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Hong Kong and ? for 8 days in April

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A few days ago I found a RT ticket from LAX to Hong Kong for under $600 on United, all in. The fares go through the end of April and were also showing on Air Canada and Delta. I think they are still available if anyone is interested. Too good to pass up, right?

My mother and I reserved two tickets for mid April and have to decide by Friday what to do. Right now we are flying into HKG and out of Shanghai 8 days later. I wanted to see Shanghai because I visited Hong Kong and Beijing in 1999 (though I've not been back since) and wanted to see somewhere new. She has never been to China.

So, I'm trying to figure out how best to maximize our time. Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai? Or just Hong Kong and Shanghai? I know the first option would be rushed, but might be worth it? On the other hand, mom is concerned about pollution in Beijing (though I've read Shanghai isn't much better) and willing to forgo it.

Oh, one advantage to Shanghai is that the flight home to LAX is non-stop, only 11.5 hours and on a nice new 787. From Beijing it's much longer and through SFO on UA's ancient 747s.

Looking for input on the best way to use our time.

Thanks!

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