Mist of Pandaria is absolutely beautiful. This is one of the areas where the game truly shines. The world is an amazing tribute to Asia itself and holds plenty of secret locations and treasures for all to enjoy. Zones like the Jade Forest and Vale of the Eternal Blossoms truly stand out as some of the most beautiful zones in the game. The idea that the Horde and Alliance have brought their war here to Pandaria makes for a quality story line and really does bring the player into the new landscape with purpose.
The monsters and bosses all have nifty new animations and the instances while sometimes short, look fantastic. The Pandarians themselves may have a cartoon look that turns off some, but I found as I played through more of the game I really enjoyed them (keep in mind they did exist long before Kung Fu Panda). The character and story behind the race adds to the feel of the continent and theme of the expansion. The other creatures I found to be really interesting were the Sha. Not only is the story fascinating to follow, but the artwork of these evil creatures created by imbalance and anger was a sight to behold.
The artwork, zones, story, and philosophy behind Pandaria really are some of its strongest points. I found it much more playable than Cataclysm just based on the look and feel of the expansion alone. The art and writing teams at Blizzard have a lot to be proud of with this expansion. The only downside is that compared to all the rest of WoW, the Pandaren and the Pandaria zones stand out like sore (beautiful) thumbs when compared to the dated visuals of the other areas. A model revamp for all races is due, and I wonder what other facelifts the game could be in line for.