If you visit China and decide to take a film camera, have your photos developed in China. The x-ray machines will kill your photos. I had 13 rolls of film destroyed. They say the machines are film safe, but this is a lie. Some places may let you have it hand inspected, but the chances are slim. Usually they require you to have special paperwork. However, the only way to get the paperwork is if you speak Chinese and know how the system works.
Digital is the way to go. Buy yourself a high quality digital camera. I like Casio Exlim. For its size and processing speed, it's the best compact camera on the market. I took this camera to Europe and fell in love with it.
Having your photos developed in China is just like having it done anywhere else, so no need to fear. You will actually save money in the long run and will not loose all your vacation images.