By this point in the trip, land borders had become practically pedestrian. So the knowledge that almost everyone who crossed overland into Myanmar from Thailand did so at Mae Sot / Myawaddy meant that we were far more intrigued by the less accessible alternative route further south.
I scoured online for information on the Phu Nam Ron / Htee Khee crossing and found two helpful accounts of bloggers who had trodden the path in previous years.
Step one: take the train from Bangkok.
Onward transportation from Koh Samui, organised by opportunistic but efficient tour companies, was plentiful and easy. They branded us with stickers and pointed us towards a catamaran filled with hangovers, which zipped to the mainland, where buses branched off to various destinations: the train station, the airport, a selection of hotels. We bemoaned the lack of autonomy whilst happily leaving the organisation to somebody else, dodged the hobbling tourists with their moped injuries (of which there were an alarming number), and leapt on the first train to Chumphon.
On a Thursday afternoon many moons ago, my friend and then-colleague Madeleine asked if I wanted to join her that evening at a secret tiny post-premiere gig by formerly-Prince-formerly-Squiggle-now-Prince-again*. It involved going home to change into suitable attire and also pack for a wedding I was heading to straight from the office the following day, returning to Soho for 11pm, falling into bed around 3am, then sloping back to work a few hours later, suitcase in tow.
Naturally, I jumped at the chance.
Of course, she knew I’d say yes. We’ve always admired each other’s determination to seize the day. Or, you know, both have a severe case of FOMO.
Therefore when, prior to my departure, Madeleine and I discussed my impending travel plans, and I said “you should join us when we’re in South East Asia!” and she said “ok! Tell me when you’re in Thailand and I’ll fly out”, I knew she meant it.