Last Saturday (Sept. 30) we took the non-stop overnight train from Hangzhou to Beijing. Via airplane, we would have lost at least a half day each direction, but with the train, you travel when you'd normally be sleeping anyway. You sleep on a comfortable bed, and wake up at your destination, relatively refreshed and ready to go. Except for the few passengers who ignore the no smoking signs, I have no complaints.
Andrew had fun playing with a 9-year-old girl who shared our compartment. Andrew and Betty (her English name) had lots of fun running up and down the corridor. Andrew sang while she played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on her flute. In the morning, after saying goodbye and walking thru the train station, we came across a distraught Betty who was in tears because she had to leave Andrew. He's breaking hearts already.
We're staying at the Crowne Plaza in Beijing, a 5-star hotel and one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed in, for only $65 a night. Gotta love it.