If you really, really want to try to see the real China, you must come to Chongqing. It's literally been the capitol of China during WWII, and it continues to be a boomtown thanks to its place on the Yangtze River. It's a city of great Chinese artists, major politicians, and fantastic food. Famous hot pot, famous chicken, famous for its spicy Sichuan food, period. A city of 10 million forecasted to double in population in 13 years, it really is like no place else on Earth.