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  •   What to do in Nanning --  2010-3-29

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    Nanning



    Nanning 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.


    Parks



    • Nanning People's Park

    • Nanning South Lake Park

    • Nanning Shishan Park

    • Nanning Shimen senlin Park

    • Nanning Zoo

    • Nanning Qingxiu Mountain

    Get in


    By plane


    Nanning Wuxu International Airport serves both 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. Getting there: There is a shuttle bus every half hour to/from Chaoyang Lu in front of the Minhang (CAAC) Hotel and next to the Yinhe Hotel close to the railway station. RMB 15 per person. 45 minutes.


    Public bus no 301 runs between the airport and the city center. Journey time is approximately one hour and costs 3 RMB.


    Taxis are also available. As of March 2006, a taxi costs about 75 RMB. If you're going to the city center or close by, don't let them charge you more. Have them use the meter. As of November 2008, fixed price to downtown (Wal-Mart and Parksons shopping center) is 100 RMB for two persons.


    July 2009 A taxi from the airport to Langdong bus terminal will cost 120-130 RMB, but it is still possible to bargain for 100-110 RMB. The drivers refuse to use the meter but the price is not exorbitant as it may even cause more with the meter.


    By train


    The railway station is at the northern end of Chaoyang Road just north of the city center. There are trains from



    • Beijing - 28 hours

    • Guilin - 5-6 hours

    • Kunming - 10 hours

    • Pingxiang - at the border to Vietnam, 3½ hours

    • Hanoi, Vietnam

    By bus


    Nanning has two major bus terminals:



    • Langdong bus terminal is on Minzu Dadao to the east of the city centre amongst all the new skyscrapers.


    • 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 hrs, ¥60), and Yangshuo (via Guilin) operate from Jiangnan. Getting there/away: Bus 41 (¥3, 20 minutes journey) 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 approx. ¥5-10.


    • Yunde [1] buses from Hanoi arriave at Langdong Bus Station.


    Get around


    Local buses serve the city, and most are ¥1 per trip. Buy a bus map of the city for about ¥5 for the routes around the city, which doubles as a city map. Bus 301 also serves Wuxu International Airport, and costs ¥3 for the one-hour ride to the city. It terminates at the city centre.


    Taxis are also convenient for getting around the city, and most rides within the city should cost under ¥20. Fares start at ¥7 but there is an additional ¥1 fuel surcharge to be added to your final fare, regardless of distance.


    Another way of getting around is a three-wheeled buggy that resembles a motorbike with two seats.


    See



    • Guangxi Museum (ʡ; Gungxshng Bwgun), 34 Minzu Dadao (34; Mnz Ddo) (vaguely opposite Minzu Square). 8:30AM-11:30AM, 2:30PM-5PM. Has quite an eclectic exhibition. One hall is dedicated to the bronze drums found in Guangxi and neighbouring Yunnan province. In a way, this is also an exhibition about the early culture of Guangxi. Another hall is dedicated to the various ethnic minorities in Guangxi. There is also an open-air exhibition, with performances, and has houses of some of the minorities. ¥5.  edit


    • South Lake (Ϻ; Nnh), Gucheng Road (ų·; Gchngl). 8AM-5PM. Lake in the southeastern part of town surrounded by a park including bonsai and orchid gardens. ¥2.  edit


    • White Dragon Park (԰; Bilng Gngyun), Renmin East Road (·; Rnmn Dngl).  edit

    Do



    • Nanning Bird and Flower Market, Yuanhu Road (At the Zhonghua Road intersection, and right behind People's Park (Renmin Gongyuan)). 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 amzingly interesting place to while away an afternoon, and get some truly good-value items. WARNING: 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. NEVER keep anything valuable in a back pack, which should be carried in front!  edit

    Learn


    Though the older people speak Cantonese (Guangdonghua), the younger generation mainly speak Mandarin (Putonghua). Nanning is regarded as one of the most successful cities in China in terms of popularizing Mandarin or 'common language'. So it is a very good place to learn Putonghua for foreigners. Universities offering Chinese courses are many, including Guangxi University for Nationalities and Guangxi University. However, be aware that Nanning people, like virtually all Chinese in the south, have a non-standard pronunciation for many of the basic sounds of Mandarin (which comes from the northern Han people).


    Note also that 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 pin yin, the anglicised phonetic transliteration of Mandarin.


    Work


    As a regional capital, Nanning has a lot of work opportunities compared to other cities of Guangxi Province. The booming import and export business exchanges between Guangxi and Vietnam means that there is a big demand for people who can speak both Chinese and Vietnamese. Also, if you are a native English speaker, teaching jobs are also abundant. However,if you do plan on teaching, be aware that government regulations have tightened considerably, post-Olympics, and to gain employment you MUST be under 60, have TWO years teaching experience in China already; have a minimum Bachelors degree, and preferably, additionally, ESL/EFL certification.


    Buy



    • Chao Yang Road, Chao Yang Lu ·. The main shopping street of Nanning city, it is lined with several department stores, like Nanning Department Store, and Walmart, in addition al several 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.  edit

    Eat


    Zhong Shan Lu (ɽ·)is Nanning's 'food street', with a vast assortment of street stalls serving many kinds of 'Liang Guang' (literally, the 'two Guang' provinces - Guang Xi (West), and Guang Dong (East)) foods, as well as food from neighbouring provinces, such as Hunan and Yunnan. It is diagonally opposite the Wan Da Plaza, home of Wal-Mart, and is rumoured to be up for re-development in 2010. Throughout the city there are many good-value restaurants. Few have English menus. There are a number of McDonald's to be found in and around the city centre, and KFC is widely spread throughout the whole city area. The newly developed eastern end of the city (around Langdong, and the APEC Exhibition Centre)has lots of up-market restaurants, cafes and coffee lounges


    Budget


    The dumpling stalls and small eating houses all over the city. Fresh, tasty and very cheap. Zhong Shan Road food stalls. Try the local rice noodle soup called Lao You Fen (ѷ), literally translated meaning "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. [[2]]


    Mid-range


    About 90% of the restaurants in Nanning would fall into this category. Some of the better ones include the Little (Fat) Sheep (xiao fei yang) chain (traditional hotpot, with lamb the meat of choice, Donge ge Lu, in the south, and Hen yang Lu in the northwest), Old Chengdu (Si Chuan hot, spicy food, You ai Lu, just off Dong ge Lu in the south, and Hen yang Lu, at the You ai Lu intersection, in the north west)and Mao Jia (Mao's Home) national chain (Hunan spicy food, You ai Lu , at the Hen yang Lu intersection, in the north west).


    Splurge


    Anything in/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.


    Drink


    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.


    Sleep


    Budget



    • Jingtong Business (Nanning Dongge) (jing1tong1shang1wu4jiu3dian4(nan2ning2dong1ge3dian4); ͨƵ()), nan2ning2qing1xiu4qu1dong1ge3lu4100hao4; ·100. Good location (3km to centre, 5km to train station, 30km to airport) close to lake, shopping and transportation. Ordinary rooms, business rooms and luxus rooms ranging from 15m2 to 20m2. Business and party facilities. Recently renovated with large and bright rooms. Good service. Doubles from CNY330 but seen discounted to CNY128.  edit


    • March Flower Hotel (nan2ning2san1yue4hua1da4jiu3dian4»Ƶ), nan2ning2qing1xiu4qu1dong1ge3lu4119hao4·119 (Bus no 1, 12, 16). Well located (2.5km to centre, 10km to train station, 30km to airport)three star business hotel close to park and lake with nice view. Well designed hotel with well equiped rooms. Rooms including ordinary, business and luxus. Rooms ranging from 15m2 to 25m2. Free internet in the rooms. Business facilities. Rooms from CNY288 but seen discounted to CNY128.  edit


    • Yingbing Hotel, (directly infront of railway station, on the right side of Chaoyang Lu if looking away from station), 86-771-2116288 (), [3]. Huge budget hotel with long corridors of rooms. Rooms are small but adequate. Location is ideal for the station. English-speaking staff on 24 hour duty and a comprehensive list of train and bus connections. However, if you need to get more than 15 minutes continuous sleep, turn the ringer of the phone off, or leave it off the hook or prostitutes will call repeatedly, offering their services. Twin rooms from CNY80, and CNY100 for a room with a computer (all rooms have loose ethernet cable hook-ups).  edit


    • Nanning Civil Aviation Hotel, 82 Chaoyang Road (Near the railway station), 867712099000. Rooms with air con, electronical lock, cable TV and internet. The hotel provides a shuttle bus to the centre. Discounted rates from CNY168.  edit



    • Around the square in front of the station. Several hotels offering bargains for rooms and dormbeds. Dorm beds starting at CNY15.  edit

    Mid-range



    • Wan Xing Hotel, There are two branches of this hotel, 47 Minzhu Street and 41-2 Beining Street (A 5-minute walking distance separate the two. Both are located about 2km from the train station, and within walking distance to the main shopping street in Nanning-- Chaoyang Street), [5]. 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 I would wake up especially for. Counter staff speak some amounts of English and accept international credit cards. From CNY198.  edit


    • Yin He Hotel, 84 Chaoyang Lu (right in the centre of town just south of the railway station and next to airport bus terminal), 86-771-2116688 (fax: 86-771-2420303). Conveniently located near the railway station, airport bus terminal, CAAC office, Langdong bus terminal ticketing office and other amenities. Some rooms newly renovated. Rooms from RMB 388, better ones from RMB 470.  edit


    • Jinyue Hotel, 59 Xinmin Lu (about 20 minutes walk or 10 minutes by taxi from the railway station, 10 minutes from Chaoyang Square. Access to hotel is from a ramp from Minzhu Lu opposite post office). Oldish business hotel with recently upgraded rooms in 2006. Clean and comfortable rooms, all with bath, telephone and TV. Rooms from CNY388.  edit

    Splurge



    • Best Western Premier Red Forest Hotel, 127 Minzu Ave (Located near the Guangxi Exhibition hall, and generally within the business district), [6]. 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. Although this hotel is a little far from the shopping district of Nanning, however, it is well-served by a large shopping mall that is a 3-minute walk from the hotel. Doubles start from RMB 488.  edit


    • Guangxi Wharton International Hotel, 88 East Minzu Avenue Nanning 530022 (Located in the Landong Development Area). The hotel is nice by Chinese standards 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 "Shen Zhou Food Street") offers the best value. The rates are about $120 US per night for a nice sized room

    Stay safe


    Chinese cities are generally speaking very safe and Nanning is no exception. But petty robberies are quite common. On buses, be extra-careful about your mobile phones and wallets.


    Cope


    Vietnamese Consulate


    The consulate issues Visas for Vietnam.


    Address:



    Ground floor, Touzi Dasha, 109 Minzu Dadao, Nanning.

    Tel: (86-77) 1551 0562

    Fax: (86-77) 1553 4738

    Prices: These can vary according to nationality, and depend on your desired processing time:



    3 days (standard): ¥380

    2 days : ¥480

    1 day (drop off in the morning, collect after 5:00pm): ¥580

    Make sure you take a recent passport photo with you as they do not have a machine at the consulate.


    Hours: Visa office hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 2:30pm to 6:00pm, but they can be late to return from the lunch break. Your Passport with visa can be collected at/after 5:00pm - this means the earliest you can leave to Vietnam is the next morning (factor on spending at LEAST two nights in Nanning getting your Vietnamese visa).


    Getting There: You can either take a taxi there (ca. ¥15 one way) or the local bus (¥1): Get bus number 6 bound south away from the railway station (the north-south part of the T junction, not the east-west), so get on at the train station on the same side of the road as the station, and get off at the second stop after you cross a big (100m long) bridge over the river. On the left as you go over the bridge is Guangxi Investment Building, with a large G logo on the top. The consulate is on the ground floor of the building to the left of Guangxi Investment Building, so you have to cross the road to get to it, when coming from the town centre.


    Cambodian Consulate


    Address:



    Consulate General of the Kingdom of Cambodia

    2F, Nanfeng Tower, No.85, Minzu Avenue, Nanning,

    85Ϸ2¥

    Tel: 0771 5889892, 5889893

    Fax: 0771 5888522

    Thai Consulate


    Address:



    Consulate General of the Kingdom of Thailand

    Room 2212, Guilin Tower, No.1, Wen Xin Lu, Nanning

    ·1Źִ2212

    Tel: 0771 5506698

    Fax: 0771 5506628


    Get out



    • Northern Vietnam is within striking distance. Yunde [7] buses for Hanoi leave from Lang Dong Bus Station, and are priced at ¥150 (Jan 2010), 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 8:40AM, 9 AM 10AM. The journey took approximately 7 hours.

    • There is a train to Kunming, reportedly a sensational ride through isolated mountainous country.

    • The famously scenic tourist area around Guilin and Yangshuo is only a short distance from Nanning (about 5 hrs by direct bus, train)

    • Visit the Detian Waterfall, with a 75 meter drop, on the Chinese-Vietnamese border, It's about 4 hours from Nanning.

     


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