Discover Dalian is a personalized tour
and photographic service in English that introduces foreign visitors to
every aspect of history and culture for this dynamic coastal city in
Originally established by Russia, then later occupied by
Japan, Dalian has a long history as an international sea port supporting
commerce and tourism from Japan, Korea, and other traditional Asian
regions for over a century. However, in recent years there has been a
gap in services for visitors from native English-speaking countries.
Discover Dalian was created to fill this need.
Dalian is the center of foreign trade in Liaoning Province as well as
the second largest international commercial harbor in China. It is one of those rare cities that has the look of a major metropolitan hub, but the mindset of an island resort. With
a mountainous panoramic beauty encircled by beaches and host to
year-round festivals, the many attractions of Dalian are all just a few
minutes from historic downtown.
you visit a new town, you call a friend living there to help show you
around. This was my idea and philosophy for Discover Dalian, and my goal
is to be a friend you can count on in this foreign land." --SongLi
The Discover Dalian tour collection is a revolutionary
idea, offering in-depth attention and photographic services without
equal from Dalian's resident foreign expert and celebrity, SongLi. His
fame as the first foreigner to host the evening television news in
Northeast China from 2004, and the popularity of his detailed historical
novels which were set during Dalian's colonial era, has brought a great deal of
attention and renewed interest in the city and its role in Manchurian
His iconic and groundbreaking 2008 photography book "Everyday Dalian"
became a hallmark representation of the city and its population, an
intimate cultural look complied over six years. His 2009 photography
book "Dalian Ghost Stories" remains the first and only historical documentation of supernatural events and sightings in Dalian from 1858 to 1958.
is personal, catering to the needs of my clients. That is why I do not
offer tours to groups larger than four people. You will see the real
side of Dalian, and I will document your adventure at every step." --SongLi
Having lived and worked in Dalian for
several years, and from the extensive research needed to write his
novel, SongLi has a deep affection for his adopted city. This passion
can be seen in his many public and private efforts to internationally
promote China's most livable city. SongLi is also a Consular Warden for
the U.S. Consulate General (Shenyang), and is responsible for contacting
American citizens in the case of an emergency.
The Dalian Municipal Government recognized his personal
work when they commissioned him in 2005 as the official English voice to
present the city to the WTO (World Trade Organization) meeting held in
Dalian, one of China's most treasured cities. The Geneva, Switzerland based World Economic Forum
also used the DiscoverDalian.com site as its official introduction and
guide for the city. Dalian hosted the "Inaugural Annual Meeting of the
New Champions" from 6-8 September 2007.
DiscoverDalian.com, SongLi, and the Dalian Coast-To-Coast Trek
were also featured in a series of special TV broadcasts on China's
International Network CCTV4 and the Liaoning Province Network LTV on
July 19th and 20th, 2008. This adventure is featured in the 2010 SongLi
photobook "A Walk Across Dalian" which uses images from his journey to share a unique perspective of the city.
February 2, 2011 SongLi was invited to lecture on Dalian history at the
Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History. Formerly known as
Yokohama Bank, the institution had originally financed development for
the new colonial city of Dairen after 1905.
The first iPhone and iPad app about Dalian was released by
SongLi on May 1, 2011. SongLi created the compressive and free universal iOS app as an extension of the Discover Dalian website, following the evolving social habits and use of mobile technology.
is growing at an unbelievable rate, and I witness it daily. I am
outside all the time, regardless of season or weather, exploring the
city on foot to record its history and on-going development. As an
artist and photographer, I like to take the paths less traveled and talk
with real people. I want them to understand that I am not just passing
through, but belong here." --SongLi
It is from this special
perspective, using SongLi's own personal experiences, that Discover
Dalian can offer its tailored and unique tours. It is also why Discover
Dalian only uses the private photography of SongLi to show featured tour
locations. Other than historical images taken decades ago, no pictures
seen here have been taken from any other public or governmental source.
A decade and counting: Discover Dalian began over ten years ago on June 25, 2002.
Thanks to all those visitors over the years for your loyalty and support.