I come back from China.
“Here you will find the authentic China. So go to the local restaurant, the local market. Speak Chinese. Explore where the locals live.” It’s exactly right.
I visited Beijing and Shanghai when I was there. Both cities are beautiful but Beijing was my favorite as it was less…westernized.
Things there are very cheap, same to the service. I employed a private guide, only 30 dollars a day, for everything. You can google CCLEC. I can’t make sure whether its site is www.cclec.com or not. If you return to China, You can have a try, my guide said they had service of “Teaching Language” and “Living with local chinese”. If I return to China in future, I will consider to have a try.