By far the best trip of 2011 was the family trip to China. You know it leaves an impression when our 13 year olds says "I want to go back". Some tips if you are planning to go:
1. Skip the Tourist version of the Great Wall and head out to the sections that are still in original form. We found a guide in the back of a hotel magazine and spent 5 hours on the wall without seeing another person. Simply the best day of 2011.
2. Travel Overnight by Train. - The entire experience from the train stations to the actual ride was well worth it.
3. Visit cities other than the big ones. I'm lucky enough to have visited a huge swatch of the country and all though the big cities are fun, there is lot's of adventure throughout the country.
4. Eat from one of the local street stalls. As Mary says, if it's hot it won't kill you. The point is it's cheap and tasty. Remember I said local and not tourist. Avoid the tourist stalls. As always overpriced and bland or just plain stupid - Snake on a stick for example.
5. Go to China - Well first get to know your own country first, but after that go to China. You have grown up with a view of China in your head. A trip there will alter that view forever. And I mean in a really positive way.