Xingtai - Hebei
I have been in this city since January of this year and overall have had a positive experience.
Xingtai is located in Hebei province inbetween Shijiazhuang and Handan, it is quite a small city that is like many places in China experience a rather rapid rate of expansion. There is one train station and from here you can to many places, Beijing (3 hours) Chengdu (24 hours!) and Shijiazhuang (1 hour) are the only ones I have been to.
Regarding travelling, the city is small enough that you can travel almost anywhere by pushbike and this is my main mode of transport. However taxis are very cheap and start at 6 yuan, the most I have ever paid is 20 and that was going from opposite ends.
Food: The city is awash with restaurants, and you can get any chinese food you like - there is some western food available of average quality around the city such as Pizza hut, KFC, Jazz beefsteak, no Mcdonalds as of yet
. The food really has been enjoyable here and also very cheap, there are a number of markets selling street food and I can get lunch for as little as 3 yuan.
Nightlife, as usual there are lots and lots of KTV's there are also a few nightclubs such as Kiss, Ye Xuan, Scotland club and Muse - weekends can be fun though it does wear thin very quickly.
People - The locals have all been extremely friendly and welcoming, yes you do get shouts of hello and stares down the street, but there is a very small amount of western people in Xingtai. The other foreigners have all been great, very welcoming and I have made good friends with Chinese and other teachers.
Misc, the city has a number of nice parks and two temples which are worth seeing though not particularly great. Within easy reach are many places such as Jia Long Xia (sp) which was an amazing mountain range and walk and other local attractions.
To conclude,an enjoyable 6 months have been spent here. The people are friendly and every weekend I am out socialising/ having dinner/ drinking with other foreign teachers and chinese friends, the food and the people have been great.
The city is fairly average though it does seem to grow on you, especially in the summer months, western amenities will be coming (2013 should see Mcdonalds, Walmart, Tesco and H&M).
Hopefully this will help some people moving to Xingtai as the only information I could find on the internet was that Xingtai was famous for folk music...