I am planning a trip in March for 10 days to visit our son in Suzhou. I have 3 questions:
1) Our plan is to stay in Beijing for 3 days (can't travel all the way to China without seeing the Great Wall at least) and Shanghai for 2 days. The rest of the time will be spent in Suzhou. We will either fly into Beijing and leave from Shanghai or vice versa. For those of you who know China, is there an advantage to seeing either Beijing or Shanghai first? I'd consider making the decision even if it's just for superior ease of departure from either city to the airport via transit.
2) Another question is about advice I've read on TA regarding not booking a hotel for more than a day to give you the option to either leave if it's not what you expected or bargain for a reduction in the posted rate. As a Canadian, this sounds mental to me. Any advice?
3) Any suggestions for avoiding MSG? I have a severe allergy (epi-pen required) and I've found one B&B in Beijing that advertises gluten and MSG-free food prepared on site. Everything else I've read suggests having "No MSG" written in Chinese characters to show at restaurants. I've also read that MSG in North America and MSG in China is not the same. Any advice?
Thanks in advance to anyone who can reply to any of these questions and offer advice. It's going to be an amazing trip but it's pretty humbling to see how very inexperienced I am, preparing to travel to China vs. my previous travels.