I made it to Beijing after the longest flight of my life - 12 hours - which got longer when our United flight was delayed 2.5 hours by mechanical problems. On the flight, I met most of our 15-person group and instantly liked our group leader, Nancy Redway, the owner of Imagine Tours, based in Davis, California. Very quick "check out" of Beijing Airport and our private bus took us through the rush hour traffic to our hotel, an hour's drive. Rush hour is no joke in a city of 9 million people. I slept a solid 8 hours at our hotel Guanghzou Hotel (http://www.bjgzds.com.cn)
Biggest danger in Beijing, besides smog, crazy traffic and cigarette smoke in the hotel, is the dumplings! They were served at our breakfast buffet.I could live on these fattening treats.