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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

the place at which I had been introduced to a gigantic but thankfully long-deaded spider at close range in the toilets. I knotted my bladder this time.

A kid was still going round asking for "coins" for his "collection", but I was prepared.

"Where you from?"
"I'm from England."
"You have English coin?"
"No - we don't have coins in England."
"But I have English ten pence, pound..."
"Really? They must have introduced that since I've been away. When I was there, we paid each other in bananas."

And so into bland Hue. As in Hoi An, the hotel staff remembered me from my previous stop there. We struck out to an LP-recommended vegetarian restaurant for nourishment.

It's actually against my morals to eat vegetables. I've seen their suffering when they are uprooted or picked, and the unneccessarily evil knives those TV chefs have. But I put aside my concerns for one evening and tucked into a cheap, delicious meal of fake deer with lemongrass and chilli. It was so realistic that if I hadn't been told that it was vegetarian, I probably wouldn't have guessed.