By Josh James in Hangzhou
Day Five of the Asia Tour and the Arsenal party rolls into China.
In stark contrast to the private disembarkation Arsenal players are used to, upon landing in Hangzhou Airport on Thursday evening, the squad were guided through the terminal towards the waiting coaches, with the security staff just as keen to grab photos and autographs as the waiting fans.
After a short journey through the skyrise-flanked streets of Hangzhou in eastern China, the players arrived at the city centre hotel to an ecstatic welcome from the locals.
Each player was given the movie star treatment from the fans both inside and out of the 27-storey hotel; as were the coaching staff - an enthusiastic chant of 'Rice! Rice! Rice!' accompanied the Assistant Manager's entrance.
Arsène Wenger, Theo Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen then headed straight for one of the more unusual press conferences they would have experienced, before both Theo and Thomas - still taking in the madness of the hectic last two hours or so - sat down to tell our cameras their first impressions of China.
The players will spend just over two days here, and there's no let-up in the schedule.
After breakfast this morning, the whole squad were taken to the picturesque surroundings of West Lake, 20 minutes from the hotel, for a Dragon Boat trip.
The lake is a scene of stunning beauty, and is famed for inspiring and influencing scholars, poets and landscapers across the world - Arsène Wenger could be found in contemplative mood in a corner of the top deck.
Moments earlier the manager and players had been treated to a traditional Bian Lian (face changing) routine - a dramatic, fast moving dance in which the colourful performer also enlisted Arsène for some audience participation.
Local Gunners fans were there in their numbers again when the boat returned to dry land, and after a quick photoshoot at the Qian King Temple, it was back to the hotel.
Many of the fans who have been following the team since their arrival last night will get the chance to meet them in person later today as various signing sessions and supporter events fill the agenda.
The day will be rounded off with a training session at the home of local team Hangzhou Green Town. For once, the football pitch may be a relatively tranquil place!Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Jul 2011