Liuzhou is distinguished by its beautiful surroundings of rolling hills, karst plains and, of course, the clear waters of the serpentine Liu River. It is home to a multi-ethnic community, which brings a unique mix of folk customs, architecture, languages and outlook on life.
Like many modern Chinese cities, Liuzhou combines a deep respect for its long history with an ambitious vision for the future.
While a fossilised skull dating back 70,000 years was found in a cave near Liuzhou, it was first established as a city in 111BC when it was named Tazhong. It has undergone many reincarnations since then and was finally name Liuzhou in 1736.
Guangxi is part of the Chinese government’s plan to revitalise the western part of the country and address the inequalities between the rich eastern coastline and the poor western interior. As such it has benefited from investment in infrastructure and foreign investors keen to take advantage of attractive tax breaks. This has resulted in some fairly high profile joint ventures, most notably between General Motors and Wuling Motor Company.
The biggest industries in Liuzhou are automobile and heavy plant factories, cement, steel, zinc chemicals, tobacco, papermaking and ship building.
When to go:
You can visit Liuzhou year-round. Temperatures are moderate, although it enjoys plenty of rainfall, so always pack an umbrella!
- Swimming in the Liujiang is an ancient tradition of the city – jump in! (But it’s best not to do it after rainfall, which can bring sediment into the river.)
- Revitalise your body with a traditional Chinese massage at the Dikara Spa in the Radisson Blu (the only international hotel in Liuzhou).
- Step into ancient history at the Bailian Cave, about half an hour from the Radisson Blu, to see how humans lived 50,000 years ago.
- Take a tour of some of Liuzhou’s surrounding ethnic minority villages. Ronghsui Miao Village (2 hours’ drive) and Sanjing Dong Village (3.5 hours) are both areas of spectacular natural beauty as well as showcasing the unique traditions of ethnic minorities in China.
- Take some photos at the Big Dragon Pool Scenic Spot, less than 20 minutes away. A protected area of immense natural beauty, it is surrounded by lush mountain peaks, forests and stunning natural watercourses.
- Stop by the Liuzhou Confucius Temple. Originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was destroyed in World War II and was rebuilt in 2010 to continue its history as an important influence on local culture and education.
- Be inspired at the Liu Zongyuan Park, a memorial to the pioneering Chinese writer Liu Zongyuan who wrote poetry and prose during the Tang Dynasty. He was banished to Liuzhou, where he became popular with locals for his efforts to improve conditions. He died there in 819.