I spent this weekend in Beijing staying with Nick - who has been there the same length of time that Ive been in Tokyo. I had a great time & saw a lot more of the World Cup too. Beer for 25p went down very well as did the delicous food. There are stark economic & cultural contrasts between the Chinese & Japanese way of life which made the trip all the more interesting. Beijing is wealthy and doesnt offer a true reflection to the rest of China. However, I saw rich & poor areas which gave some insight to China's current reform, this was further displayed by the efforts and excitement towards the 2008 Olympic games.

Nick booked us on a Great Wall hike, we trekked 15km across broken paths with no other tourists in sight, some parts as steep as 45 degrees which made one feel sorry for the poor souls who built this wonder. Clambering across it was at times arduous, constructing it must have been hell; they wouldn't have had the luxury of tobagganing the descent as we did.

Saturday evening started with a nice meal, followed by a boat trip around the lake (allowed to bring your own beer), the night culminated with several hours boogieing in a club where I wås able to show off more 'exotic' dance moves.

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