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Dalu Island is in Liaoning.


Dalu Island (大鹿岛, or Great Deer Island), about 6 square kilometres in area, is located in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Liaoning Province, close to the city of Dandong. A popular tourist spot in peak season, it gets a lot of visitors in the summer months, but is pretty empty for the rest of the year. The population of around 3000 depends mainly on fishing and tourism, but it's still pretty much off the beaten track as far as Chinese tourist destinations go, and what infrastructure there is is in varying states of disrepair. Prices are low though, and it makes for a great low-budget overnight trip.

Get in[edit]

The easiest way to get there by public transport is by taking a bus from Dandong's long distance bus station (located opposite Dandong Railway Station). A two-hour bus to Gushan (孤山) will cost 17.50 Yuan (May 2013) and travelers to Dalu Island should get off a stop earlier at Huangtukan (黄土坎) where a local can take drive you the next few kilometres to the new ferry terminal (大鹿岛港客运站). A group of four of us were charged 10 Yuan per person, which may be negotiable. Ferries in the off season run irregularly, there is one at 4pm in the afternoon which may be the only and last one. A ticket costs 60 Yuan, but speedboats also go to and from the island charging up to 90 Yuan. The ferry takes less than 30 minutes.

Get around[edit]

There are free buses from the ferry wharf over the mountain to the island's main beach, although they are driven by maniacs. Once at the beach, tourists can rent bicycles and golf carts to drive around the waterfront, although the whole area is very walkable. Locals seem to prefer death by motorcycle.

See[edit][add listing]

There are some nice walks around the coastline, a couple of beaches, and waterside pagodas.

Do[edit][add listing]

Take a bike ride or walk around the island, find and eat shellfish off the rocks and in the sand during the right season, fish, swim in summer.

Buy[edit][add listing]

During peak season there are all sorts of trinkets and souvenirs on sale from little booths, although most of them are closed for the rest of the year. Seafood and seafood products are everywhere too, as well as fireworks, and rubber boots can be rented for shellfish hunting in the tide flats.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Fresh seafood is sold all over the place, best enjoyed freshly barbequed by the waterfront with meat skewers, roasted vegetables and warm beer.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Beer (Yalu River, Tsingtao, Snow, etc.) and baijiu can be found anywhere that sells food.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Accommodation is cheap and ranges from beachfront hotels to smaller inns and fisherman's houses. Locals will approach you when you get off the ferry and offer to show you around their hotels, many of which also contain restaurants. We paid 60 Yuan for a room that slept four people, and had hot water, but no towels or other toiletries. You can choose between single beds, or one large kang - a traditional style Chinese heated bed. The price could probably be negotiated down, and may work out less per person for a smaller or older room for fewer people.


Get out[edit]

Buses back to the ferry wharf leave at 7 and 7:30am, and the morning ferry departs at 8am for 60 Yuan. A privately operated minibus which stops along the way heads back to Dandong from the ferry terminal for 25 Yuan per person, while a smaller van which seats eight people goes there nonstop for 30. Similar buses to the ferry terminal from Dandong are almost certainly available if you ask the touts waiting outside the bus station in Dandong.

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