Guangxi Travel Guide

Deep in Southern China, Guangxi is one of China’s rugged autonomous regions. Long known for its wild landscape of limestone formations, deep valleys and spectacular waterfalls, Guangxi has one of China’s most photographed countrysides.

What many people don’t expect on a visit to Guangxi is the unique opportunity to meet and mix with the range of ethnic minorities that live here. The Zhuang are the leading demographic here in one of the few Chinese provinces that are not Han dominated. Zhuang festivals, art and traditions are apparent across Guangxi.

Guilin is the province’s most prominent city and serves as an excellent base from which to explore the northern part of the province. Mountains, rivers and caves are within convenient reach of the city center.

Detian Waterfall, a three-tiered cascade that China shares with Vietnam, is another popular Guangxi attraction. The waterfall is more than 600 feet wide and makes an excellent stopover for anyone planning to cross between China and Vietnam. There are many other waterfalls across the region.

Guangxi’s other natural wonder is a fascinating collection of karsts. These limestone rock formations crop up across the countryside, standing alone or in clusters of narrow pillars. This is the perfect setting for backcountry treks, where it comes as no surprise that Guangxi is such a common photography subject.

Another attraction is at higher elevations. The Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces are within a short drive of Longsheng and have been in operation for hundreds of years. Even today, ribbons of rice wind through the hillsides.

Interspersed are a few cities and even a selection of beaches along the Gulf of Tonkin. Bastions of civilization like Guilin, Beihai and Baise are ideal for enjoying a few cosmopolitan amenities before plunging into the region’s remote corners.

Getting There & Away

There are airports in many of Guangxi’s major cities including Guilin, Nanning, Beihai and Baise. Among these, Nanning and Guilin are the busiest and divide their services between domestic routes and links to Southeast Asia. Flights from Nanning can connect to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in roughly 2 to 3 hours.

Guangxi also boasts an excellent network of railways, many of which are used by the most modern trains in China. The most efficient routes connect to Kunming in Yunnan Province, but there are also dedicated routes to the east coast.