It's time for recess, delegates. Putting heavy government work reports and official meetings aside, delegates to the NPC and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) today have the luxury of taking time-out in the capital on the first recess day in almost a week. Some NPC deputies and CPPCC delegates yesterday said they would spend the day shopping at the Xidan and Wangfujing shopping malls, browsing through the antiques stalls at the Panjiayuan market or sightseeing at scenic spots such as the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square. For a certain privileged few, the recess had already started last night - inside the heavily guarded Diaoyutai guest house - with bridge matches. But for most, today will be a break from the often tedious two-week parliamentary sessions and discussions in the Great Hall of the People. 'Rest, rest, rest,' was the reply of most delegates when asked what they wanted to do during today's break. For bridge enthusiasts, the fun started last night when the China Bridge Association staged a pairs event to 'celebrate the success of the 10th NPC and CPPCC' - by invitation only. As the event was held in Diaoyutai, it was believed that some government leaders and officials were in attendance. Retiring government leaders Li Peng, Ding Guanggen and Li Lanqing are good players, industry participants say. The pairs event was an official match, meaning that the China Bridge Association would record the players' scores. It is understood that among the players at the event was Patrick Choy, a Hong Kong-based CPPCC delegate who is the vice-president of the World Bridge Federation and the honourary president of the Hong Kong Contract Bridge Association. Cao Hongming, a CPPCC delegate from Shandong province, snapped up a necktie from a shopping expedition to Wangfujing before yesterday's meetings started. Fellow delegate Tai Hay-lap, the principal of a Hong Kong secondary school, went sightseeing at the Great Wall. Mr Tai said he planned to visit several state and private secondary schools during today's recess to see whether there were any chances of attracting mainland talent to study in Hong Kong. Cameramen from Hong Kong were also getting into the spirit of the recess last night by kicking a shuttlecock around a 15th-floor corridor of the Beijing Hotel.