The Chinese don't do great breakfasts (in my humble opinion anyway) but they are pretty good at building walls. The Great Wall of China was definitely the highlight of my tour of China, originally built over 2000 years ago and still a magnificent work of construction. Anyone who hasn't seen it should make sure they do in their lifetime. Our visit was all the better for the fact that it had recently snowed, making it look even more spectacular, and also the fact that there was a toboggan run to get you down to the bottom after walking up and down it. A nice touch..
Other highlights of China were the Terracotta Army (built by the same Emperor), a walk around the Forbidden City and Tianenman Square in Beijing. The second of these two is an strange and eerie place - also, like the rest of China, it is massive, and you could probably fit around 20 football pitches in it. The weather wasn't great in Shanghai but I still managed to see a fair bit, including the space-aged office buildings at Pudong, the Bund and the French Concession. Was sad to leave China, having seen some amazing places and met some great people, but all good things must come to an end I guess.
Arriving at 1am in the morning to find out the hotel manager had lost my booking, and the place was full up, wasn't the best start to my time in Vietnam, but luckily 'hotel number 2' was just down the road and saved the day. Although there's much more to the city, the most obvious way to describe Hanoi is that it is full of motorbikes. You are literally taking your life into your hands every time you cross the street here. I've also done a cruise around Halong Bay (very picturequesque although not great weather), been trekking around Sapa staying with the locals (great scenery and a good experience, except for the train back, which definitely wasn't) and seen various ok-ish museums, which mainly cover the French and American wars and their fight for independence.
Hanoi does become a bit claustrophobic with all of the bikes and street vendors, but its a lively city and the architecture very interesting (sorry, had to mention that). Am getting an overnight bus, later today, down to Hoi An, which I am looking forward to, especially hearing the reviews from other people. Anyway, better go now as am sitting in an expensive netcafe, but will be back soon...