who speak Chinese and can negotiate on their own have traveled hard class and dispensed with guides.
Some hosts are willing to help arrange trips within China, particularly for researchers with no Chinese. Many charge relatively high service fees for such assistance and encourage the traveler to stay in more expensive hotels. While some foreign affairs offices are also willing to help teachers, many report that the waiban officials are now so busy that they cannot afford the time. Your students can sometimes be called on to assist you if you are making arrangements yourself.
Host units often sponsor special tours for their foreign students that usually include visits to five or more cities in three weeks. Because students often stay in dormitories, these tours are considerably cheaper than ordinary tourist rates. What they lack in spontaneity and comfort is compensated for in lower costs and opportunities to see sites not always accessible to tourists. In some universities and colleges, researchers and teachers and their families have also been invited to go along on these trips.
Whatever the style or itinerary, try to travel at every opportunity. There is no better way to learn about China and to meet the laobaixing ("old hundred names"), meaning ordinary Chinese people.