Lushun (Port Arthur)

Also known as 'Port Arthur', it occupies the west end of Dalian City and the south edge of the Liaodong Peninsula, surrounded by sea on three sides. In this advantaged geographical position, it is a beautiful tourist city zone with a long history.

From the time of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420), it was of strategic military importance and up until the Liao Dynasty (916-1125), it was known as Shizikou (Lion Port). It was during the Ming Dynasty that it was given its present name 'Lushun', which expresses a wish for 'plain sailing and a favorable voyage.' In 1894 during the Sino-Japanese War the Japanese army captured Lushun and massacred many of its people. The area suffered again in 1904 when it became a major battlefield during the Russo-Japanese War. Lushan then endured Japanese rule for more than 40 years following the surrender of the Russian forces. It was not until the Soviet Union disarmed them in 1945, that Lushun was returned to motherland once more. Through half a century, it came to earn recognition as an 'open air museum of historical and cultural scenery'.

Rich in natural resources as well as its historical heritage, Lushun has become a National Key Scenic Spot, National Nature Protection Area, and National Forest Park by virtue of its now famous attractions. These fall into two categories namely, the natural scenery and historical sites relating to the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895:

Natural Sceneries

The Garden of Lions and Tigers
Covering an area of more than 300,000 square meters, it has three separate sections: the garden of tigers, of lions and of bears. The animals roam freely in their respective surroundings so that visitors, from the safety of their cars, can get quite close to them and enjoy a harmonious and breath-taking experience.

The Island of Snakes

This is a small island covering less than 2 square kilometers (0.77 square mile), off the northwest coast of Lushun, and is the home to over 1, 5000 snakes. Exotic rocks, luxuriant forests and plants provide their natural environment, where they prey on migratory birds for food. In Lushun, there is a snake museum which in addition to exhibits is home to relevant research. This is the prime Snake Eco-museum in Asia, and its hundreds of viper specimens ensure plenty of excitement for visitors. Also, the Snake-Island Natural History Museum is also well worth seeing.

The Bird Station

Opposite the Island of Snakes stands a volcano called 'Laotie Hill', which is a stopping off spot for millions of migratory birds that come there each spring and autumn. It is possible to see more than 200 species of birds preparing for flight to and from warm lands in the south depending upon the time of year. On the sea ward side of the hill there are steep towering crags. Stepping on the Century-Year Beacon, you can look over the boundary between the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea, where the water is half yellow and half blue. Near the hill, there are important Neolithic sites.

Historical Sights

Russo-Japanese War Site on East Crest Hill
East Crest Hill (Jiguan Hill) was a battlefield during Russo-Japanese War in 1904. It was here that the Russian army established a strong fortress after Lushun became a territory leased to Russia 1898. As the main feature on the hill, it houses the Cultural Relic Protection Unit as well as being the patriotism education base in Dalian. A museum was built in 1997 to display historical materials of the war.

Lushun Museum

Originally built in 1917, the world-class museum covers an area of 25,000 square meters (29,900 square yards) and is of a stately, elegant European style. Over 100,000 cultural relics are displayed in two themes: historical cultural relics and local cultural relics. Among them, there are bronzes, ancient coins, paintings and calligraphies, mummies, and some foreign relics.

White Jade Hill

A 130-meter-high (427-foot-high) hill standing in the center of Lushun Region is the central scenic spot. The name 'white jade' was given by Li Hongzhang, an influential official of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Ascending the hill and knowing the opposite one was called Gold Hill, he said gold should be associated with white jade. Thus the name it was changed to the present one. Using forced Chinese labor, the Japanese raised a tower on the crest of the hill to commemorate Japanese soldiers who died in the war. The tower has a height of 66.8 meters (219 feet) has become the evidence of their historical crime. The Park of White Jade Hill includes the Naval Weapon Museum, Bird Garden and Rock Museum.

World Peace Park

This seashore park was completed in 2002 with a theme of psalms by world heads of states. In 1998, they each wrote a poem in their mother tongue praying for world peace. These people included the past Chinese President Jiang Zemin and American President Clinton. The bronze statues of 96 heads of state and their poems are carved as the major feature. There are also artworks and fine stamps with the theme of peace presented by world countries.

Cemetery of Soviet Martyrs

With an area of 48,000 square meters (57,409.4 square yards), the cemetery ranks as the largest for a foreign nation in China. Here lie buried Soviet martyrs who fell during the war of Liberation of Northeast of China and the War against US Aggression in support of Korea, as well as those died in the Lushun garrison in 1945-1955. The cemetery is in the Soviet style of construction.

Memorial of Myriad Loyalists

This memorial was set up to commemorate the Chinese people who died in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894. Upon their invasion of Lushun and for four whole days Japanese forces slaughtered nearly 20,000 unarmed common people of the city! Only 36 persons remained alive. To hide all evidence of their guilt, the Japanese ordered local peasants to collect the bodies for cremation. The ashes of the victims were buried at the eastern foot of White Jade Hill. In 1896, after the Japanese retreat, corps of the Qing Dynasty built the Stele of Myriad Loyalists. It is listed as one of the National Patriotism Education Demonstration Bases.

A tip:
As an important military port in China, Lushun is not completely open to foreign visitors. Foreign visitors are required to obtain special permission from the local Police Bureau for entry in advance of their visit, otherwise they will be refused.

Admission Fee: Baiyushan Hill (White Jade Hill) Scenic Spot:
CNY 40 (excluding CNY 10 for climbing the tower)

Jungang Park: CNY 10

The entrance tickets to the following scenic spots are free of charge:
Lushun Museum, Wanzhong Grave Memorial Hall, Soviet Martyr's Cemetery, and Sites of Japanese and Russian Prison.
Opening Hours:

Baiyushan Hill: whole day

Lushun Museum: 09:00 to 16:00 (Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday)

Wanzhong Grave Memorial Hall: 08:30 to 15:30 (winter); 08:00 to 16:30 (summer) 
It is closed on every Tuesday

Soviet Martyr's Cemetery: 08:00 to 16:30 (winter); 07:30 to 17:00 (summer)

Sites of Japanese and Russian Prison: 09:00 to 15:30 (closed on every Monday)

Bus Route: 2, 3, 5