managed to get hold of a chineese visa in thailand and have been here for a week now. been travelling south from Beijing to Xi'an, doing the great wall, terracotta warriors, finding lots of temples, visiting a disabled school, eating only with chopsticks, travelling on brutal sleeper train beds, visiting the forbinnen city, going to a panda sanctuary, finding a giant buddha carved out of a cliff, and climbing to the top of mt Emei. it has been brilliant and ive been travelling with a great bunch of people. have spent the last few days living in buddhist monasteries which has to be the most bizarre accommodation ive ever stayed in. i managed to drag myself out of bed at 4am yeserday to watch them worship which was amazing, but soon regretted it when we started trekking to the next monastry, during which we were attacked by monkeys(people were actually screaming and brandishing sticks at them!) China has been really great so far and we're off on a 3 day journey down the yangzhi river tommorrow so i cant wait.