Beijing, we thought, was a lot like Delhi. Wide roads, important looking government buildings, taxi drivers looking for a reason to fleece you, and lots and lots of cultural history. We also took a day trip to Mutianyu to see the Great Wall, which was pretty darn impressive for a 2000 year old structure. And then Shanghai felt a lot like Hong Kong or Mumbai - chaotic, unplanned, unstructured, vibrant, more cosmopolitan, casual. A sort of Mumbai from the future (in terms of infrastructure and cleanliness). On our last weekend, we visited an ancient Chinese water village in Xitang. At first, we were unsure of what to expect in the Chinese countryside, but it turned out quite charming and quaint, even though a bit touristy.
Turned out the language wasn't such a big issue after all. Our little translator K did a fantastic job! :)