Longzhou (龙州; Lóngzhōu) is a rural town in Central Guangxi.
Longzhou has quite a history despite its current lack of importance. There is a saying in Longzhou, "We have an embassy, but no ambassador. A train station, but no trains. And an airport with no planes."
During the late 1800s as French influence grew in Vietnam they tried to expand into Guangxi province. In Longzhou they set up the first Embassy in Guangxi. Wars were fought along the little great wall to prevent further influence.
In the early 1900s the Guomindang (Chinese Nationalists) built up their influence in this important river port, they even built an airport to help them keep control of the city. In the 1950s and 60s Ho Chi Minh had a small house in Longzhou where he would be able to meet with Chinese leaders.
In 1979 Deng Xiaoping tried to launch a Communist rebellion from Longzhou. Ultimately it failed, and Deng tried again in Baise, where he launched his most famous rebellion. There is a small building where Deng Xiaoping stayed while in Longzhou.
With the development of the Nanyou expressway, Longzhou has been cut out of the main Vietnam-China traderoute and has returned to its backwater status.
Longzhou has a bus service from the provincial capital of Nanning and the journey takes just over 2.5 hours. There are also regular services from Chongzuo and Pingxiang. There are two bus stations - the new station (where buses from Nanning arrive) opposite the museum, and the old station in the centre of town (where buses to Pingxiang arrive).
The nearest train station is at Chongzou, about one and a half hours by bus.
The city is small enough to walk most places. Three wheeled taxis are available and cost ¥2-3 to get anywhere in the town.
- Xiaoliancheng Fort (take bus 2 from the town centre to the 小连城 stop). Excellent views of the town and surrounding countryside from this 'Little Great Wall' fort. On your way up the steep hill, you will also see a large, but very badly vandalised, temple in a cave. ¥30.
- Average rural life in China.
- Du Mountain (独山; Dushan). Hill overlooking the town.
- Longzhou Museum (in the square across from the new bus station). While Longzhou is now a sleepy town it has had quite a history. The Longzhou museum has many artifacts and paintings from the Longzhou Rebellion, which was led by Deng Xiaoping. Some of the staff speak English and may be your best bet for tourist information. A Chinese language leaflet available here includes a tiny map - infuriatingly difficult to use but there does not appear to be any other maps available.
- Ho Chi Minh's house (near the river, walk under the bridge and keep going for about 5-10 minutes, it will be on the right). A museum focused on Ho Chi Minh's time in Longzhou. Includes some interesting photographs but, if you do not read Chinese or Vietnamese, there is little to learn here.
- Zhongshan Park (across the bridge). Worth seeing only if you have an interest in decay, litter and stagnant water. ¥3.
- Former French Consulate (cross the bridge in the centre of town, walk past Zhongshan Park and take the first left, walk for another 5-10 minutes). One of the few remaining remnants of Longzhou's colonial architecture.
- Hua Mountain (Huashan) (boats leave from the pier below the bridge). Boat tours can be arranged to Hua Mountain, a mountain that was painted with giant images.
Noodles and fried rice is available in small restaurants on the street for ¥2-3. One KFC type restaurant is also in town but otherwise a trip to Nanning is needed for Western food.
There are many KTV options otherwise outdoor restaurants offer an interesting atmosphere.
- Longzhou Hotel, 30 Chengbei Rd. The nicest hotel in town.
- Nanning. Long distance buses leave about every hour to the provincial capital. This trip takes just over two and a half hours and allows you access to the rest of the Province and beyond. The cost for this is ¥55 depending on if you are going to Longzhou or heading to Nanning.
- Surrounding villages. Local buses operate services to nearby villages.