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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 sky was smoky and the sun was blood red behind mottled cloud, creating an eerie and unsettling primeval feel when coupled with the swaying jungle. It really did look like a Land That Time Forgot. It was only later that I discovered this odd effect was a result of peat fires in Indonesia that caused the much-publicised haze in KL. The smoke had drifted right across the pensinsula to the Perhentians, which gives you an idea of its magnitude.

Vintage cars are impressively prevalent in Malaysia and often used as daily runners. Our taxi back to Kota Baru was a wonderful old-skool sixties Mercedes complete with a high dashboard, comfy, springy seats and a pleasingly ticky engine.

Munching out at Pizza Hut waiting for our bus departure, Noesha was the only female not wearing a headscarf. Out this way they seem to be rather devout. Still, there's nothing like Stuffed Crust to unite everyone.

That evening's night bus was yet another frustrating journey to insomnia, mainly due to the decibel-intensive Glottoral Olympics of the Muslim chap behind me. Finally I snapped at his incessant snoring, and I declared Jihad on him there and then. I started to mount a terrorist guerilla campaign against his snoring equipment, by carefully crafting small paper