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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

for the good-time island of Ko Pha Ngan. The place is famed for its monthly Full Moon Parties, which involve loud music and dancing on a beach, along with alcohol and copious amounts of illegal drugs thrown in for good measure. I was landing in the grey patch between parties, so I would miss the spectacle. On the one hand it's not my thing in the slightest; on the other, it would have been damn funny to see.

Finally landing on the island, we were transferred by tuk tuk to Hat Rin, the town that is the traveller's party centre. I got a battered wooden beachside bungalow - literally ten seconds' walk from the sand. Chipping out, the town seemed to be lingering in a come-down period, being pretty dead. I got a falafel in an Israeli restaurant and settled down for the evening in an English run bar/restaurant showing the new film remake of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I couldn't believe my eyes whn I took in the menu; it boasted cheese and pickle sandwiches. For five minutes of chomping, I was in heaven.