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Advice for woman on her own in Beijing

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My husband and I will be going to Beijing soon (April). He will be tied up with meetings during the day., the first week we are in China. I can either just hang out in the hotel or try to manage on my own.

We will be taking some time once he gets finished with his work week but much of that time is not going to be in Beijing.

We will be staying out near the airport (not negotiable - It is where the meetings are being held). How difficult would it be for me see things in Beijing? I am not young but not elderly either. I have read that the subway signage is in English. My command of Chinese is non-existent. (I can say hello, goodbye, please, thank you and I do not know how to speak Chinese) I cannot read anything written in Chinese and am feeling a bit intimidated.

I have managed Rome, Amiens France and Brugge, Belgium on my own (again DH was there on business). But there I had some French in HS and college and I knew I could read signs and make myself understood.

I would appreciate specific suggestions.

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