As with any country, the greatest barrier to discovery, is language, and without communication we are actually limiting ourselves. If you can’t speak Italian or French when you are in Italy or France, you may find your options limited to the places where your native speaking tour guides go or where you see the very welcome sign informing you that your language is spoken here. The lack of language is a restricting force and prevents anyone venturing much further than the familiar, where their native language can be or has a chance of being spoken and China is among the toughest of countries to really explore without speaking the Chinese language.
Being able to speak and converse in Chinese, with Chinese people, in China opens up a whole new country to you. Areas that are naturally beautiful, areas where Coco-Cola perhaps has not infiltrated society and areas where real Chinese life is lived, with traditions and ways of life, become open to you. Instead of following the Great Wall of China from one end to the other, you could duck off to the left or right, if you see somewhere that interests you, and you won’t be afraid because you can speak with the locals.