Visiting China with children and not going to Beijing would be wrong. Visiting Beijing and not going to see the Temple of Heaven would be silly.
It seemed like a good idea to be in Beijing for the May 1st holiday until I went looking for accommodation. The YHA/Hosteling International hostel I’d chosen for us was full. All the hostels that had been recommended to us by other travelers were full. It was too late to change our flights, we needed somewhere to stay. I sat for an hour reading through descriptions of other budget hostels and hotels and eventually opted for the Emperor Guesthouse in the Qianmen area in central Beijing.
The guesthouse was just OK but the staff were lovely and the central location was excellent for travelers getting their bearings in a new city. This was the view from outside our door: old-style hutong buildings and more tourist kitsch than anyone could ever need. It was a good place to start our visit to this, the third Imperial City we’d been in since leaving Seattle.