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July 10th 2007
Published: July 10th 2007
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Today is my last day in Beijing, arrived here on Friday (iirc, my sense of timing of days and dates is way off). It's blisteringly hot here as it has been most days so I've taken refuge in an air conditioned internet cafe to update the blog.

The Vodkatrain trip ended on Sunday and though we're all gutted it's over, we're all completely worn out so needed the rest. Visited Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City on Saturday which were very interesting despite the heat (had a load of Chinese kids wanting to take photos with us in Tianamen - we were like visiting celebrities!). Also caught a couple of shows - The Legend of Kung Fu and an amazing acrobatics show. Spent our last night out on Saturday in SanLiTun - the tackiest street of bars you can imagine, but good fun. Went back there last night to meet Lee, Paul and Peter who are staying in Beijing for a few more days. Was an amazing three weeks overall though - definately the highlight of the trip so far and will be very hard to match it.

My new tour started straight away on Sunday (wish I had given myself a few days off). There's 12 people on the tour and they're completely different from the Vodkatrain crew - a big variety of ages and several family groups, probably just as well as it may give my liver time to recover after the past three weeks. Went trekking the Great Wall yesterday - 10K from Jinshanling to Simatai - a tough trek but fantastic experience. Was away from the tourist crowds although it was very misty which means the pics aren't great (did keep the temp down though). The group are gone off to see the Forbidden City today, so I had a lie in and a lazy day.

Off to Xian on an overnight train today (only 14 hours, just a short trip compared to the Trans-Sib!) to see the Terracotta Warriors tomorrow. Then it's off to Chengdu and the Pandas!!!


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