Looking for a way to cool down in the stifling tropical heat of Nanning? The MixC shopping centre in central Nanning boasts an indoor ice skating rink that is open to the general public throughout the shopping centre opening hours. I paced it out at 50 metres long and about 20 metres wide. When I visited on a cool winter's day there were around two dozen people on the ice with plenty of room to move around. Expect crowds if you are here on a hot day, which due to the peculiar weather, can occur at any time of year in Nanning, including winter.
Skaters on the rink on level 5 of the MixC shopping centre
The entry price to the rink at the time of writing was 60 RMB and you could skate as long as you liked. You can rest in the lounge next to the rink with your skates on when the ice is being groomed. You can also have lessons on the ice, with several official instructors available for hire. To find the rink, head to Level 5 outside the Parkson store. There are lifts available to Level 5, otherwise take the series of non-adjoining escalators from the entry level.
The MixC can also service your needs for western, high end fashion or to find the western food items that you have been craving for since you left home. Most of the big western fashion brands are represented here, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, H&M, Emporio Armani, Calvin Klein, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few. As a westerner who loathes these luxury item shops it was even more disconcerting (and slightly odd) to see so many Chinese enthusiastically chasing this western consumerism, with barely an Asian face represented among the ten metre high posters of models advertising the goods in the shopping centre. On the plus side, the high ceilings and extravagant 10 metre wide indoor boulevards make for a refreshing change from constantly brushing past people in the claustrophobic corridors at most other shops in Nanning. If you head down to the Ole supermarket on Level B1, you can also get your fix of Captain Crunch, Weet Bix, milk products from Australia and New Zealand, and European chocolate, albeit at hugely inflated prices for these scarce goods. Pizza Hut, Maccas and KFC all have stores here.
Fountain and forecourt of the MixC shopping centre
The MixC shopping centre is on the corner of QingXiu Lu (with Qing roughly pronounced as the first syllable in Chinglish, Xiu as the first syllable in shoehorn, Lu as in the first syllable of the girl's name Lucy) and MinZu DaDao (with Min roughly pronounced as the first syllable in minimum, Zu as the last syllable in animal zoo, Da as in the first syllable of darling, and Dao as in the first syllable of Dow Jones Index). The number of buses that pass this corner are too numerous to count, but include numbers 1, 16, 47, 43, 72 and 94 along QingXiu Lu, with many more running along MinZu DaDao. Walmart is only around 200 metres further down the road along MinZu DaDao. All of the street signs in this area are in Pinyin, so you should be able to find your way around without being able to read Chinese characters. At the time of writing (2015), traffic around this area was chaos due to the construction of the new subway system in Nanning, so expect long travel times until construction has been completed.