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Guangxi Province, 230km (143 miles) S of Nanning

Unfortunately Pingxiang has traditionally been a town that is passed through, not a place where people often choose to stay. Even though it is surrounded by spectacular karst scenery on all sides, development for tourism is only just now getting underway. Guangdong merchants were originally drawn here in the mid-1800s by the booming opium trade, and there followed a number of Miao suppressions that all but wiped out the original inhabitants. The recently completed Nan You highway, which brings the 230km (143-mile) trip from Nanning down to less than 3 hours, should help boost its popularity, although at the moment there are still many more soldiers and policemen than tourists.