Also, I've heard that it can be difficult to transfer money back to your native country - can anyone confirm this?
I lived in Guangdong for about 2 1/2 years, and never had a problem, but I sent money from Hong Kong.
Most of the normal advice applies. try to learn some of the lingo, buy a map that has English and Chinese, try to contact people who live in that city and get their advice. Unless you really like the classics, bring reading material. make sure your work apapers are in order. I loved it. Good luck