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One traveller's day-by-day account of a year-long journey through Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada

with women's clothes shops, cafes and restaurants. Nearby are huge department stores: one for the generic chain stores, and two other spotless, gleaming, fountained creations featuring exclusive European and American labels. They looked as if they had been plucked right out of Hong Kong. Holding this all together is the Skytrain system, an overground train zipping you between the main areas as cool as a bag of frozen peas.

Whilst wandering about I stumbled upon the Coca steamboat restaurant Tak had recommended to me, so later Noesha and I ate there. You get a big bubbling vat of chicken broth on your table, and order various meats, fish and vegetables to pile in and steam away to your heart's (or stomach's) desire. Meals that require interaction like this are so much more fun, and from looking round seeing the tables packed with various generations, it's a real social, family event.