Because I have to tell courts about my non-availability 6 months in advance, I have to plan holidays well ahead so it's now time to consider next summers holiday, which with the two remaining teenagers who want to join us, decided will be China... staying in Shanghai and Beijing for a week each.
Now, I am proper excited at this one as I've been aching to go to China most of my life, and though this won't quite be the trip I've long dreamt of (my dream is a 3 month guided tour around the major cities and historical sites) this 2-week trip will hopefully give both me a my wife a taster to whet our appetite to invest in a bigger exploration in the future. My plan is to stay centrally both cities, I'm not hiring a car and as a family we are all happy to use the subways. We are planning to do 3 days out and about as family in each location with guides and then leave the teens to decide whether they want to join us in other days or just "hang out" as 'tis the millennial phraseology!
SHANGHAI... Most likely redeeming Marriott points, there are lots of options here. The only one we can't choose is the JW at Tomorrow Sq as my wife has a thing about heights and that hotel starting at the 32nd floor would make her ill. An exec lounge is a must, teenagers love being able to pop in and out of it to get stuff, or just get out of each others way. We are planning to visit Yu Garden, the Bund and Shanghai Disney (teens still love the mouse!), but there must be much more to see. We are also planning to have a guide for a couple of days, can anyone recommend one?
BEIJING... In terms of location, this ones easier, the Cat3 Renaissance Wangfujing appears to be far better located than either the JW or the City Wall Marriott, so I think we will be staying there, but I'm happy to consider any other suggestions. We intend to visit the Great Wall so can anyone recommend a good day-visit wall tour from Beijing? Whilst in Beijing we would intend to visit the Forbidden Palace and Tianamen Sq, but does anyone have other suggestions? Again we intend to use a local private guide for a couple of days, can anyone recommend one?
SO, Summer in China... tell me everything you know