Heze is a city in Shandong. It is an off the beaten track destination, where foreigners are an extreme rarity. Many people in Heze have never seen a foreigner. The local dialect is more widely spoken than standard Mandarin. Native Chinese speakers typically have no trouble with the dialect, as it is similar to the Beijing dialect, but it can prove challenging for non-native Chinese speakers.
Heze has a long distance bus station and a train station.
It is possible to get around the city by bus, but they shut down on major holidays such as during the Chinese New Year. Cab rides are very inexpensive - about 10 yuan will get you most places in town. If you are going to one of the surrounding villages, cab rides are often around 150 yuan. It is also possible to get around much of the city by walking.
Dumplings are one of the specialties of northeast China, and are common in Heze. Heze also has a surprising number of Sichuan restaurants.
Jinhai Business Hotel (金海商务兵官) Tel: 0530-5698899. Address: #89 West Zhonghua Road (中华西路89号（体育场西180米路北）). Rooms are a little old, but cost only 80 yuan a night, and have in-room heaters (especially useful during the cold winters).