|Subject: Re: Help with Beijing...|
We thoroughly enjoyed Beijing but were there in the Spring. We did the usual tourist sites, The Temple of Heaven, The Summer Palace, The Imperial Palace, Tiananmen Square plus a visit to a family in the fast disappearing Hutongs. The Beijing Opera is a spectacle of juggling acrobatics and of course singing! At one hour the performance is just about right for our Western ears. And last but not least the Beijing Acrobats.
We had fabulous food in some unprepossessing places but that was due to Jasmine, the wonderful woman (Chinese now living in Sacramento) who took us there as part of a very small group. When the tour ended we stayed on for some independent travel and I must say the food wasn't nearly as good and everything a little more difficult, including interacting with the local people.
We also did a wonderful weekend hike on the Great Wall with William Lindsay, staying at his farm with his wife Qi, their son and a few others. William is the first person to walk the length of the Wall and is now considered quite an expert and devotes his time and energy to it's preservation. Were I to go again I would allow 5 days for the city.
As I said we went in the Spring, Spring and Fall being the best times to visit Beijing. I looked up a the weather for you in December: "December to March The average minimum temperature is -5 C°, and the average maximum is 0 C°. However, the temperature can fall to as low as -20 C° in the winter"
Perhaps someone else had been there in winter and will be able to clue you in on the attractions at that time of year. There are many photos and information on our website. You will find the people in Beijing and in fact anywhere in China very friendly and helpful given the communication problem is you don't speak the language, we felt very safe at all times wherever we went. We walked (and ballroom danced )the streets of Beijing late at night without the safety blanket of Jasmine and never had a moments unease.
Regards, Sue in Waterloo ON