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Shanghai for 5 days in November

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I am headed to Shanghai in mid-November for my first China business trip and thought I would go five days early to do some touring. Have been reading shanghainese(?) postings and getting some great ideas there. One of the suggestions was to wait and book day trips when I get there so anything to look for or avoid? Is it better to book through the hotel? I will be by myself (female and 50s) and would probably take one day low key to recover, one day to tour Shanghai, and the other days to visit some of the outlying water towns and gardens. Noticed that Grey Line Tours have several packages and has anyone taken those and, if so, your thoughts? My company is paying for my airfare so don't need to book a package from Seattle but if there are land packages anyone has done and enjoyed, that would be great. Also have a gazillion Marriott points so can anyone recommend which of the Marriott properties would be located best to use as home base? Just a little anxious as 1) just found out I am going and don't have lots of time to research, and 2) have managed my way around Europe on independent travel but this seems really intimidating!

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