Just as you can’t leave Morocco without turmeric from the souk, don’t depart Dalian without dried seafood from the wet market. Take a taxi to Labor Park, where you’ll often catch an impromptu erhu (Chinese violin) concerto and amateur Chinese opera singers. Then, duck underground to Rong Sheng Market, a subterranean temple to all things from the depths of the Bohai and Yellow Seas. Connoisseurs of Chinese fine dining shop here for the exceptional dried abalone. Pick up a packet of dried scallop or shrimp—just a pinch will add a salty kick to porridge, soups, and sauces. From here, walk five minutes up Youhao Street to the Qingniwan area to the Dashang New Mart. Familiar Western brands such as Guess and Paul Frank make an appearance at this sleek mall, but locals come for the food on the first floor. Splurge on a pricey soy sauce (jiang you) to take back home; it’s miles better than the Kikkoman or Wei Chuan varieties found at Asian supermarkets stateside.
Take a taxi for the 15-munute ride to Labor Park.
LABOR PARK: Lushan Lane and Jiefang Road, Zhongshan District
RONG SHENG MARKET: 12 Wuhui Road, Zhongshan District; 0086-411-82819377