Subject: Re: China - when? how? where?
I would encourage you to consider booking an independent trip, but through a tour operator -- that means that you would have booked in advance with the company your air, arrange to be met at airports and taken to your hotel, your hotels, day tours with an English-speaking guide/driver, rail or air travel within China. I think you would miss a GREAT deal if you tried to just go on your own in a country like China: you wouldn't learn nearly as much as you will with a guide, you would spend much of your time just dealing with transportation and daily logistics.

The way described above is how I did China, and it worked really well.

Also, you want to book with a company that knows the hotels and can assure you of location and cleanliness, and that there will be at least minimal English spoken.

Sally Watkins