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A Guide To Visiting Mingshi Scenic Area: Daxin, Chongzuo, Guangxi

The Nanning Mingshi Scenic Area is an A level scenic spot in the southern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China. Surrounded by mountains and rivers and covering an area of 20 square kilometers, it’s located in Mingshi Village of Daxin County. With scenic river routes, bike trails, and the nearby Detian Waterfall, it’s an idyllic travel getaway in China that feels similar to the northern Guangxi karst city Yangshuo.

Here’s a complete guide for visiting the Mingshi Scenic Area, based on my 4 day solo trip to the Mingshi Scenic Area in January 2023. I’ve included advice on how to get to Mingshi Village, the best things to do and see, and frequently asked questions I received about traveling here.

  1. When To Visit the Mingshi Village Scenic Area
  2. How To Get To The Mingshi Scenic Area
  3. Top Things to Do in the Mingshi Scenic Area
    1. 1. Biking Around Mingshi
    2. 2. Visit the Official Mingshi Scenic Area
    3. 3. Detian Transnational Waterfall
  4. Where To Stay / Hotels Around the Mingshi Scenic Area
    1. 1. Kongshan Xiaozhu Hotel (大新孔山小筑酒店)
    2. 2. Mingshi Mountain Villa (明仕山庄)
    3. Other hotel recommendations: Lost in Nature
  5. Frequently Asked Questions For Visiting the Mingshi Scenic Area

When To Visit the Mingshi Village Scenic Area

The best time to visit is March to May and then September to November to avoid the high summer season, but still visit during rainy season when the land is a lush green. However, I visited in the last week of January 2023 and had a fantastic trip. The weather is mild during the winter, and I was able to enjoy some warm sunny days in the 60-70s.

P.S. All my photos were taken with my trusty tripod 😉

How To Get To The Mingshi Scenic Area

Most people will transit through Nanning (南宁), which is the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is a large, modern city with many transportation options including an airport, trains, buses, and taxis. The Mingshi Scenic Area is about 200 km away from Nanning (around a 2.5 hour drive).

  • Address: Mingshi Village, Daxin County, Chongzuo City, Guangxi
  • Search in Chinese: Ming Shi Tian Yuan 明仕田园
By BusYou can take a bus from Nanning Xixiangtang Bus Station to Daxin County. Then take the tourist bus line Daxin-Mingshi-Detian to Mingshi Scenic Area.
By CarTake a taxi or car from Nanning directly to the Mingshi Scenic Area. You can also rent a car yourself.
By TrainThere are train stations in both Nanning, and in Chongzuo (which is much closer to the Scenic Area). If you’re already coming in by train, I recommend going to the Chongzuo Airport.

My Route: I flew in to the Nanning Wuxu International Airport, and just ordered a Didi (a taxi) to take me to the Mingshi Scenic Spot directly. This was costly (700 RMB for a 2.5 hour drive), but it was the most convenient and efficient route in my opinion, since I wasn’t with a tour group or renting a car.

I considered taking a train from Nanning to Chongzuo first, then a taxi from there to cut down costs. However, I would have spent way more time doing this. The airport is already west of the Nanning city, so I would have to take a taxi from the airport back towards Nanning city to the train station (40 minutes + 120 RMB), then take the train to Chongzuo (50 minutes + 80 RMB), then take a taxi to Mingshi (1 hour 15 minutes + 215 RMB).

In the end it wouldn’t have saved much money for me and would have added more logistics with train times! But choose the best option for you based on how much time you have and your budget.

Top Things to Do in the Mingshi Scenic Area

Mingshi Area is a paradise for nature-lovers, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts! I feel it’s less commercial and built up than Yangshuo, but still offers amazing scenic options whether you’re looking to go biking, take photos, go on a boat ride, or just stroll and enjoy the scenery. The whole area, including restaurants, shops, and biking paths is considered the “Mingshi Village” that you can visit for free.

1. Biking Around Mingshi

The whole area has been paved with bike routes that wind through the mountains and along the river side! There are many different routes that are conveniently labeled with signs. This is the number one thing to do here in my opinion!

Renting a bike: Most hotels will have an option to rent a bike to you. I stayed at the Mingshi Mountain Resort, and rented a bike from them (it was free to rent and included in my stay).

I went on a nice 14 km ride around the area – I was out for around 2-3 hours actually with the time I took to stop, take photos, or walk around a little!

2. Visit the Official Mingshi Scenic Area

There is an Official Scenic Area that you can pay to enter. As part of my stay at the Mingshi Mountain Resort, I could enter this area for free. It has some lovely scenic spots to take photos at, and they offer nightly shows.

• Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
• Entrance Fee: CNY 80

It was really pretty and I loved taking photos here! However, if it wasn’t included in my hotel stay, I’m not sure I would have paid to directly come here. There are so many beautiful scenic spots along the biking paths.

3. Detian Transnational Waterfall

The Detian Transnational Waterfall is the largest waterfall spanning two countries in Asia, and is right on the border of China and Vietnam. Located just 40 minutes drive from the Mingshi Scenic Area, it’s a popular site to visit when staying in this area (in fact, it’s probably the biggest reason people come to Mingshi).

Read my full Guide To Visiting Detian Waterfall in Guangxi for more details.

Where To Stay / Hotels Around the Mingshi Scenic Area

There are many hotel options you can find in the Mingshi Scenic Area. I stayed in two different hotels, just to have some variety. It depends on your budget and how much you want to spend. I always use Trip.com and their app to book my hotels in China, as it accepts WeChat and Alipay (and other payment forms as well) and their customer service is really great for helping me book as a foreigner.

The two hotels I stayed in were just a 10 minute walk from each other, and both good choices depending on your budget. The Kongshan Xiaozhu Hotel is smaller and a cheaper price, but had gorgeous panoramic windows in some of their rooms. The Mingshi Mountain Hotel was a little more expensive, but included more in amenities and options and is better on a whole for a more convenient and inclusive experience (also better if you have kids.)

1. Kongshan Xiaozhu Hotel (大新孔山小筑酒店)

I stayed here for 2 nights and it was exactly what I was looking for price and location wise. Usually when I travel if I know I’ll be out of the room most of the time, I don’t worry about shooting for the priciest hotel. But what pushed me to book this hotel over others at a similar price point was that some of the rooms had a panoramic window view of the mountains outside, and a nice hotel roof terrace! Clean bathroom and western toilet.

It was a great location for the Mingshi Scenic Area, and about 45 min drive from the Detian Waterfall area. The hotel helped me arrange a driver to take me to Detian and were very friendly. There are several local restaurants around to eat at, plus a Vietnamese coffee shop just 5 minutes walk away. Only downside is the walls are pretty thin and you can hear other people. But overall, it was clean, a good price, and convenient for my travels in Mingshi.

Perfect for: Solo travelers or couple, budget friendly travel

2. Mingshi Mountain Villa (明仕山庄)

I stayed 2 nights at the Mingshi Mountain Village. The amenities were very nice, as well as the service. I rented a bike from the hotel one day (free with your stay) and had a great time exploring the surrounding bike paths. The hotel staff were also great in helping me arrange a car to take me to the Nanning Airport when I was leaving. I also liked that I could go inside the Scenic Area for free with my room card – it was great for evening walks and for the shows held there at night. I didn’t try the pool, but you need to pay extra for it anyways. The breakfast is nice, and what you’d usually find for a Chinese international hotel. There was coffee and milk which was surprising to me. Overall, it was a good stay and I would stay here again.

Perfect for: Families, a more inclusive experience and amenities

Other hotel recommendations: Lost in Nature

Frequently Asked Questions For Visiting the Mingshi Scenic Area

A: Are there places to eat in the area?

Yes, along the main road in the Mingshi Scenic Are there is a cluster of shops, restaurants, and even a Vietnamese coffee shop which was a great surprise! You’ll have plenty of options for food. This is all local Chinese food, of course.

Q: Is it easy to public transportation within the area?

A: In a short answer, no. The Mingshi Scenic Area and Detian waterfall are in a rural part of Guangxi, and there aren’t many public transportation options around. In fact, it’s really difficult to get taxis or call a Didi here (I tried calling a Didi several times or scheduling a time for later in the day and no one picked up).

If you’re not already part of a tour with a driver or bus, the best option is to have your hotel help you arrange a car to drive you for the day, as most hotels will have contacts with local drivers. I arranged for one driver to take me round trip to the waterfalls, and another driver took me from the Mingshi Scenic area to the Nanning Airport.

Q: Is it easy to travel here alone? I want to go but not with a tour group!

Yes it is possible to travel alone here like I did! Just be prepared to pay for the expense of private transportation. I would not say it’s the easiest, cheapest, or most convenient solo trip I’ve done in China, but it was very worth it to me.

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