"Liuzhou, the city" Liuzhou by johnmperry

Liuzhou Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 162 photos

About Liuzhou

In the list of cities of China ordered by size, Liuzhou comes about 250th. Its population is around 1.3 million, depending on where you define the boundaries. It's just another industrial city, in this case in mid-Guangxi province, halfway between Nanning and Guilin.

[As an aside, Guanxi province is about the same size as UK by area, with similar population. There the similarities end.]

There is nothing here to make you want to make a special journey to see it. However if you came here on business, maybe for Shanghai (SAIC) - GM - Wuling Motors, maybe for the Liu Gang Iron & Steel works, then there a few places to see and things to do.

Liuzhou has several very nice parks, but its main claim is on the "Fantastic Stones". (That's how they're usually translated.) To me and to most people they're just rocks hauled out of the river, or sawn off the top of karsts, dodged up, and sold for money, in some cases quite fantastic sums. Maybe that's where they got their name. Apart from the fair, their are several stone markets - phenomenally disappointing for naive punters like me expecting gemstones rather than rocks and pebbles. There is also a gallery in Jian Panshan Park.

Liuzhou is also famous for coffins:
.. be born in Siuzhou
.. live in Guangzhou
.. die in Liuzhou

Liuzhou - history & lore

The history of Liuzhou is quite convoluted. Or rather, there are several threads, which have been mangled in translation, and merged to form one incoherent whole.

There is a central figure, a beautiful princess. This is Lady Liu, who also features in the story "Liu San Jie" (third sister Liu), which was an early 1960's hit film. Hardly surprisingly a hit, because it is a revolutionary tale of the underdog peasants rising up to thwart the evil landlord. This film is still widely available in any good pirate dvd (or vcd) shop. In fact it is quite watchable, as long as you plug your ears against the sound of the singing - Chinese female singers usually operate at quite high octaves, and really do sound like cats fighting!

Liuzhou - street shopping

Liuzhou is one of the cheapest cities in China, certainly in the south. It is possible to eat adequately well for around 2.5 RMB, although by no means would you mistake your eating place for the Ritz.

I can't really think of a word that fully connotes the roadside kitchens - the usual Chinese word is canteen, but that is somehow far too grandiose. For a lot of Chinese, the words 'maintenance', 'cleaning' and 'repair' are not in their vocabulary. Some of the placenames in Amy Tan's "The Bonecutter's Daughter" are fairly evocative though. Such as Pig's Head Alley.

There are lots of street markets too. In fact until the council drove a new road through the middle of it, Fei E was the largest covered market in South East Asia.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The girls are the most beautiful in South China
  • Cons:The motorbikes drive me to conniption (like in all China)
  • In a nutshell:People are too busy making money to enjoy life.
  • Last visit to Liuzhou: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Apr 29, 2007
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Comments (2)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jul 5, 2009 at 4:49 AM

    hi and thanks for your effort here to make an interesting and informative page - no need to visit here now of course!

  • melosh's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2008 at 5:27 AM

    Your page confirmed my bus stop impression of Luizhou as a perfect example of a large (by my standards), modernish Chinese city (1/250?) as good as any to experience this aspect of China. Thanks for the VirtualTour.

johnmperry Used To Live Here!

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