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China itinerary

Hi everyone,
I'm going to China with a friend in July and welcome any feedback or information-thoughts, input, must sees, etc. (I know some of you will respond that I'm packing too much into this trip :) but that's how i've traveled in Europe etc and I while I jam a lot into a shorter amount of time, it works for me). Also, I was in China a while back, and my father travels there a LOT for business so I have some familiarity, and some resources there (i.e. a driver in shanghai). Here's my itinerary:
Hong Kong-2 days
Beijing- 3 days (full, arriving evening before)
Xian- 1 day (with overnight)
Shangahi-3 full days, leaving midday on the 4th day.

My current plan is to do the main sights in and around Beijing, (ie forbidden city, great wall, summer palace), and I'd like to take one of my Shanghai days and take a train to a water village, Suzhou, or Hangzhou/west lake (or another place, I'm open, and would love recommendations on this day trip).

Another concern is the weather. I know July isn't an ideal time to go, but that's what works with both of our schedules. I keep reading hot, humid, rainy. How rainy does it usually get, are we talking torrential downpour? Any information on typical weather would be much appreciated.

Looking forward to your advice!!
Thanks,
Daniella

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