Just like Pavlov’s dog, the crisp sound of the can of beer being cracked open was enough to get the saliva flowing; the soothing sting of the ice-cold metal against my clammy skin sending a shiver of delight down my spine.
I sunk into the wooden bench, taking my time as I slowly stretched out my legs, crippled by the cramped seven hour bus journey from Siem Reap in Cambodia to the border at Poipet, before being bundled on board another bus for the five hour journey to Trat in Thailand.
It had been a long day. A confusing day. A day of delights coupled with frustrations. A day that pushed my patience. A day of waiting in queue after queue after queue.
But finally the end was in sight.
Minutes earlier, we had boarded the ferry for the half hour journey from Trat to Koh Chang, Thailand’s second largest island.
Catching the last boat of the day, we had arrived flustered with just minutes to spare, but as I took my first oh-so-refreshing sip of Singha and watched the sky plunge into a palette of colour, a sense of calm washed over me as I looked forward to discovering the secrets hidden beneath the blanket of darkness being cast over Koh Chang.