With its mix of martial arts, acrobatics, over-the-top makeup, and peacock-bright costumes, Chinese opera defies what some consider a nap-inducing genre—particularly in Dalian. China Beijing Opera disciple master Yuan Shihai founded the award-winning, globally recognized Dalian Peking Opera Troupe more than a half century ago. The highly dramatic tales of love, loss, and betrayal remain relevant even thousands of years after they were scripted. The Ming Dynasty-style theater built by the Japanese in 1915 is worth the price of admission alone. Have the concierge reserve tickets for you in advance (splurge on balcony seats).
Hire a taxi for the 15-minute ride towards the Nanshan area on Shengi Road. The address says Qilin West Alley, but the entrance is on Shengli Road East.
DALIAN PEKING OPERA THEATER: 1 Qilin West Alley, Zhongshan District; 0411 8230 5411; www.dljingjuyuan.com; shows daily from 3pm; $30-150 for seats.