My dad has been a China nut since he spent time in Taiwan during the mid 60s. He got to go to the mainland for the first time in 1980, and has been back 25+ times on various academic, business, and leisure trips. I grew up watching him curate the hundreds of slides he shot while in country. Most of his friends when I was a child were from China. I can't count the number of Chinese New Years parties we attended as a family - we would be the only non-chinese family there. Even though he's of eurpean-mutt heritage genetically... I've always felt like he was Chinese at heart.
I've been a few times as an adult. I love it there. It's an itch I have to scratch every couple of years.