Nanning centre

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.

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.

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. ¥20, 45 minutes. 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.

By train

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

By bus

Nanning has three major bus terminals:

Get around

NOTE: Due to the construction of the Nanning Rail Transit (NNRT), the section of Chaoyang Road between Renmin Middle Road and Minsheng Road (just after the Wanda Plaza) is currently closed, and all traffic through this section has been rerouted through other streets. Expect significant traffic buildup in and around this area. In particular, buses serving Chaoyang Square have been rerouted to stop at alternative points around the area. A similar rerouting scheme has also been implemented for buses serving the Nanning railway station. There are maps explaining the bus rerouting scheme (in Chinese only) posted along a number of points around station construction sites.

Local buses serve the city, and are either ¥1 or ¥2 per trip, depending on whether the buses have A/C or not. Buy a bus map of the city for about ¥5 for the routes around the city, which doubles as a city map.

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.


Part of the pottery collection of Guangxi Autonomous Region Museum




Though the older people speak Cantonese (广东话 guǎngdōnghuà), the younger generation mainly speak Mandarin (普通话 pǔtōnghuà). 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.


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. Although, with the demand for teachers far outstripping supply, those who don't meet these qualifications can still find teaching work (just without the comfort/legality of a working Visa).



Zhongshan Rd (中山路) is Nanning's food street, with a vast assortment of street stalls serving many kinds of Liang Guang (literally, the two Guang provinces, Guangxi and Guangdong) foods, as well as food from neighbouring provinces, such as Hunan and Yunnan. It is diagonally opposite the Wanda Plaza, home of Wal-Mart. Throughout the city there are many good-value restaurants. Few have English menus. 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.


There 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.


About 90% of the restaurants in Nanning would fall into this category.


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.


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.



Around the square in front of the station are several hotels offering bargains for rooms and dorm beds with dorm beds starting at ¥15.



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.

Avoid swapping your phone or buying iPhone 4 offered for sale for 2000 Yuan by men from Tajikistan around the train station. On the street they offer you to inspect a real (non Chinese copy) working iPhone 4 with a SIM card in it. If you decide to buy it they probably take your money and the iPhone 4 to take the SIM card out. Thereafter you most likely will get a working Chinese iPhone which is far from the real one.


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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 15, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.