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Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

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Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

We are heading to Thailand for the main part of our Christmas trip but want to spend a couple days in Shainghai - our 16 year old b/g twins really want to see that city!. I think we can handle the colder temperatures in Shanghai but wondering if anyone has toured Beijing in late December? Is it worth taking the high speed train to Beijing for 2 days to see the highlights - Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square??? I know it could be in the 30's F, but since we are in China (Shainghai), should we make the effort w/ kids - who knows when/if we will get back there with them.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

Only you can tell if it is worth it for you. Certainly Beijing has a lot more tourist attractions than Shanghai. You should add the Temple of Heaven to your list of the must see attractions.

Beijing, China
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2. Re: Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

...and drop Summer Palace if you only have two days. I'm assuming you mean two complete full days. Normally, we'd recommend four days for the main attractions as a minimum to be comfortable.

Beijing, China
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3. Re: Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

Not worth the detour up there for only 2 days. Also, late December in Beijing is bitterly cold if you're not used to it. Could be 15-20 degrees F with a vicious wind. There's also the matter of getting Chinese visas if you try to do both cities (unless you're from Singapore, Japan, or one of a very few other countries that don't need visas for short stays). By your use of the Fahrenheit temperature scale, I'll assume you are from the USA--in which case Chinese visas are quite pricey. If you keep the stopover to just Shanghai as your only airport in China, you can have up to 72 hours visa-free.

Independence, Kansas
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4. Re: Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

Just my opinion... My wife is from near Beijing so most of this is from her and our travels.

Shanghai has taller and more impressive modern buildings. Beijing has several interesting buildings, CCTV building comes to mind... I travel around Beijing mostly for the older history.

Forbidden City might be less crowded this time of year. And it has places out of the wind.

Shanghai has the Oriental Pearl TV tower and The Bund.

We went to the Great Wall in April one year. It was snowing and there's not much of a place to get out of the wind. Even the tunnel to catch the cable car back down had people shivering.

If you don't get to Beijing, you can next time. If it wasn't for airline prices, I'd be there more often.

Disclaimer: It's been a few years since I was in Shanghai. It is a modern city and ever-changing.

Suffolk, United...
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5. Re: Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

Just a thought and appreciate your comment about when and ever you will get back there, but what's the attraction of Shanghai for your kids? It's a really interesting city but (I can't speak about the weather in December) Beijing has a number of Classical Chinese attractions highlighted by other contributors. I just wonder whether it's worth thinking about combining Thailand with Hong Kong this trip, and then planning a Chinese trip later (money allowing!) it would be a shame to miss the Great Wall which has to be one of the great attractions of visiting Beijing. If you do go ahead with a trip just to Shanghai it might be worth considering the high speed train to Suzhou which is an interesting day out and a contrast to Shanghai. Have a great time

6. Re: Touring Beijing Dec. 21-23rd - is it worth making the effort

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