We took the trip in 2007 so there are some differences in the itinerary.
I don't know if the Bangkok extension was offerred then, but,. if it was, we had been to Thailnd and did not take it.
We did not do the Beijing opera. Those that went had mixed reviews.
The Shanghai by night with dinner was not offered.
Suzhou with lunch. I don't even rememeber the lunch, but the train ride, canals, gardens and market were memorable and worth seeing. I know we had luch, but I just don't remember it.
Tang Dynasty Cultural Show & Dinner. Everyone went and enjoyed it. Our table was right in front, at the stage. Our trip was only 14 people, yes this was Grand Circle not OAT.
Yao Shan Tea Garden with Lunch. Not enough wanted to go so it was cancelled. We had already decided to go to see the Reed Flute caves, which we had read about. The lighting was overdramatic, but the caves were definitely worth seeing. The taxi and the admission was less than $20 for the two of us, if I remember correctly, with a good tip.
Kowloon & the New Territories with Seafood Lunch, was a very good tour with an excellent luch, right on the pier.
Hong Kong is very easy to get around, both on footd and by public transportation.
We brought US dollars for tipping bus drivers, who were used to changing US currency,and for the street vendors who sold everything for one dollah or two dollahs. For Chinese cash we used ATMs. We never had a problem finding or using them, and your PD will tell you which ones to use.
I did a belated Blog format trip report with pictures that might be interesting. It is http://jackthetravelingman-china.blogspot.com.