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Sightseeing in Beijing, Xian, Guilin, questions...

Hi Everyone (anyone) My ex-wife and adult daughter are visiting me this Oct and we're going to travel around China. She has some questions that I can't answer, so I thought, perhaps others within the InterNations community could opine on some of the questions she has posed. Thanks in advance for any advice!:

We want to go the The Great Wall at Mutianyu. Is that the only thing we should plan for that day? When I look at tours that American and Australian companies put together, they usually pack in another activity or two on the day they go to the Wall. But some of it is “drive by” stuff like seeing the Bird Nest and the Olympic Green.

Then we leave for Xian for two nights. We are unsure whether to take a plane or take the bullet train. The bullet train sound like it would me more fun. We thought it would be an interesting experience even if we don’t catch a lot of the country side. Whether we fly or train to Xian, there might be something we can do that morning. The train leaves at 2pm. I haven’t checked the flight schedules yet but if we took something in the mid/late afternoon, we could take advantage of a half day tour in Beijing in the morning before heading to the airport.early morning, and then time in the City.

Then we go to Guilin (2 nights) and Yangshuo (3 nights). We could arrive in Guilin to see the sites I’m interested in the day we arrive. Then the question is should we go to Longsheng (the rice paddies). It’s a full day trip (4 hours of driving round trip) with a visit to local villages, hiking on the paddies, etc. We won’t be there during the prettiest time of year as they will have already harvested. It will be golden brown. I put a note on Trip Advisors and half the people said its still worth doing and others said it wasn’t. So I’m at a loss.

We’ll take the boat on the Li River to Yangshuo and then have two days to play there – bike riding, river rafting, etc. (and recovering from the pace of former days!!)

Then we return to Beijing for 2 nights. The day we travel back will be a travel day. There won’t be time to do much in Beijing except maybe a nice dinner. I must have Peking Duck. I’ve read that Da Dong in Jinbao Palace is amazing. Worth going to?
Then we have one more full day before we fly home. And there’s so much I want to see: The Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen and a Hutong Tour. How do we fit this all in?

We’ve already made all our hotel reservations. I have been in touch with a few local Chinese agencies (China Culture Tour, China Educational Tours, and China Highlights – have you heard of any of these?)

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