Friday, December 09, 2005


Two weekends ago, I went to Dalian to take an exam (it was either there, Beijing, or Jinan... I'm going to Beijing at the end of Dec, and I've been to Jinan, so that settled it), which is a nice port city located north of Yantai just across the Yellow Sea. The test was on Monday morning, and I didn't want to spend the weekend wandering the streets alone, so Louise came along for the adventure. After a night of drinking the evening before Yantai's favorite western watering hole, we boarded the Chinese ferry for six hours of hungover, seasick hell. After a boat trip of unbelievable misery and stench (the boat was filthy) we arrived in Dalian and welcomed the fresh air off of that awful boat. We got a taxi to our hotel, which incidently was used in a scene in The Last Emporer. If you've scene it lately, the inside of the Manchurian Palace was the inside of the hotel. Nice place... listed in Lonley Planet as "Luxery", but worked out to about $50/night.

Dalian was quite nice. Everyone here in Yantai that had gone before said it is a nice, clean town with European architecture, and they were pretty much right. While it was a nice place though, I found that if I wasn't there to take an exam, there would be no reason to actually go. There at no specific sights to see, nothing really making the trip worthwhile other than just a change of scenery, which I will admit was very nice. The shopping was very good there though... I managed to get all of my Christmas shopping done although I am beginning to doubt whether my packages will make it to the US before Christmas. I spent a tad too much in Dalian because the Friendship store there (western oriented) accepted Visa, which is what my debit card it. Oh well, my relatives are getting nicer gifts because of it.

I did quite well on my exam. If I ever decide to use the results, I'll let everyone know what it was for, but I was very happy with the results.