The bright laser lights of Beijing Clubland...

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November 14th 2006
Published: November 28th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Nice place to watch the sun go down
Well it was our last full day in Beijing so we decided to pack it in with a trip out to the Summer Palace - the retreat for emperors in the hotter months when the forbidden city just got UNBEARABLE - poor dears!

However it was pretty damn spectacular if not massive and pretty damn natural despite the hoardes of tourists that swarm the place from sunset to sundown.

We wandered around the lake for a bit marvelling at those that had attempted to cross the expanse of water on pedalos and others who were taking part in a corporate event of sorts involving walking as quickly as you could without running to win some sort of race. Luckily spontaneous race adjudicator Richards was on hand to pull those into line that were clearly breaking all the rules (couldn't resist you see - perhaps retribution from my school power walking career).

The kites were back out in force and the old guys had obviously sussed out the best spot which was on the bridge with all the arches that took you over to the island (no trees to get stuck in) and they could unreel their monstrous kites
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I always knew I was a Princess
to a point where they were barely visible nearly a km away in the blue skies.

We spent a nice afternoon pottering around the lake before jumping back on the bus in an attempt to get Nunny some clothes to go clubbing in - and me some sneakers that might make it though the door of a club if they weren't walking on their own. Suffice to say our bargaining skills were now well honed and we picked up some gems for bugger all. The girls in the 10 shoe shops we visited before finding anything remotely near my size, all marvelled at the size of my feet (don't they have Dutch tourists over here?) before being taken in by the eau de Richards eminating from my socks and beating a hasty retreat back to admiring my clodhoppers from a distance.

Armed with more shopping bags than Nunny's normally allowed to carry we got back to the hostel and grabbed a quick bite to eat before rustling up enough punters to paint the town red (no pun intended). The crew included the affable Mr Wu - who was in his element, Tiff and Courtney from Texas, Rebecca the
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Could Andrew be an Arch-Duke?
pocket rocket from Spain, a duo from Chile, a brazilian bloke and Lawson a fellow Aussie and of course Nunny and a rather excitable Richards.

The first port of call was the compulsory Sanitun Lu which was a bit sterile really with standard Karaoke joints where they employed professional girls to sing the songs and you could have a burl if you forked out the cash, there was also the occasional belly dancer (Mont, you would have loved it) and some dodgy cover bands belting out power ballads (but hey we did go clubbing on a Tuesday. Drink prices and cover charges were negotiable depending on how many you had in your party, and we were quick to move on from our initial choice to something with a bit more atmosphere.

At this point Nunny came down with some dodgy guts (possibly due to the fact that we'd been seated next to somebody's yack in the previous establishment) and was forced to rush home, escorted by the dutiful Tony Wu - who left me in charge of steering the good ship runamuck for the rest of the night. So we bade farewell to Nunny who looked like she
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The tree-line promenade beside the lake
was gonna puke in the blokes cab and Tony who looked as if he was ready for bed and headed for some of the classier establishments.

The first was called Fusion which was one of my highlights of the night - it was schmick as - had no cover charge - and let us all buy two beers between us all to dance for about an hour or so. There were fractured mirrors on all the walls that reflected not only my lack of coordination on the dancefloor but the spectacle of spare no expense lighting, lasers, visuals on a massive screen behind the DJ booth and some pretty damn good tracks. Who would have thought it eh? There was even some bloke in the bathroom that soaped up your hands and dried them for you after you'd done your business. Felt like a superstar! Even some of the locals appreciated our attempts to cut the rug and bought us a jug of iced tea to encourage us further.

Pretty pumped we left that place and headed up towards Workers stadium to Vics a hip-hop, R & B kind of place, and after getting jiggy with it for
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My handsome Prince
about 10 mins I realised why I can't stand the stuff - Is it becoz I is white? Nah seriously there was a damn good dancer there from Chicago who was pulling off all the old school moves including the old crossing the hands from knee to knee and I clearly couldn't compete without ripping out the sprinkler, or the reverse park - and I just didn't want to blow the onlookers away too much... (The chinese wouldn't know what hit them). Lawson seemed to have the genre downpat though one local even trying to offer up his daughter to the nice white boy that could shake it like he just don't care.

We then moved on to another bigger place across the way called Mix which was clearly the most happening place on a Tuesday night and the dancefloor was packed to the rafters. After battling the wannabe gangsters for position and cred we eventually managed to find a second room with more of the up-tempo kind of vibe and managed to dance the night away to the early hours of the morning, when all the young ones got tired and Ricko (plus Rebecca and Tiff) had to be dragged off the dancefloor and packed in a cab for some beauty sleep.

After pulling some stunts on the way home that cabbies in Beijing just haven't seen before (ie. the moon) we made it back to the hostel to find Nunny still up and making trips to the toilet with increasing frequency. Which isn't real fun when you share a dorm with 12 others and there's only one loo within close proximity to the bunk beds. The bug must have been contagious cos pretty much everybody seemed to have it by the next morning, most of us looking down the barrel of long trips to other destinations.

Our 4 1/2 hr plane trip was especially fun, both of us ensuring the occupied sign on the closet dunny stayed well and truly illuminated. Touching down in Bangkok we emerged from the swanky new airport into the only other thing you dread with the runs - 36 degrees celcius at 10pm.


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