My first visit to China would have been a disappointment had I not included Guilin. Shanghai and Beijing are traffic-choked international cities .... pretty much stripped of character. The area around Guilin (not too far from Hong Kong) is simply breathtaking - the iconic scenery of China. Highlight of my visit to Guilin was a cruise on the beautiful Li River to the town of Yangshuo, downstream from Guilin.
One day these traditional bamboo rafts will probably be replaced with PVC pipe (there were already a good number of them on the river....).