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Scarey moments!

Travel Forums General Talk Scarey moments!

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1. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

What's your scariest travel moment?

I remember one particularly arduous bus journey in Yunnan, China. I?d been travelling a back-roads route from Vietnam to Laos and had been on the road for about five days without seeing another foreigner. On this day the bus I was travelling in stopped for a break in a small town a good 5 hours away from my final destination. I thought I?d understood from the driver that we would be stopping here for at least 20 minutes (no one spoke any English and needless to say my Chinese was practically no existent), so I left my backpack onboard and headed off to try and find the public toilets ? always easy in China just follow your nose (ironically public toilets have western style WC signs, the one place you never need any help finding).

Anyway as I?m returning to the bus, a mere 5 minutes later, I?m horrified to see it disappearing down the road. I tell myself that this isn?t really happening and that there?s obviously some logical explanation. So what if all my possessions are on it and I?m hours from where I want to be and no one speaks English? Then I spot someone who looks familiar, I walk up to a man who I?m sure was on my bus and in my calmest possible voice ask him where the bus has gone? All he can say is ?bus change, bus change?. Shit! We?re changing buses is that what he means? We?re unable to communicate further.

Then after an agonisingly slow ten minutes, spent desperately trying to find someone who can speak English and give me more information, I see the most beautiful thing in the World, our battered bus heading towards us! It turns out that it had only gone on to the nearest garage to undergo some repairs, a wheel change perhaps? That?s what the man must have been trying to tell me.

At the end of the day it?s moments like this that you remember years later and that make for the best travel stories. At the time though it did feel like the beginning of a nightmare.

2. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 11y

Me and a mate getting lost in munich airport.we were on our way back to the uk from andorra and were with a group.some people decided to go shopping but most of us checked in.we had a 2 hour wait so decided to try and get to the shops.we could see them all through the windows but every way we went the doors to the shops were locked.then after seeing a revolving door we presumed we could get out that way.my mate wasnt sure so let me go first.as i went round the revolving door i changed my mind but it wouldnt go back the other way and i was stuck and there was a barrier to stop me continueing round to my mate.i still couldnt get to the shops either.i got back in the door and squeezed through the barrier before getting crushed by the door.
Anyway eventually we found a women who we asked which way to the shops.She pointed us in the direction but wanted to see our flight tickets.After showing her she handed them back to me and on we went.as me and my mate walked off i said theres your flight ticket bob and theres mine and OH SHIT whos is this.The women had given me hers by mistake and she was flying to russia.luckily she found us again and we thought thank god thats the bad luck out the way.
It got worse,we stumbled upon about 8 german police with guns etc etc.I had an england football shirt on (not a good idea) and my mate a british lions rugby shirt.
We knew if we got past them we would be in the shopping area.
They started asking questions and saying look at your fat mate and laughing at us.As my mates a rugby player 6 foot 2 and 16 stone we just laughed with them.Then they said we wont money to let you pass.After 30 seconds of thinking hmm NO CHANCE the police laughed at us and said off you go and into the shops we went.
Never again will i try something so stupid hahaha

3. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 11y

[quote=-reece-]Me and a mate getting lost in munich airport.

I'm sorry to hear German airports can be so scary reece and I have German friends who are happily wearing England football shirts;)

My scariest travel experience was the day me and my friend arrived to Rio de Janeiro/ Brasil. Our flight was landing pretty late at 11.30 pm (not a good idea in Latinamerica)and we had to get a shuttle bus to our hostel in the city centre. We just managed to leave the airport in time for the very last bus, but they wouldn't want to let us on as we only had US Dollars to pay (tried to get Brasilian Real at home, but invane).
So, this is us standing at the busstop at night, thinking whether it might be a good idea to get a cab. But luckily, this other tourists walks up and gives us Brasilian money in exchange for the US $ and we could eventually get on the last shuttle bus! Thinking we are safe and sound, shortly arriving at our hostel the driver (who of course only speaks portugese) tells us, he doesn't know the address of the hostel He then suggests to get off at some big hotel to ask for the directions there. But unfortunately at the hotel they didn't know the hostel either So, this is us two foreign girls with huge backpacks in the middle of Rio in the middle of the night without knowing what to do and where to go...
After being close to hysteria we finally decide to walk around the block (if my mum knew)and get into a taxi. The driver for a change knows the place and we agree on a fare of 25 US $. Two minutes down the road we arrive at the hostel and I was never more relieved (apart from being ripped off by the cab driver)

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I posted this in a thread about being lost, but since it was Very scary, I thought I'd post it here as well:

One time that I was "seriously" lost that stands out occured in Papua New Guinea. The reason it stands out is because I was not driving nor wolking but was IN A PLANE. Since we were 15,000 feet up and lost, I'd say it was serious.

Before we left I asked the co-pilot how long the flight was and he said 30 minutes. It was a very cloudy, overcast day. And that appeared to be the problem, when we were flying above the clouds, the pilot could not see where we were, and when we were lower we were in the clouds (and in New Guinea there are mountains over 15,000 feet) and ran the serious rick of crashing into the side of a mountain.

Anyway, after 45-50 minutes I became VERY concerned (remember 30 minute flight). I also noticed the co-pilot appeared to be very nervous and was constantly wiping the sweat from his forehead. I also noticed that we were flying not just in circles but more like figure eights. Then the real clue that things were NOT going well came when the pilot took out a MAP! That's the last thing you want to see your pilot looking at WHILE you're in the air.

Behind me on the plane was 1 Western woman, 2 guys in feathers (I'm not kidding), and a bunch of baby chickens making baby chicken noises. I truely thought this was going to be the end, and is the only time in my life that I thought it was all gonna come to a not-so-happy-ending. We kept going in figure eights, avove the clouds, below the clouds, and then finally, , after more than 60 minutes the pilot spotted some mountain peak, they looked at the map, appeared relieved, and we were back on track. Yeaaaaaay!

I'd consider that seriously lost, don't ya think?

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting Mikey B

What's your scariest travel moment?

"...I remember one particularly arduous bus journey in Yunnan, China ..."

"...Then after an agonisingly slow ten minutes, spent desperately trying to find someone who can speak English and give me more information, I see the most beautiful thing in the World, our battered bus heading towards us! It turns out that it had only gone on to the nearest garage to undergo some repairs, a wheel change perhaps? That?s what the man must have been trying to tell me..."

Linguistic shock can be a very frustrating thing even for foreigners that actually live in China. Often when buses stop for a break, the driver jumps out without letting anyone know. You just get out yourself. The driver or guide usually knows how many people are on the bus, and does a head count before leaving anyone behind. Foreigners tend to stand out. Especially with the bewildered look on their face, so it would be difficult ot misplace only one of them.

7. Posted by mtlgal (Full Member 1179 posts) 11y

Quoting Mikey B

I left my backpack onboard and headed off to try and find the public toilets ? always easy in China just follow your nose (ironically public toilets have western style WC signs, the one place you never need any help finding).

Ahhh the public toilets in China! Those were most definitely my scariest moments on the road, even though I lived in China as a child and, logically, should be used to those filthy maggot-brewing sh*t-holes (litereally). The toilets in France came a far second (dirty as they were, at least I didn't see any maggots).

My step mother is a writer and in her autobiography (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0802136605/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-0778779-0219352#reader-page), there was a very graphic but realistic description of a public toilet in China. When my dad asked me how I like his wife's book, all I could say that the part about the toilets was disgusting, very true, but very disgusting. He told me that it's a sign that I'm too "Westernized".

8. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

I posted this in a thread about being lost, but since it was Very scary, I thought I'd post it here as well:

One time that I was "seriously" lost that stands out occured in Papua New Guinea. The reason it stands out is because I was not driving nor wolking but was IN A PLANE. Since we were 15,000 feet up and lost, I'd say it was serious.

Before we left I asked the co-pilot how long the flight was and he said 30 minutes. It was a very cloudy, overcast day. And that appeared to be the problem, when we were flying above the clouds, the pilot could not see where we were, and when we were lower we were in the clouds (and in New Guinea there are mountains over 15,000 feet) and ran the serious rick of crashing into the side of a mountain.

Anyway, after 45-50 minutes I became VERY concerned (remember 30 minute flight). I also noticed the co-pilot appeared to be very nervous and was constantly wiping the sweat from his forehead. I also noticed that we were flying not just in circles but more like figure eights. Then the real clue that things were NOT going well came when the pilot took out a MAP! That's the last thing you want to see your pilot looking at WHILE you're in the air.

Behind me on the plane was 1 Western woman, 2 guys in feathers (I'm not kidding), and a bunch of baby chickens making baby chicken noises. I truely thought this was going to be the end, and is the only time in my life that I thought it was all gonna come to a not-so-happy-ending. We kept going in figure eights, avove the clouds, below the clouds, and then finally, , after more than 60 minutes the pilot spotted some mountain peak, they looked at the map, appeared relieved, and we were back on track. Yeaaaaaay!

I'd consider that seriously lost, don't ya think?

I'm shitting myself just reading it!

9. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting james

I'm shitting myself just reading it!

Thanks for the empathy .

10. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Wow Travel100 - between that story and the other post about the poor Australian girl who's been jailed in Thailand....