果、工艺品及服装饰品。主要特产有:海参、海带、鲍鱼、对虾、扇贝、香螺、红虾酥心糖等海味产品,红玉苹果、黄金桃、大连樱桃等水果及玻璃制品、绣品、贝雕画等工艺品。

Here are some information for reference. https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/liaoning/dalian/ 

http://www.dalian.ccoo.cn/bendi/info-31762.htm


VISA APPLICATION TIPS

To make sure you have enough time to prepare, please apply the visa as early as you can. For most attendees, it is easier to apply for a Tourist ("L") visa; an invitation letter is NOT required for obtaining a Tourist visa.

When entering mainland China you’ll need a pre-arranged visa (unless you’re from Japan, Brunei, or Singapore) which you can arrange at a Chinese embassy or consulate anywhere in the world. The most commonly issued visa is an L (Tourist) Visa which is valid for a duration scaling from 30 days to one year for visitors. Prices are always fluctuating but expect to pay between $60-$130 depending on current rates and your nationality. Other types of visas include:

  • F (Short term work) Visa – Designated for business trips, interships, or short study. You’re formally required an invitation letter however you can bypass this stipulation by getting the visa in Hong Kong or Macau from one of many travel agencies.
  • Z (Long term work) Visa – Multiple-entry, long duration visas which are for people employed full-time in China. Requires a lot of paperwork and a hospital visit for a physical examination.
  • X (Student) Visa – Six month, one-year, or longer duration depending on the length of your study commitment.
  • L (Tourist) Visa – 30 to 90 day durations, generally for multiple entry, from anywhere from one year to ten years, depending on your nationality and the type of visa which you request. The length of your tourist visa will depend on your specific circumstances, and luck is often a factor.

With the visa rules and regulations changing as often as they do, you’re best off contacting a Chinese consulate directly to make sure you’re getting totally accurate information. To give you an idea of the fluctuations, a year ago tourist visas weren’t being issued and now they’ve resumed operation including up to one-year duration.

For more information check the Chinese Embassy website in your country