Stay in a hu tong if you want to feel like you’re in proper olden China. They are pretty great.
When you visit the great wall, go to mutianyu not badaling. Badaling is shit and overcrowded. Mutianyu is good and slightly less overcrowded, plus it has a metal toboggan thing so you can slide down the wall after.
I did the acrobat show because I’m not in Chinese opera. I enjoyed that as long as I didn’t think too much about the gruelly training the performers went through. I also had peking duck that night which was a disappointment (the plum sauce wasn’t the same as what you get the UK).
Be prepared to do a lot of fucking around on the subway. And a lot of walking between stations on the subway too. Going anywhere seemed to take ages and left us knackered.
Thought the Forbidden City could have used a few more trees TBH but apparently that’s a no-no cos of the feng shui.
Also, consider taking a mask. The air can be rank. We arrived and were instantly hit with colds/sore throats etc. Not pleasant.