Our 16-day trip to China was amazing. We saw so many sites that you can't see anywhere else. Our itinerary was jam-packed and I felt like we made great use of our time. Our travel company was a big part of that; our driver was always ready to pick us up, and our guides always had our attraction and transportation tickets ready to go. The guides were informative, friendly, and added a great deal to the experience. You really can't go to China without them unless you speak Mandarin yourself. We also appreciated that the travel company people were flexible and tried to work in last-minute additions as best they could.
There were many highlights: the Bird's Nest and Water Cube at night, walking on the Great Wall, 798 Art District in Beijing, the Longmen Grottoes, the terra cotta warriors, Chengdu Panda Center, eating incendiary hot pot at a retro-Communist-themed restaurant, the rice terraces at Longsheng, the spectacular 600-performer show on the riverbank in Yangshuo, hiking all over Yellow Mountain, and the incredible architecture of Shanghai.
I would go to fewer temples and spend more time in 798 Art District. I might skip Tiananmen Square – there's really nothing going on there. I'd like to have a little more shopping time too.
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