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The capital of Guangxi province in southwest China, Nanning is a green metropolis, with fine museums, parks to explore, and easy access to the beauty of northern Vietnam.
Nanning's city center has plenty to keep visitors occupied. The Guangxi Provincial Museum is a standout, with its collection of stunning golden drums, but the Guangxi Ethnic Relics Center is also enchanting.
The area around Nanning has some sublime scenery. The highlight is definitely Qingxiu Mountain, with its lakes, pagodas, flower gardens, and dinosaur sculptures.
Using Nanning as a base, you can easily reach Guangxi's attractions, including Hundred Demon Cave and Bapan - where residents routinely live past 100.
The food from Nanning can be sublime. Head to Zhongshan Road to try distinctive rice noodle soups, paper-wrapped chicken, and rolled rice pancakes.
Nanning is a stone's throw from Vietnam, making day trips to Hanoi simple.
The best time to visit is October and November, which is Nanning's festival season. Catch folk music, food events, and great sightseeing weather when you visit in the fall.
Nanning Wuxu International Airport (NNG) is well connected to the rest of southeast Asia. From there, take buses 1,2,3, or 4 to various central destinations (¥20 in all cases). Taxis will cost around ¥100.
Trains from Beijing to Nanning take around 23 hours, and it's about 13 hours from Hong Kong.
From Guangzhou or Hong Kong, take the S26 then the G80. From Hanoi, take the AH1 to the border before taking the G7211 to Nanning.
Most intercity buses run into the Langdong bus terminal, and state-operated services run from all major Chinese cities.
Accommodation highlights in the city include the modern Nanning Marriott and the even more luxurious Guangxi Wharton International.
Zhongshan Road - Nanning's culinary hub, Zhongshan Road is the place to go for the city's famous soft noodles and rice pancakes.
Chaoyang Road - Nanning's main shopping neighborhood, Chaoyang Road is a great place to find apparel and souvenirs, and has a lively street entertainment scene too.
Nanhu - the largest park in central Nanning, Nanhu includes a huge lake and paths that are lined with tropical palms.
Local buses cost ¥2 per journey and cover pretty much the whole of Nanning.
Nanning's taxis charge around ¥9 per mile, so you should be able to reach most central areas for less than ¥50.
Rental companies in Nanning include Wangdian Car Rental and Wanchenghong Car Renting Co. Rates should be about ¥90 per day.
Head to Chaoyang Road to pick up leather goods and apparel from department stores like Diamond Square, or visit Xingning Road to check out Nanning's finest jewelry makers.
Supermarkets in Nanning include Walmart and Chinese companies like Ren Ren Le. Expect to pay about ¥13 for 12 eggs.
Guangxi's cuisine is among the best in China, with great noodle, chicken, and pancake specialties to try. For the best food in town, try Nanning Muslim Hotel and Líyŭ Cūn, while you won't go wrong by picking somewhere on Zhongshan Road. Prices range from ¥20 for street food snacks to ¥60-80 per head at fine restaurants.