Ctrip.com is a Chinese booking site that appears to offer a good “checking point”. I understand it does not always offer the best rates but is a good starting point for checking fares and hotel rates. http://english.ctrip.com/
I learned of this site while planning the trip to China in April, coming across a *great* local travel site from a journalist who has been there for some time: http://daliandalian.com
I wish more people would create this type of website. It offers a lot of insight into the city, tips for travelers, and more. Unfortunately I’m not going to Dalian, but hopefully will find more sites like this about China cities. If all goes according to Hoyle I’ll be *creating* a lot of content about travel tips for a first trip to China, but we’ll see how that goes.