Nanning - the Green City
Nanning is the capital of Guangxi autonomous region in southern China. It is known as the "Green City" because of its abundance of lush tropical foliage. The city is for many travelers their first city in China to visit when they come from Vietnam.
Nanning is located 430 km south of Guilin and over 2100km from Beijing. It's an old city although there are no many traces of the history left in the modern looking city. The history of Nanning goes all the way back to the third Century AD when the city was called Jinxing. In the Yuan Dynasty in 1324, it was renamed as Nanning Lu (an administrative division) from Yongzhou Lu meaning "May peace maintain in the southern frontier", hence the name Nanning.
Nanning was one of the most southern outposts of the Chinese empires over the centuries and an important trading center. In 1914 it replaced Guilin as provincial capital of Guangxi.
The Guangxi Museum is located east of Min Zu Square in the center of the city. Here you find a great collections of ancient bronze drums that date back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC).
There's a fine section of characteristic architecture, clothes and customs of the eleven ethnic groups, especially the Zhuang ethnic group living in Guangxi Province.
The Nanhu Lake Park, southeast of the city is an oasis of peace and tranquility and a good place to get away from the hustle bustle of the modern city life.
There are an above-water paradise with different kinds of cruise ships, scenery viewing bridges and modern entertainment facilities.
The park contains many subtropical plants including palm, punkas and pinangs. It's a good place to rest.
Southeast of Nanning lies Mount Qingxiu. It's a good day out of the city center, visiting the Dragon Elephant Pagoda and enjoy the natural subtropical beauty. Northeast of the city center, 13 km, the Jiahecheng Hot Spring Valley is a popular recreational center based on relaxing, comforting hot springs. The hot springs have many tea houses, full of traditional Chinese atmosphere.
Around Nanning there are several other attractions. Yangmei Town is one of them. It's a very old town where the ancient architecture is well preserved. Food is a specialty of the town: preserved salted vegetables, fermented beans and ground rice cakes.
Liangfengjiang National Forest Park is called the "Natural Oxygen Bar' because of its humid air and beautiful scenery. Things to see here are the Banyan Garden, Botanic Garden, Butterfly Specimen and Grotesque Stone Museum.
Da Wang Tan Reservoir Scenic Area is located 28 km south of the Nanning city center. The reservoir prevents flooding and provide water for irrigation and electricity. It is a beautiful location with a lake and spectacular surrounding hills and thus a popular holiday destination.
Hotels in Nanning
Nanning has a wide selection of hotels in almost all price ranges available. We have made a selection based mostly on our own experiences. Hopefully you will find out selection useful.
One of the cheaper options is the Lotus Land Guesthouse, they also can arrange a Vietnamese visa for you.
The cheapest way to go around in Nanning is to use one of the 2000 city buses reaching all corners of the city. The operating hours are from 6.15am to 11pm. Visitors can find detailed information including the departure and stop times, the bus route and passing directions on each station of the specific bus.
Nanning has plenty of red and green colored taxies. Prices start at Y6 for the first two kilometers plus about Y1 for extra kilometers.
Getting to Nanning
Nanning is a major transport hub in south China. Most travelers however visit Nanning on their way or coming from Vietnam.
Here is more about the train schedules to and from Nanning Right click on this file and save to your computer.
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Day 1,2 and 3 of my bicycle journey from Nanning to the Vietnamese border
The journey from Nanning to Vietnam took some more effort than expected. It doesn't happen much I take wrong turns but this time I had many... here are the stories:
Cycling in Guangxi
Many travelers skip Guangxi as there is "nothing to see or do." This is of course with the exception of Yangshuo and Guilin. But for the rest, why bother... and still, there's some really good cycling to do in Guangxi:
Yangshuo is the main tourist destination in Guangxi. Not for nothing, if you ask me.
See for yourself:
Hotel in Huanjiang
Finding accommodation in China is seldom difficult and can be dirt cheap. At the border of Guizhou and Guangxi I arrived in Huanjiang and found one of the cheapest and nicest hotels ever.
Yangshuo to Nanning
There are several good roads to use. Here is what I have cycled: