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Guangxi (广西) is an autonomous region in the south of China for the Zhuang people. Guangxi became part of China in 214 BC during the Qin Dynasty. The area was the site of several uprisings due to its distance from the capital of China during most dynasties. In 1885 the French tried to expand into China by invading Guangxi from Vietnam. It was one of the few times the Chinese military was able to stop a foreign military force during imperial times. Even to this day this war is used to fuel Chinese nationalism.
Guangxi was ruled by a series of warlords during most of the Republic period. It was one of the last areas to be liberated by the Communists in December of 1949, which was two months after victory was declared. In 1958 Premier Zhou Enlai made Guangxi into an autonomous region. Most of the Guangxi’s economy comes from tourism due to its stunning scenery. However industry is growing as many factories are relocating from Guangdong in search of lower wages. This area offers some of the best mountain biking, climbing, hiking and wonders that China has to offer.
Guangxi is a mountainous area famous for its lime stone peaks. Its scenery has been the setting for many famous classical Chinese poems. These features have made the province remote and hard to travel around for centuries. Guangxi has domestic borders with Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan, Hainan and Guangdong. Guangxi also has an international border with Vietnam. For more information on going to Vietnam please read the article: Overland Border Crossings In China.
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The main attraction of of Guangxi is the areas natural beauty. There is also mountain biking, climbing and hiking in most of the area.
The different minority groups celebrate many local festivals. Also due to the majority Han population all major Chinese holidays are also celebrated.
Guangxi is pretty far south and has very temperate winters but brutally hot and humid summers. In the areas further north in the higher mountains there is the occasional snow storm. Even though big snowstorms are not common in the winter of 2008 there was a massive snow storm across Guangxi that closed almost all the highways and rail lines for over a week. Typhoons can be bad in the late summer months.
The main airports are Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) in Guilin and Nanning Wuxu Airport (NNG) in Nanning. Both airports have extensive domestic and International service. There are also smaller airports in Beihai, Liuzhou and Wuzhou.
There are many different bus companies that connect to the neighboring provinces.
For plane information please look at the above section.
There are train lines linking all the major cities. The problem is that many of the trains start in far off places such as Kunming or Shanghai. Making it that all the tickets are sold before you can even get on the train.
The roads in most of Guangxi are still pretty basic and have frequent land slides. Although there are some major highways being built.
There is excellent bus service linking all the cities, towns and villages.
There are some seasonal tourist ferries linking a few cities. Most of the passenger ferries have been shut down because buses are cheaper and quicker.
The old saying "a southern Chinese person will eat anything with four legs except a kitchen table" is very true. In the markets you will see vendors selling everything from snake to rat to monkey. There are also some great noodle dishes and steamed rice bowls.
Most of the major cities will have standard Chinese hotels. Many of the more touristy towns will have youth hostels and guesthouses designed for western budget travelers. In the more remote areas staying in peoples homes is the only option and usually includes food.
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