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Nanning is the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is situated on the north bank of the Yongjiang, about 30 km from the confluence of the Yujiang and the Zuojiang rivers.
In the southeast of the region are hills and plains. It has an area of 10 thousand square kilometers and a population of 2.6 million. Nanning is rich in plant and water resources. The main mineral deposits are manganese, iron, copper, tungsten, and aluminum. With the Yong River flowing through and picturesque scenery, Nanning is known as a garden city. Guangxi Botanical Garden, the largest botanical garden in China, is located in Nanning. There are more than 2000 kinds of medicinal plants in the garden. The Yiling Caves, and the Damingshan scenic area are the region's premier tourist attractions, Nanning is also famous for fruit, including bananas, oranges, pineapples, lychees, mangoes, and longans. Food processing, machine building, and textile industries are the mainstay. The chief farm products of Nanning include rice, corn, sugarcane, cassava, fruit vegetables, pigs, and poultry. Nanning is noted for the export of duck down. Rail, road, and air transportation facilities in Nanning are very convenient. Waterways link Nanning directly to Guangzhou. Since becoming the main host city for China-ASEAN conferences, the city has grown into a hub for tourists bound for Guilin and small border towns in Yunnan and Guizhou.
The city is connected to the railway line Hengyang, Hunan - Youyiguan, Guangxi. A connection that was made to the part of Zhanjiang in 1957 makes direct access to the sea possible. The history of Nanning goes back more than 1,600 years. As far back as 318, the city was a district capital and a military stronghold. During the Tang Dynasty, it was expanded to a garrison town. From 1912 - 1936, the city was the capital of Guangxi. During the Sino-Japanese War, the city was temporarily occupied by the Japanese. Nanning became the capital of the province in 1949, and in 1958, the capital of the Guangxi Autonomous Region. Although Nanning used to be primarily an administrative and trade city, the city has been able to make considerable progress since 1949, especially with regard to industry. Today, Nanning is Guangxi's most significant industrial center. Nanning is also the cultural center of the region.
The most important crops in the surrounding areas are rice and sugarcane. Thanks to the favorable climate, a large variety of subtropical fruits are harvested in Nanning, including lichees, mangos, bananas, pineapples and watermelons.
Arts and crafts, theater and puppetry have a long tradition in Guangxi. Visitors are frequently guided to the Gui, Zhuang or Caidiao operas or to shows put on by song and dance ensembles. Those who are in Nanning at the beginning of July can take part in the beloved Dragon Boat Festival. This is an event that entices thousands of visitors to Yongjiang's shores each year. It takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the lunar calendar. Teams of young women and men rush along the river in long, narrow boats, each of which is decorated with a dragon's head. The winning team is rewarded with a roast for the festival and wine.
Nanning is the city of evergreen trees and blooming flowers. However, it is not only the nature lovers who enjoy themselves here, but also the gourmets. The Guangxi cuisine offers several delicacies, including dishes made with snake and mountain tortoise or fried pigeon. Major scenic spots include: Nanhu Park, Qingxiu Mountain, Guangxi Folk Cultural Garden, Lingshui Spring Pool, Renmin Park and Liangfengjiang River State Park.