Nanning (南宁; Nánníng) is the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south-west China. It is a large, modern city and a transport gateway for travellers to and from Vietnam.
Nanning, as the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, embraces the Zhuang ethnic language, and virtually all public building signs in Guangxi display the Zhuang written text alongside Chinese. It is not to be confused with pinyin, the romanized phonetic transliteration of Mandarin.
Nanning Wuxu International AirportServes domestic and international flights, though the latter feature is only offered on a few destinations on a non-daily basis. Since Nanning City is China's gateway to Southeast Asian countries, the local government is putting a lot of emphasis on connecting Nanning to the capitals of every Southeast Asian country.
There are 4 airport bus lines in operate connecting the airport and the city.
- Airport Bus Line 1: Run directly to Vienna Hotel Nanning Chaoyang Road (朝阳路维也纳酒店) which is 400 m away from the Nanning Railway station. Operation time: from first arriving flight to last flight of the day, frequency: half an hour, fare: ¥20. The buses run from the Vienna Hotel Nanning Chaoyang Road to airport every 30 min from 05:30 to 22:30. Full journey time is 45-60 min.
- Airport Bus Line 2: Run to Wharton International Hotel near the South Lake (Nanhu, 南湖) via a downtown stop at Jiangnan Bus Terminal (江南客运站). Operation time: from first arriving flight to 23:00, frequency: half an hour, fare ¥20. The buses run from the Wharton International Hotel to airport every 30 min from 05:30 to 21:00. Full journey time is 50-75 min.
- Airport Bus Line 3: Run directly to Nanning Zoo (动物园), operation time: 09:30 - 18:30, Frequency: every hour. The buses run from the zoo to airport every hour from 08:00 to 19:00. Fare ¥20. Full journey time is 45-60 min.
- Airport Bus Line 4: Run directly to Nanning East Railway Station (南宁东站), operation time: 09:00 - 19:30, frequency: every 45 min. The buses run from the south square of Nanning East Railway Station to airport every 45 min from 10:45 to 19:00. Fare ¥20. Full journey time is 60-75 min.
Taxis are also available. Fixed price to downtown is ¥100. A taxi from the airport to Langdong bus terminal will cost ¥120-130, but it is still possible to bargain for ¥100-110. The drivers might refuse to use the meter but the price is not exorbitant as it may even cost more with the meter.
- All long-distance services use
Nanning Railway Stationaddress: 82 Zhonghua Road, Xixiangtang District (西乡塘区中华路82号)It's at the north end of Chaoyang Road just north of city centre. Chief cities served include Beijing (13 hours by fast daytime train or 23 hours by sleeper), Guilin (2-3 hrs), Guangzhou for Hong Kong and Macau (3-4 hours), Kunming (5 hours), Pingxiang on the border with Vietnam (3-4 hours), and Hanoi in Vietnam. This last service departs nightly around 18:00, takes four hours to the border, then a couple of hours each side for exit / entry (time zone change one hour), then another four hours to Hanoi Gia Lam. The return leaves Hanoi around 21:00 to reach Nanning for 10:00. Sorry, no one in mainland China will exchange your Vietnamese money.
Although it has high-speed trains, this is a small old-fashioned station by modern Chinese standards. There's no catering or ticketing within the transit / waiting area, you'll have to go out to the station precinct, or better still completely out of the station into the underground food mall - especially if you're taking the Hanoi train, with no catering on train, along the route or on arrival. But then you need time and documentation to get back in through the gates.
- Trains from points east may also stop at
Nanning East ("Dong") Railway Stationaddress: Fengling Road North, Qingxiu District (青秀区凤岭北路)There's seldom reason for visitors to get off here. It's 20 mins from Nanning Station by metro.
By busNanning has three major bus terminals:
- Langdong (埌东) bus terminal is on Minzu Dadao (民族大道; Mínzú Dàdào) to the east of the city centre amongst all the new skyscrapers. Yunde (云德; Yúndé) buses from Hanoi arrive at Langdong Bus Station. Buses for Hanoi are ¥150, which includes drinks, a lunch at Pingxiang and insurance. It is possible to opt out of insurance, which costs ¥2, if you tell the ticket-seller. This is a through-service, which will bring you all the way to Hanoi, though it does involve a change of buses and other vehicles in between. Buses leave Langdong at 08:40, 09:00 and 10:00. The journey takes 7 hours. There are also direct buses to Nanning from Haiphong and Ha Long Bay.
- Jiangnan bus terminal is on Xingguang Dadao way south of the city center. Buses from the south, Pingxiang near the Vietnam border (arrivals roughly hourly, 2.5 hr, ¥60), and Yangshuo (via Guilin) operate from Jiangnan. metro line 2 connects Jiangnan to Chaoyang Road in the city centre. Catch them from the square in front of the terminal. Alternatively a taxi will take you for ¥15-20.
Taxis are also convenient for getting around the city, and most rides within the city should cost under ¥20. Fares start at ¥9 for the first 2 km and are based on time and distance afterwards.
Nanning Rail Transit Line 1 is a 25-station line that connects Shibu and Nanning East Railway Station, crossing the city from east to west, operates from 06:30 to 22:00 everyday. The fare is ¥2-6 based on stops. Line 2 crosses from north to south; you can transfer downtown at Chaoyang Square or Nanning Railway Station.
Share bikes also operate in the city. Mobike and ofo can be picked up from many areas, if you have an account.
phone: +86 771 2024599, +86 771 2024322address: 11 Qinghuan Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区青环路11号)
phone: +86 771 5655659, +86 771 5655466address: 1 Jianzheng Road, Qingxiu District (清秀区建政路1号)
phone: +86 771 2529211address: 22 Qiuyue Road, Wuxiang New District (五象新区秋月路22号)
phone: +86 771 2707027address: 34 Minzu Avenue, Qingxiu District (青秀区民族大道34号; Mínzú Dàdào)The only national-level museum in Guangxi, it has quite an eclectic exhibition. The museum's large collection of pottery and porcelain is displayed on the first floor, while on the second floor, there are exhibits on the early culture of Guangxi, including a collection of bronze drums, prehistoric tools and metalwork. There is also an open-air exhibition, with performances, and has houses of some of the minorities. An audio guide may be rented out for ¥10 (¥200 deposit required).
phone: +86 771 4952256address: 8 Songxiang Road, Liangqing District (良庆区宋厢路8号)
phone: +86 771 2839991 (enquiries), +86 771 2805108 (ticket sales)address: 20 Minzu Avenue, Qingxiu District (青秀区民族大道20号)
phone: +86 771 2842637address: 15 Longdi Road, Liangqing District (良庆区龙堤路15号)
phone: +86 771 2820904, +86 771 2820502address: Nanning People's Park, 1-1 Renmin Road East, Xingning District (兴宁区人民东路1-1号南宁人民公园内)
phone: +86 18978833026address: South Side, Xiazhou Village Section, Xianhu Economic Development Zone (仙葫经济开发区西区下洲村段南面)
Parks and nature
phone: +86 771 5603072address: 189 Longgang Road, Xingning District (兴宁区长堽路189号)
phone: +86 771 5620468address: 1 Renmin Road East, Xingning District (兴宁区人民东路1号)Includes a large area devoted to amusement park type rides, as well as quieter areas for picnics, game playing, or walking.
phone: +86 771 3213932 (service hotline), +86 771 2869791 (e-ticket enquiries), +86 771 3212882 (event planning)address: 3 University Road West, Xixiangtang District (西乡塘区大学西路3号)A rich collection of African and Asian animals, reptiles, birds, and fish, all in well-maintained settings. (No Pandas.) Admission includes an hour-long performance of dancing bears, bicycling monkeys, elephants, and acrobats.
phone: +86 771 5560662 (enquiries), +86 771 5828923, +86 771 5560687 (complaints and emergencies)address: 6-6 Lingnan Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区凤岭南路6-6号)
phone: +86 771-5884865, +86 771-5857157address: 118 Minzu Avenue, Qingxiu District (青秀区民族大道118号)
phone: +86 771 3927358address: 92 Xiuxiang Avenue, Xingning District (兴宁区秀厢大道92号)
phone: +86 771 5324932, +86 771 5333610address: 1 Shuangyong Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区双拥路1号)Lake in the southeastern part of town surrounded by a park including bonsai and orchid gardens.
phone: +86 771 5814431address: Liangqing District (良庆区)Pleasant forest park with some light hiking trails.
phone: +86 771 6260420address: State Highway 210, Wuming District (武鸣区210国道)Karst caverns 18 km north of Nanning City in Wuming District.
Diwang International Commerce Centerphone: +86 771-5537733, +86 771-5592022address: 59 Jinhu Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区金湖路59号)This was Nanning's tallest building from 2006 to 2014. The building stands 276 metres tall. There is an observation deck on the top floor, which offers sweeping views of the city.
address: 100 University Road East, Xixiangtang District (西乡塘区大学东路100号)An example of a good provincial university with several 10s of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. Includes classroom buildings, dormitory buildings, and large administration buildings on a very large and beautifully landscaped campus.
phone: +86 771 5531030address: 9 Qinghuan Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区青环路9号)
People's Welfare Plazaaddress: Jiangbei Avenue, Qingxiu District (西乡塘区江北大道)A landscaped concrete, tile, and terrazzo plaza running along the river. Often is the site of small musical and dancing groups, skateboarders, children, and strolling couples.
phone: +86 771 2795009address: Jiangxi Town, Jiangnan District (江南区江西镇)
Nanning Bird and Flower Marketaddress: 2 Kunlun Avenue, Xingning District (兴宁区昆仑大道2号)An eclectic mix of flowers, shrubs, pot plants and all thing floral, as well as a vast array of birds, fish, and other pets. Thrown into the mix is an assortment of household goodies to brighten up an otherwise dull abode: furniture fashioned from tree stumps, traditional Chinese tea sets, carvings, wall hangings, etc. This is an amazingly interesting place to while away an afternoon, and get some truly good-value items. This place is packed out on weekends, and is a notorious place for pick-pockets, who cleverly razor-slash pockets and bags to retrieve any valuable carelessly stowed. Keep money, mobile phones and any valuables securely in zippered compartments inside bags.
address: 6 Liangdi Road, Wuxiang New District (五象新区良堤路6号)
Chao Yang Roadaddress: 朝阳路; Chao Yang LuThe main shopping street lined with department stores, like Nanning Department Store and Parkson, and also Walmart, in addition other intentional brands and local brands. It is also a nice place to go people-watching, as people from all walks of life can be seen here: youngsters, street performers, roadside vendors, etc.
Underground MallAnd underground shopping mall that is always busy, particularly during the hot summer months. Primarily composed of small clothing shops but also includes food outlets and other small stores of a variety of types.
Heping MarketLocated a block west of the north Nanning Department Store (百货大楼), Heping Market has 4 crowded stories of small vendors selling electronics, kitchenware, makeup, clothing, and fabrics. Expect low prices and few (genuine) name brands.
The MixcLocated on the east side of town, on Minzhu Avenue, the Mixc is a new, 7-story mall featuring high-end, mostly foreign brands. Uniqlo, Parkson, and H&M are the anchor stores. There is plenty to eat on all levels, as well as an ice rink and a movie theater. Expect prices to be on par with the West.
BudgetThere are dumpling stalls and small eating houses all over the city. Fresh, tasty and very cheap. Zhongshan Rd food stalls are also worth a try. Try the local rice noodle soup, laoyoufen (老友粉; literally old friend rice noodle). It is traditionally made with pork based broth, pickled bamboo shoots, fermented soy beans, and other typical Chinese spices. It is an acquired tasted due to the pickled bamboo shoots.
Nanning night food marketaddress: Zhongshan RdThis is a 300-meter long stretch where you will find a vivid display of various exotic dishes ready to be served.
Mid-rangeAbout 90% of the restaurants in Nanning would fall into this category.
Little Fat Sheepaddress: Dongege Rd and Henyang RdChain serving traditional hotpot, with lamb the meat of choice.
Old Chengduaddress: Youai RdSichuan hot, spicy food.
SplurgeAnything in or around Langdong or the Five Elephant Plaza (financial district); the YongJiang Hotel, by the river, has an excellent buffet, with fresh seafood, and good quality meat BBQs.
Many popular bars are to be found along Minzu Da Dao, the long avenue that runs from east to west through the city, bisecting South Lake. Many have a cover charge, and offer a variety of international as well as domestic beers, in addition to the standard supply of liquors. The '100' bar area (near the city library) has a cluster of up-market bars and coffee lounges, many featuring live music. A number of more intimate, low key bars and pubs can be found in the university district in the north west of the city, around University Road (Da Xue Lu) and Mingxiu Road.
BudgetAround the square in front of the station are several hotels offering bargains for rooms and dorm beds with dorm beds starting at ¥15.
Nanning Civil Aviation Hotelphone: +86 771 2099000address: 82 Chaoyang Road, Xingning District (兴宁区朝阳路82号)Rooms with air con, electronic lock, cable TV and internet.
South Face Hostelphone: +86 771 2116288, +86 15177919708address: No. 1201, Block 2, 6 Yuanhu Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区园湖路6号2栋2单元1201)Basically an apartment turned in to a hostel, with three bedrooms, each with bunk beds. A communal kitchen, spacious living room and a balcony with view over Nanhu Park. Washing machine available as well for 5 yuan. A very friendly hostel, whose owner, a graduate from New York University will entertain you (if he's there) with some good history and politics of China.
Wanxing Hotel - Chaoyang Square Branchphone: +86 771 2381000address: 41-2 Beining Street, Xingning District (兴宁区北宁街42-1号)Excellent, clean and elegantly-decorated rooms that have air-conditioning and come with ensuite bathrooms are available. Chinese breakfast that is adequate, though not something that you would wake up especially for. Counter staff speak some amounts of English and accept international credit cards.
Wanxing Hotel - Nanning Culture Palace Branchphone: +86 771 2381000address: 47 Minzhu Street, Xingning District (兴宁区民主路47号)Similar to the other branch but with fewer rooms.
phone: +86 771 2116688, +86 771 2116637address: 84 Chaoyang Road, Xingning District (兴宁区朝阳路84号)Some rooms renovated.
Jingtong Hotel - Nanning Dongge Branchphone: +86 771 5703999, +86 771 5819388, +86 771 5819222address: 100 Dongge Rd, Qingxiu District (青秀区东葛路100号; Qīngxiùqū Dōnggělù Yībǎihào)Ordinary rooms, business rooms and luxury rooms ranging from 15m2 to 20m2. Business and party facilities. Recently renovated with large and bright rooms. Good service.
address: 50 Changhu Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区长湖路50号)Three-star business hotel close to park and lake with nice view. Well designed hotel with well equipped rooms. Rooms including ordinary, business and luxury. Rooms ranging from 15m2 to 25m2. Free internet in the rooms. Business facilities.
- Other mid-range places a short walk from Nanning Main Railway Station are Phoenix Hotel, Vake, and Vienna. You'll see them from the station precinct.
phone: +86 771 2111888address: 88 Minzu Avenue, Qingxiu District (青秀区民族大道88号)The hotel is nice and centrally located. If you have a family, ask for a suite. There are a pool and a gym on the premises and a few restaurants inside as well. The Chinese restaurant in the basement (the Shenzhou Food Street") offers the best value.
phone: +86 771 5366688address: 131 Minzu Ave, Qingxiu District (青秀区民族大道131号)Excellent Chinese and Western cuisine. Hotel staff are excellent. Good for families and business people. Halal food available during China-ASEAN Expo period.
phone: +86 771 2021688 (extension 6880)address: 129 Minzu Avenue, Qingxiu District (青秀区民族大道129号)This five-star establishment offers excellent rooms at a reasonable rate. Higher rooms also offer a great view of the city, as rooms are furnished with floor-to-wall windows. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool and gym, and hotel staff are attentive and efficient.
Also, be careful when strangers are trying to talk to you and sell you something or leading you somewhere, this warning especially applies to foreigners in China.
Cambodian Consulatephone: +86 771 5672352, +86 771 5672358address: 6-16 Guihua Road, China-ASEAN Business District, Qingxiu District (青秀区东盟商务区桂花路16-6号)
phone: +86 771 5526945 (general enquiry), +86 771 5526945 ext 807 (visa section)address: 1st and 2nd Floor, 1-52 Jinhu Road North, Qingxiu District (青秀区金湖北路52-1号东方曼哈顿大厦1-2层)
Vietnamese Consulatephone: +86 771 5510560, +86 771 5510561, +86 771 5510562address: 27th Floor, Yahang Wealth Center, No 55 Jinhu Road, Qingxiu District (青秀区金湖路55号亚航财富中心27楼)The consulate issues visas for Vietnam. Make sure you take a recent passport photo with you as they do not have a machine at the consulate.
- Northern Vietnam — within striking distance
- Beihai — take the fast train (can be booked from a travel agent or Ctrip) for around ¥60 (1.5 hours) or take bus from Langdong or Jiangnan bus station (3 hours)
- Kunming — there is a train there, reportedly a sensational ride through isolated mountainous country
- Guilin and Yangshuo — famously scenic tourist area, only a short distance from Nanning (about 5 hr by direct bus or 2.5 hr by train)
- Detian Waterfall — with a 75 meter drop, on the Chinese-Vietnamese border, It is about 4 hours from Nanning.