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The China Diaries - Day 11

Matt Burgan  October 20, 2010 11:27 AM

Today offered plenty of variety.

Firstly, the day started with three options: a visit to the Beijing Olympic Park Birds Nest, a shopping tour or free time.

Many soaked up the shopping tour, with bargaining and bartering the order of the day.

Those who visited the Birds Nest relished the opportunity to the see the Olympic Stadium first-hand.

David Neitz was one of several to have a kick of the Sherrin with guards outside the stadium.

The three groups met up for lunch at a restaurant called Han Cang in the Xicheng district.

Groups were spread out in several rooms, with tables having a mix of players, staff and key supporters.

I sat with players Cale Morton, Stef Martin, Jack Watts, club great Brian Dixon and his wife Carmel, physio Sam Pietsch and dietitian Jo Shinewell.

The food was excellent but overwhelming, with dishes constantly brought to the table. Not even the big men could polish off the food.

Afterwards, the group went visited the famous Tian'anmen Square and Forbidden City, which included a fascinating and detailed description from a local tour guide.

Plenty of history was learned by the group from the tour.

The walking tour took up most of the afternoon, and soon it was back to the hotel in readiness for dinner and karaoke.

Kaspersky's Eugene Kaspersky and Harry Cheung joined the club for dinner at the Dadong Roast Duck restaurant, which is regarded as one of China's finest for Peking duck. Again, the food was outstanding.

Then the three teams: Chopsticks, Pandas and Suns, headed to Melody KTV for an evening of karaoke.

The three groups each had their own rooms, with officials Matt Green, Tom Parker and Daryl Hoffman deciding who should win.

After deliberating on several songs, the group sang 'Where is the love' by Black Eyed Peas. Colin Sylvia and marketing man Martin Cox led the charge.

The support group included Cameron Schwab, Cale Morton, Josh Mahoney, Jack Fitzpatrick and Neville Jetta.

Schwab and his executive assistant Chelsea Giansiracusa (cousin of Bulldog Daniel) belted out a fine version of 'You're the one that I want' by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the lead-up.

Sylvia and yours truly also had a crack at Usher and will.i.am's OMG.

Results of the winner and an update of points would continue to be held under wraps until the following day.

After the voices were hoarse, the travellers headed back to the hotel.