Nanning

Nanning Information
Nanning The South Western Chinese Capital.
South Prosperity
Traditional Chinese: 南寧
Simplified Chinese: 南宁
Zhuang: Namzningz

Nanning Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanning

Nanning a prefecture-level city is the gateway to the Indo-China Peninsula to the west and in the east, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and Hainan and Nanning airport with over 20 domestic and international airlines is best placed to link the countries of Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Especially close to the Vietnam border, Nanning is the China to Vietnam connection point.
Nanning hosts the ASEAN exhibition every year.
Good road and rail services providing the essential link to the rest of China and the all important Yongjiang river, taking most of the city's exports to various destinations overseas.
With urban development rapidly growing, Nanning is a city that attaches great importance to improving the natural environment and has acquired the title of the 'greenest city in China'. Mainly due to the abundance of Parks and green spaces, the street trees and colourful seasonal planting displays.
Nanning runs at a much slower pace than other cities in China I have visited, which, I feel makes it a more enjoyable city. The Pizza Huts, KFCs and McDonalds have to some extent given it that 'Western' look in places but have not, as yet, taken over. Food is relatively cheap both cooked and uncooked, so eating in or out is a cheap and easy task with so many restaurants and fresh food market
I would describe Nanning cooking as full of flavour, often fairly dry (none or very little Gravy) and more often, spicy, with the usual abundance of ginger and garlic added to most dishes. Roast duck is very popular, probably due to the belief that the meat is good for the liver.
Nanning cuisine includes the eating of preserved fruits and vegetables (sour pickles). In this hot climate, the safest way to preserve the fruit was to pickle it. Pickles include cabbage, olives, mango, peaches, plums and pawpaw.
Also worth noting, a lot of activity stops from 12 midday till around 3 pm most days, siesta time. The main shops remain open, supermarkets etc but do not be surprised to find the smaller shops, some venues and offices either closed or running on reduced staffing levels at this time.
Getting around Nanning is, in theory, easy, in practise, sometimes not. Taxis are numerous and the fares start at around 8 RMB, a short 15 minute ride cost around 10/12 RMB. I find the rates very affordable for those journeys that require speed.
If you have time, take a bus, cost around 1.2 RMB also in plentiful supply and don't be surprised if you get on the right number bus only to find you are going in the wrong direction, even the Nanningers get it wrong occasionally. All part of the fun.
I said, if you have time, as sometimes depending how busy things are, it can take a while to get across town on a bus, my trips across town have varied from 10 minutes to 90 minutes.
If the hustle and bustle are not to your liking then it is possible to quickly get away from the urban sprawl and find peace and tranquillity, rural China does still exist in Nanning.



View Nanning China Places & Map in a larger map

Things to do Nanning
There is plenty for the visitor or tourist to do in and around Nanning
The visitor will find plenty of comfortable accommodation available.
The city is served by a modern international airport Nanning Wuxu Airport (NNG) with mainly domestic flights but also some international, Hong Kong, Vietnam etc.The airport is located on the outskirts of town. There are frequent buses to and from the airport with a ride into the city centre taking approximately 45 minutes.
Nanning can boast a good train network with connections to Guilin, Kunming, Guangzhou, Xian and Beijing with many more available. Most destinations are covered with at least two trains a day departing. The station is located at the north end of Chaoyang Lu.
Taxis are everywhere. Starting fare 7 RMB.
Buses are plentiful and run at roughly 10/20 minute intervals to and from most areas surrounding and within the city. Normal fare 1.2 RMB regardless of how many stops you pass.
Coaches, this is often the preferred method of long distance China travel.
The main terminals are Lang Dong (on Minzu Dadao, east of town) and Jiang Nan (on Xingguang Dadao, south of town). Relatively cheap, the coaches come in seated and sleeper types depending on journey duration.
One thing to watch out for on any long haul is the many stop off/eating points along the way. Be wary of hygiene and preferably make your own food arrangements.


Shopping
Visiting the many shopping areas can be an enjoyable experience if you do not mind crowds and hustle and bustle. Weekdays are generally quieter than weekends.
Some areas, Admiral City for one, situated alongside the huge New Super Walmart store outside of town is as I write this 2008/03 not particularly busy, a large area of individual shops, a large department store within and with the summer approaching it would be easy to enjoy the air conditioning on a hot day whilst browsing.
In town there are two large department stores, a popular Walmart store, the usual American fast food establishments plus a myriad of other shops, shopping malls, markets and street vendors in addition you will also find an underground shopping complex made up of a hundreds of smallish shop units selling mainly clothes and shoes, well worth a look and if your lady is with you, she will be pleased. The stairway entrances are on the street as well as in both Department stores.

Nanhu South Park Lake

Situated to the southeast of the city, Nanhu as it is commonly called is a lovely relaxing place to stroll, especially on a Summer evening or early morning when the temperature is down a little. Although, a very pleasant place to walk a lot of the time, in high summer you will quickly need to shelter in the shade if you can find some and it is not already taken. Colourful subtropical gardens, including several types of palms, tropical fruit trees including the only South East Asian citrus and various under plantings of many different genus with meandering paths and roads and a large lake with a perimeter walk. It covers an area of some 127 hectares, of which three quarters is covered by the lake. Features include traditional pavilions and bridges, like the Seven Holes Bridge and the main road bridge which at night is lit to startling effect.
The lake is bordered with grass and trees on the banks, a great place to take photo's by day or night. There is plenty of seating along the lake and various paths and roads but often occupied.
The lake also hosts Dragon Boat races, the crowds making it a very noisy event.
There is a main paved square which is the setting for a magnificent large-scale musical fountain. There is sometimes at the weekend a light and water fountain show, water-screen movie, the musical fountain reaches a height of 80 meters, spectacular.
Paddling and electric motorised boats allow visitors to get out on the water and fully enjoy the lake, some great views of the surroundings from the boat are available.
A bonsai garden, an additional attraction for any enthusiast as it houses a great collection. It is a lot shadier in this area so makes for a good place to stroll when it is hot. (This area now demolished 2009 but still some Bonsai and Penjing on display)
There is also an area of a few stalls for games and drinks and snacks.
Open all day and free to enter.


The New Guangxi Flower and Bird Market.
No birds but plenty of Fish and Plant shops Nan Wu Gong Lu
Another market area made up of shop units.


The Old Bird and Flower market.
Extremely popular tourist and locals area. located on a steep sloping area.
A market where just about everything is sold.
Mainly flowers, plants, Jade. Bric a bac, animals, birds etc. etc.
Be prepared for crowds.
Located on the Yuanhu Lu (Lu = Road)


The Craft, Flower and Fish market.
Opposite Qingxiushan.
New area. Large complex of shop units of various sizes offering crafts, flowers, food.
Also now used for various exhibitions and special selling events.


Nanning Sport Stadium
Nanning Stadium can hold athletics and soccer competitions. Over the road are situated handball, volleyball and badminton courts, weightlifting hall, gymnastic hall and a swimming pool.
Located next to Peoples Park. Gongyuan Lu


The Museum of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
www.gxmuseum.com (sadly not in English)


Guangxi Provincial Museum.
The museum built in 1978 and backed by the Wen Wu Yuan park has interesting displays of Guangxi minority cultures displayed on the ground and first floors, regional archaeology, historical artefacts, painting and photograph exhibitions, displays of Embroidery Balls, Ancient Bronze Drums and Minorities' Embroidery as well as cliff paintings. There are oftenevents outside in the adjoining park making it an interesting cultural education venue.
Guides are sometimes provided. Some signage is in English which helps a lot.
The various exhibits are listed below, the exhibits do change from time to time.
Embroidery Balls Xiu Qiu. Guangxi well known for embroidery balls. They are made by hand, three colours of red, yellow and green. The patterns include plant petals, plants, animals and lucky words. The 'Xiu Qiu' symbolises love. As such, Girls make the balls and gives it to a boy showing him she has given her heart to him. There is a set in the museum showing the event of tossing the ball through a hoop the waiting boys, the boy that catches the Xiu Qiu is then, the husband to be.
On dislay
Ancient Bronze Drums
South China has produced many bronze drums over time and on ground floor there is an exhibition of ancient bronze drums. In ancient time, bronze drums represented a symbol of power and wealth, often used as a sacred vessel in religious services.
Embroidery
Lot of examples of colourful Embroidery are on display, intricate in detail includingembroidery on caps, clothes, headgear, intricately embroidered cloth shoes, belts, bags, table cloths. The needlework skills of these minorities is astonishing.
Bamboo Pole Dance
This is one of the many dances performed on the stage outside in the park. The dance is one of skill and you will find yourself waiting to see if anyone will get their feet 'rapped', you will know what I mean if you see it.
Big Drum Monument
Also outside is a huge drum monument a light green colour, a symbol of bronze drums in Guangxi.
There are some small statues of animals throughout the park.
The park is often used by wedding couples for their photographs and also Wedding planners and dress suppliers for their advertising photo shoots.
Address: Minzu Dadao (small road on corner Gu Chen Lu), Nanning
Open 8.30 - 11.30 and2.30 - 5.30
Admission 8 RMB


Peoples Park - Renmin Park
Located in the north eastern part of Nanning on the Yuanhu Lu.
The Peoples Park or the Renmin Gongyuan (Gongyuan = Park). It was created in the 50's on over a 100 acres. It is a recreation park, a wooded area with walkways, a smallish lake (White Dragon Lake) a children's/adults amusement park and an attractive botanical garden with some nice shaded walks.
A Monument to the Revolutionary Martyrs is sited up a very long and steep flight of steps and from a distance almost alongside the television mast.
Just inside the main entrance you are faced with either a steep climb up 140+ steps or a choice of two walk ways each taking a route around the park.
All paths are linking, so no real fear of getting lost.
If you do want to get up to the pinnacle where the Zhengning Fort of the Qing Dynasty is located and enjoy the views over Nanning you will have to climb some steps.
By far the best and most interesting time to visit is early morning, during the summer months 6am onwards. It is at this time that the elderly of Nanning come to exercise, dancing, tai chi, badminton, walking, jogging, running, every sort of exercise imaginable. A great way to start any day.
Open all day, early morning to late night.


Nanning Zoo
A zoo with the usual animals and birds. Elephants, some big cats, birds etc included.
A dolphin and seal show. Admission 30 RMB
Pleasant surroundings. Located on the Keyuan Lu


The Guangxi Medicinal Herb Garden
One of the largest medicinal gardens in China, featuring more than 2000 types of herbs. Laid out with attractive walks around the many planted herbs. Admission 10 RMB
Located at Nanwu Gong Lu


Qingxiu mountain range - Qingxiushan
Located two or three miles to the south west of the city. It is extremely popular most of the year. Features include Grottos, wooded area, springs and various flowering plants and herbs which all go to create a wonderful setting.
It sits on the Yongjiang river and the area is well known for it beautiful position.
Two lakes are situated on the mountain, Tianchi and Yaochi. Yaochi has an orchard of peach trees on its banks and in the spring, the peach blossom is a magnificent sight.
At the very top of the mountain stands a pagoda called Longxiang Tower, the symbol of the mountain.
From the pagoda, the views are very good, overlooking Nanning.
Also known as Qingshan and Qingtai the area is divided into three portions, Fenghuang, Fengyi and Qingxiu. The mountain itself is just under 190 metres above sea level.
Admission 15 Yuan
Open all year. Spring time (March) is best for blossom.


Yongjiang River
The Yongjiang River in Nanning flows from west to east through the city. Often illuminated at night making for a pleasant evening stroll. Minsheng Square.


The New Nanning Bridge
Crossing the Yongjiang river near Qingxiushan.
A spectacle at night and a new very pleasant riverside park is now open (2010)


There are many festivals in Nanning throughout the year.
Exploring Nanning The South western Chinese Capital.
The cultural differences may not always be to your liking, you will need to embrace them and not fight them. You will need to adjust yourself to going with the flow, the sooner you do, the sooner you will relax, enjoy yourself and have a great time.
Nanning runs at a much slower pace than other cities in China I have visited, which, I feel makes it a more enjoyable city. The Pizza Huts, KFCs and McDonalds have to some extent given it that 'Western' look in places but have not, as yet, taken over. Food is relatively cheap both cooked and uncooked, so eating in or out is a cheap and easy task with so many restaurants and fresh food markets.
I would describe Nanning cooking as full of flavour, often fairly dry (none or very little Gravy) and more often, spicy, with the usual abundance of ginger and garlic added to most dishes.
If the hustle and bustle are not to your liking then it is possible to quickly get away from the urban sprawl and find peace and tranquillity, rural China does still exist in Nanning.
Remember when out, you are unlikely to find a western toilet. Also, toilet paper is rarely supplied, so always carry some with you, just in case.

Also worth noting, a lot of activity stops from 12 midday till around 3 pm most days, siesta time. The main shops remain open, supermarkets etc but do not be surprised to find the smaller shops and some venues closed at this time.
Getting around Nanning is, in theory, easy, in practise, sometimes not. Taxis are numerous and the fares start at around 8 RMB, a short 15 minute ride cost around 10/12 RMB. I find the rates very affordable for those journeys that require speed.
If you have time, take a bus, cost around 1.2 RMB also in plentiful supply and don't be surprised if you get on the right number bus only to find you are going in the wrong direction, even the Nanningers get it wrong occasionally. All part of the fun.
I said, if you have time, as sometimes depending how busy things are, it can take a while to get across town on a bus, my trips across town have varied from 10 minutes to 90 minutes.
If you are out on your own, write or get someone to write your destination and living address in Chinese, this will help enormously but not always guarantee the quickest, cheapest route taken by the taxi driver. Gotcha...
You could try walking, which I often do. I had been warned that the air quality in China does not meet western environmental standards. I have to say, as an asthma sufferer, I have not used any of my inhalers at all this past year.
Although it would be fair to say, if walking for long periods adjacent to heavy traffic, you will be in the midst of the worst pollutants and I do tend to get a 'raspy' throat in this situation.
Finally the words of caution, protect your valuables at all times, commonsense needed.

You will find China traffic jaw dropping, whichever city you are in.
Cross the roads very carefully.

10 comments:

alo said...

Thanks for this informative blog on Nanning, my new hometown...

Sander said...

Hello,
We're from the Netherlands and are going to celebrate Chinese New Year in Naning 2012, can you tell us what's the best place for fireworks and experience the ultimate fireworks experience together with the locals?

Thanks in advance.

Regards.

Sander

An Ex-pat said...

Probably the Nanhu Lake area is best for Fireworks.
But don't worry if you can't get there as there will be fireworks all around you, everywhere.
Some of the best are just along the roads.

sander said...

Thanks very much for your quick reply.
We're staying in the hotel area
(Red Forrest/Marriot)is that close to the Nanhu Lake area? Because we think that around the hotel the new years experience is lees then somewhere downtown? Or are we wrong, are the fireworks everywhere?

Teaching English in China said...

The fireworks ARE everywhere

Nanhu Lake area is an organised display.
But there are also many more.
Not sure where you hotel is in relation to Nanhu
Try looking here, it might help
http://nanning.citycome.com/
OR find Nanhu on Google maps on this page and then find out the addres of the hotel.

Daniel said...

Hello,

I will be visiting Nanning together with Sander. Our hotel is east from Nanhu Lake just next to the shopping mall Admiral city. In a lot of cities in China the fireworks sale started, I was wondering if this is also the case in Nanning. And if yes in which area of Nanning.

Thanks for your reply.

Best tregards,

Daniel

Living in Nanning said...

Normally in Nanning they go on sale officially 1 week before the Chinese New Year.

Daniel said...

Thank you for your quick reply.

Is there already some concrete information about the location of the selling points?

Best regards,

Daniel

Living in China said...

You will find selling points in most areas.
Difficult to imagine this, I know. You will be amazed.

Easily identified as most will be positioned along the roadside, on the path in portable metal framed red tent like structures, the type you find in peoples gardens.

As mentioned before, if you enjoy smoke and noise venture out on the eve of the chinese new year, no real need to attend an organised display.

China Tours said...

Following up on the previous information. Firework retailers are going to face tighter control...
I think you will find this year there will be a change in Nanning and probably elswhere in Chinese cities.

This released recently:- From January 8 to February 6, Nanning Safety Inspection Bureau will carry out inspection on the safety related to fireworks and firecrackers during the Spring Festival of 2012. In order to avoid fireworks accidents and safeguard the safety and stability of Nanning, a non-stop inspection mechanism led by the leaders of the Bureau will be implemented. The inspection will be a thorough check-up on fireworks warehouses and vendors’ sites in Nanning. For fireworks wholesale enterprises, the inspection focuses on the safety condition of the warehouses. For fireworks retailers, the inspection concentrates on whether the settings of sales place meet with relevant requirements and the people in charge have received safety education, obtained complete qualification licenses and so forth.
http://english.nanning.gov.cn/n725531/n751804/n752331/n819950/12377842.html

So you may have to search around a bit but I am reliably informed that there are sellers around Elephant Square

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