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The old town is a must place to see. Go to Shangri-La.
Shanghai is like any big city and it feels too Western. The old city and Yuyuan Gardens is touristy but beautiful and the area across the water from the Bund is beautiful. There is not much to do here, so after three days I was ready to move on.
Hangzhou is an absolutely beautiful city. I took it as a 4 day trip out of Shanghai where I was studying and fell in love.
Wudang Shan (Wudang Mountain), the famous Taoist mountain, is close to Wuhan. Xiang Fan is a cool stopover to get to the mountain, about an hour away.
For Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie is a fine location. For the rest of what you'd go to Zhangjiajie for (Golden Whip Stream nature hike; Yellow Dragon Caves; Baofeng Lake; and of course the Avatar-movie-type mountains, including "Hallelujah Mountain," stay in Wulingyuan. This is China, so don't expect Western standards to apply, but enjoy the adventure. There's a lot to do and see!
Shenzhen … It's no tourist city unless you are into shopping. It is a new town that did not exist twenty-five years ago. For most people it's a place to stay en route for Hong Kong. Chinese tourists visit the Windows on the World theme park which has miniatures or such world icons as the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Sydney Opera House, and has an associated commercial bar street attached to it.
Guiyang … Visit Gianling Park -- the tame rhesus monkeys are worth the trip alone, but hold onto your food if you don't want the monkeys to steal it.
Xi'an … An ancient city worth seeing! The lifelike terra-cotta soldier from the Qin dynasty is amazing. However, air quality in this city is terrible.
Chengdu … I would advise you to go on the 6 day horse riding trek to Songpan in the north of Sichuan province.
Suzhou … It's quite different from other Jiangsu cities.
Peking … Great city, loads to see, forget about Mao's tomb, 3 odd hours to queue and no backpacks / water bottles allowed. The Wall is amazing, but Ming tomb's a waste of time. Tianeman Square, the Forbidden City, the Buddist temples, and the parks are great and the locals are very friendly. A major problem is language, you must have English - Mandarin cards or else... A funny story is an American tourist who used the box of matches from the hotel. The taxi took him to the match factory! Otherwise great. Train travel is very easy - use SEAT61.com, a great website about train travel.


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