“The earth has music for those who listen.” -Shakespeare
A couple of weekends ago, I was at the Dalian Coastal National Geo-Park (or Dalian Jinshitan). As with any city in China, Dalian is jammed packed with people- it’s a very fast paced environment and people don’t usually have very much downtime (from children to teenagers to adults). So it was nice to escape all the hubbub of the city and get back to nature.
Driving to the park itself wasn’t actually that bad, even with traffic the journey only took about half an hour. There was so much going on all around the park- tourists and natives everywhere trying to take pictures- but once you actually stepped foot into the park, you are rewarded with a sense of peace and serenity.
A disclaimer: for anyone wanting to visit the park, tickets were actually quite expensive. I believe they were ¥180 (about $35 Canadian) for the basic route and if you wanted to get further into the forest you had to pay more for a boat ride. I do believe the money was worth it though, as I felt the world kind of slowing down around me. I took the time to look at the nature around me and admire the rocks (as dumb as that sounds). It was nice to just stroll through a forest.
I arrived at the park at around 4 (it closes at 6) so there weren’t many people and it wasn’t very hot. I feel this would be the perfect time to go because, like I said before, there weren’t many people (and it was easy to get a perfect picture for Instagram) and the sun wasn’t shining on me (so I didn’t look all sweaty in my pictures). The views from the park just before sunset were amazing:
And to make it even better, I found ¥10 on the ground after walking up the stairs. It was nice to momentarily escape the busy city and explore. There was literally no one hiking so I didn’t have to feel embarrassed by how out of breath I was- the hike was just climbing up what seemed to be a million sets of stairs. It was kind of worth it though- the views once I got to the top were beautiful.
It’s crazy to think that such a peaceful place is only a half hour drive away from such a crowded city- it was kind of like Central Park in New York City. The commotion of the outside world gets drowned out by the sounds of nature- like a hidden gem. I like to think the park is my happy place in China- a place to be alone in a crazy city.
Where’s your happy place?