Bob says: We took an overnight sleeper train from Beijing to Pingyao. The trains are divided into 5 classes, standing, hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. For budget and comfort hard sleeper is the ideal class, unfortunatly they are hard to get. The only ticket available to us was hard seat on a 12 hour trip, to remedy this we cracked open the duty free booze we got on the flight from Kyrgyz suplimented with some chinese fire water. Hey presto, I can barely remember the trip!
Pingyao is a perfectly preserved Ming Dynasty walled town about the size of Halifax, it is like this mainly due to neglect, like Halifax. When the government realised people would actually like to visit this place they undertook some major renovation. It is now one of the main tourist attractions in China.
Out door pool was very popular. I would like to tell you that I did England proud and gave the chinese shark I was playing a pool lesson. So I will, he took one hell of a pasting.