After a lot of hemming and hawing which caused me to miss out on the best flight options, I found a pretty good second best itinerary to Beijing for next year. I'll depart shortly after New Year's - Chinese - sorry, I traveled during that holiday in 1980 and learned my lesson - and will return after the first week in March. This ought to give me enough time to do work on my Mandarin chops and do some serious traveling as well. I'm already planning on going to Kunming - I haven't been there since the total eclipse of the sun in 1980, and I have to make that pilgrimage for a number of reasons - and I have a friend who is a Dean at a college in Yili, Xinjiang. I mean, Xinjiang - how cool is that?
There's a bunch of other places I'd like to see that I've never visited...Lijiang, Kaifeng, Yantai, Qingdao...and old favorites I'd love to visit again (I really do heart Chengdu).
Given that I'm flying in and out of Beijing, am already committed to Kunming and will make a serious effort to go to Yili, does anyone have any suggestions?