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Where to stay in Beijing

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Its a long way off but may as well get started. :). We plan on 4 days in Beijing in Nov. of 2016 before taking a cruise from Tianjin so the big question is where to stay in Beijing? It seems huge and has a bunch of areas so I am at a loss as to where to start. We want something centrally located to say a downtown area with access to shops, restaurants, etc. We also want to see the Great wall of course and a nice cultural show too. We are going to see the Shen Yun performing troupe in about 6 weeks here in the Chicago area so something like that with cultural dancing would be great. Any help please!!

Thank you. Larry.

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    Many tourists stay along Wangfujing Dajie, which IIRC has a string of Western-style hotels and westernized restaurants. I preferred staying in a siheyuan (traditional courtyard building) in the hutong of the "back lakes" area north of the Drum Tower. Sorry, but I don't know what the current options are.

    "We plan on 4 days in Beijing"

    If you can, you might want to add at least 2 days to that -- there is SO much to see in Beijing! You might want to consult some good guidebooks (look for those with which Peter Neville-Hadley was involved) and make sure you have sufficient time to see the things you want to see and experience in this fascinating city.

    "We also want to see the Great wall"

    You have several options, and there is no lack of debate about which part(s) are best. If you have only 4 days, I'll make a case for Badaling, which is closest and very easy to reach by public transportation. Many people will say Mutianyu is preferable; I didn't go there and so can't compare.

    "We also want to see ... a nice cultural show too"

    If choosing just one, my recommendation would be to see a performance of Beijing Opera at the Huguang Guildhall -- JMO. Beijing Opera probably won't hit any western ears as particularly melodic (to say the least!), but it is interesting, IMO, and I thought the Huguang Guild Hall well worth seeing.

    If you haven't already done so, you might want to consult my trip report. It's a LONG report, and I spent time in Beijing at both the beginning and end of my time in China, but it's searchable, so you should be able to find my comments on Beijing with reasonable ease.

    One last thing: Be sure you give due consideration to Beijing's pollution. Consult your physicians beforehand and take appropriate steps to ensure your health on the face of this rather daunting problem.

    It is a fascinating city -- enjoy!

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    Thank you. That is what I was hoping for.

    Four days is all we have as we are taking an 11 day cruise si that will have ti do.

    I was looking at hotels and saw the area Wangfujing so now I know thats pretty good. :).

    Good idea about the pollution issue and yes I will see my MD's advice. I suppose getting an inhaler will be in order and also getting some sort of masks.

    I will look at your TR and ask if I have any other concerns.

    Happy New Year!

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