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I've been spooked!

Travel Forums Asia I've been spooked!

1. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member 84 posts) 9y

Hi everyone

I've just been spooked by stories of a mate who has just come home from travelling south east asia. I'm really hoping someone can reassure me that things aren't as scary as he makes out. I'm desperate here!

Firstly, he said in Vietnam you can pay $100 to shoot a cow! I don't ever want to see this.

Secondly, there are kids in rural parts of Cambodia walking around with machine guns on their backs!

Thirdly, if things couldn't get any scarier...he was held down by a gang and mugged in Cambodia! He phoned home and asked his mum to buy him a ticket home.

My brother and I are leaving soon and this has got us quite scared to be honest. Are we going to see these things?

thanks for your replies in advance
mikeandave

2. Posted by Mr Gee (Budding Member 91 posts) 9y

I spent 5 months in south east asia a couple of years ago and saw none of these things. to be fair, if you keep your wits about you you'll be fine, you're safer over there than you are in england, in my opinion.
Just don't act like a chump and you'll be okay man.

3. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Just be responsible - stick together especially at night, stay on main roads dont go down back alleys.

If you dont want to see a cow being shot simple dont pay $100 and dont get involved.

There are shady parts of every country but if you keep your wits about you, be sensible whilst having fun you will be fine!

Try not to listen to any horror stories just ignore them - cover your ears and only let the good bits in - dont let someone else spoil your anticipation of your trip.

Remember there are 2 sides to every story - what was your friend doing prior to being mugged was he somewhere dodgy, was he alone, did he go off the beaten track? If something like that does happen simply hand over dont try and argue or fight its not worth it money and possessions can be replaced and remember this can happen to you as easily in the UK or where-ever.

Go and enjoy your trip and try not to let these things worry you!

Heather

4. Posted by emma1979 (Full Member 126 posts) 9y

You can pay to shoot machine guns in Cambodia and Vietnam - you'll see this on the boards in hostels along with other 'tourist' adventures but you probably will never see this happening. Money talks very loudly in Cambodia which is why these activites go ahead. Just be sensible and respectful, enjoy yourself and you will be fine! And remember that horror stories are far more interesting than a day without any hiccups so you may hear more of these than someone having a pleasant time! I spent four months travelling round south east asia and never had any trouble whatsoever. Most of the kids you'll see in the tourist towns in Cambodia run around with babies on their backs so if one of them points it at you it's not a stick up! Although I'm not sure if I'd be more afraid of having a screaming baby pointed at me than a machine gun ;)

Emma

5. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member 84 posts) 9y

Thanks a lot for your replies! I'm feelin a bit better about this. Still a little spooked but I'm sure that'll go. Thanks again! I'll let ya know if I see any of this! ha

6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Mikeandave:)

I think u feel the dread, that I often feel when I travel. I wonder, if I will see some horrific act of violence against people or animals that I wont be able to forget, and I dread, that I will have some problem in a country where the authorities provide no protection, or worse still where the authorities are worse than the attackers.
So far, I have not come in direct contact with the things I fear. I dont let the dread stop me. The way I look at it is, that people live in those countries, so I can surely survive a few weeks in them. But in my experience, most of the worst things that happen, do not happen in public. I think u would be very unlucky to encounter a nightmare scenario. I also think, that even though u know about some things that go on in particular countries, these things will go to the back of your mind, when u reach the country. Finding hotel rooms, buying train tickets, in fact doing anything in a language u understand little of, and the attention of friendly locals will distract u, from what u are now fearing so much.

Mel

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Mike & Dave,
I shot some automatic weapons outside of Phnom Penh, have some photos of the experience in my gallery. If that doesn't sound appealing, don't go to the shooting range. At the Cu Chi Tunnels you have another opportunity to bang away on full auto. I never saw the cow option and don't think you will either. I have been around most of Cambodia and did not see the child soldiers toting their M-16s around. There are Cambodian army and policemen around with weapons, like most countries. Perhaps this guy mistook small Cambodian men for children.

The one part that is true is that Phnom Penh can be a bit dodgy at night. When you go to a nightclub, say Martini's, take a taxi. It will not be much more than 2 motos and much safer. If you boys don't get lucky at Martini's, you just aren't trying. PM me if you want specifics.

Relax, enjoy your holiday and use some common sense when out and about. You guys will be fine.

8. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member 84 posts) 9y

Thanks so much everyone, you really have made me feel better. From what I've seen and read about these places i really don't think it's as dangerous as he makes out. I did check out your pics vegasmike6. You're so lucky to have seen all of those places. You have so many amazing photos. I particularly liked the vietnam, philipines and US national parks pics!

Thanks again
mikeandave

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1592 posts) 9y

Quoting mikeandave

Hi everyone

I've just been spooked by stories of a mate who has just come home from travelling south east asia. I'm really hoping someone can reassure me that things aren't as scary as he makes out. I'm desperate here!

Firstly, he said in Vietnam you can pay $100 to shoot a cow! I don't ever want to see this.

Secondly, there are kids in rural parts of Cambodia walking around with machine guns on their backs!

Thirdly, if things couldn't get any scarier...he was held down by a gang and mugged in Cambodia! He phoned home and asked his mum to buy him a ticket home.

My brother and I are leaving soon and this has got us quite scared to be honest. Are we going to see these things?

thanks for your replies in advance
mikeandave

How old are you guys? You guys sound like a couple 13 yr. olds! Are you both mature enough to be in the "real world?"

A lot of strange things happen in Asia, but a lot of strange things happen in Africa and Europe too! That's what makes foreign travel interesting - you will see things that you are not used to back home!

I have never been offered a chance to kill a cow for $100, but I have heard of "game preserves" in Europe and even America where, for a fee, you can blow some animal away!

Yes, in some countries there are kids carrying guns, young gang members in London and Los Angeles carry guns sometimes too!

So you had friends that were "held down" and robbed of their money! And they called mommy for help! It could have been worse, they could have been held down and been raped too! Robbery and assault also happens in other countries in the world! Were your friends in the wrong part of town doing something a little shifty???

And in Asia the people eat dogs, eat bugs, eat food that has been outside on a grill for hours at a time without refrigeration. There are toilets without toilet paper, you will get sick if you drink tap water, there are sidewalks that have open manholes, low hanging stuff that can rip your eyes out and mangy looking prowling dogs (without rabies shots) that roam freely everywhere! You will find animals in cages that seem cruel, same for fish in small tanks that will be your dinner, monkey brains for those "extra special" dinners and lots of other choice parts of animals will show up on dinner plates, stuff you would never ever think of eating back home! You will also see healthy beggars and those who look so sick and pitiful, even possibly dying; it is hard to pass them by! That's life in Asia!

You will also see good people, interesting sights, eat delicious foods, ride elephants, fall in love with beautiful women, even if it is only for a couple nights for a small fee!! Travel is what you make of it, you can dwell on the small stuff, the risks and oddities or you can simply adjust and enjoy the opportunity to experience what most of your friends back home will only see on TV and never in real life!

Millions and millions of tourists each year visit Asia and never have a problem! Don't worry about the small stuff, besides you could be hit by a bus tomorrow morning in your hometown anyway!

10. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 9y

Ive just came back from Cambodia and vietnam and found it pretty easy to blow a cow up if i really wanted to . I decided not to (and shot a chicken instead) Prob not the most intelligent thing i done there. Its pretty available if you want it , but you are not going to walk down the street and see kids with guns shooting things like your mate said . Cambodia is a cool place and the people are great (really freindly) As long as you are not stupid then you will be fine .
I actually feel more unsafe in the UK than i do in SEA . I got back 2 days ago and am GUTTED !!
Just go and you will love it . Dont listed to other people trying to put you off either , i met people in Thailand who were telling me to stay away from Cambodia , but i loved it when i got there .
It all depends on what you want , if you just want beaches and a package holiday feel then stick to southern Thailand on the islands , I actually prefer Cambodia for a more real experience .