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Scariest experience while travelling?

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1. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 8y

Hey guys,

I'm just wondering, for both the enjoyment of listening to scary stories, and giving us info we can learn from:

What's the scariest moment you've had on your travels?

You might also want to add: how did you act or get out of the situation? how did you overcome your fears? or was there anything you learnt from it?

Personally I've only been overseas for 5 weeks, and nothing really scary happened...
There was just one time in Koh Phangan where it was starting to get late, around 11pm. We asked a taxi driver (in one of those taxies that kind of had an exterior tray type thing for passengers to sit on) to take us from the town to our hotel, which was surrounded by a lot of bush in between Haad Rin and the other main town.
He was going via a totally different route than we had been, where it was pitch black on dirt roads. After the minutes past and everything just seemed more and more obscure than where we thought we were heading, we began to worry. For a while we thought he was taking us somewhere dodgy and our adrenaline kicked in, ready to fight or run for our lives, or even just jump off the tray in the taxi..............but eventually, it just turns out that the driver was taking a short cut to our hotel that we didn't know of and none of our previous taxi drivers took

Moral of the story: don't get too worried in even though the situation you're in might seem like a horror movie - ie. in the middle of nowhere on an island, pitch black, late at night with a taxi driver who wasn't able to communicate very much with you.

I'm sure you guys have much better scenarios than that!

Erik

2. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 8y

One experience that clearly sticks out in my mind that was kinda scary / exciting was when i got a 10 hours speedboat journey from northern Loas across to northern Thailand.
Now the "Speedboat" isn't like anything we would expect to see back in the UK, more like a long / thin wooden boat with a huge engine on the back that travels at the speed of light.

The boat broke down 3 times and we were left stranded on a random mud bank for an hour and a half, while the driver went off to seek help.
In terms of comfort, there isn't any! You are expected to sit 2 people in a 1 meter x 1 meter square box with your knees around your shoulders wearing a flimsy motor bike helmet with no strap while trying not to swallow the river water spraying into your mouth.

Because it took 10 hours, it meant that we had to dodge the rocks, boulders, kids, water buffalo that were in the river in the pitch black!!

Throughout those 10 hours i dont think i have ever prayed to God / Buddha / Allah (anyone that would listen) as much as i did then.

All fun though, i can look back on it now and laugh and am looking forward to doing it again this year with my girlfriend. Ha.

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

I can think of two incidences that were scary at the time they happened. Looking back...

The first occurred while completing our advanced open water certification dives - and it was really only scary for me. The current was very strong that day and visibility was very poor considering it was the Caribbean. Beerman and his dive buddy were to head off in one direction and return to point A (a crab trap) while the dive master and I headed in another and then return to point A. We returned. Beerman and his buddy did not. We surfaced. They did not. Bubbles were spotted by the boat captain so we dove again. Turns out Beerman and his buddy had returned to a crab trap and were waiting for us, thinking we were lost. We returned to a crab trap thinking they were lost. All in all, it wasn't a big deal and after a few more exercises in navigation, we all passed the test. I wasn't scared about the dive but more afraid that Beerman or his buddy had experienced nitrogen narcosis and were heading over some abyss thinking they were headed up when they were actually headed down. I should have taken for granted one of them would have been checking their depth gauge. But, having experienced narcosis myself, I know it's not easy to get someone to cooperate with you because they aren't thinking rationally. I have never been so happy to see someone in my life as I was to see the two of them waving at us as we approached. The scenarios that crossed my mind in a matter of minutes are things I never ever want to experience again.

The second was in Panama on our way from Panama City to Portobello and Isla Grande. It was Carnival and people in the local villages were dressed in costumes stopping cars as they passed through. You had to pay them a "toll" to pass through their village. Between towns, three police officers were standing by a police car along side the road. One of the officers started flaggng us to stop. We had just passed through Colon, the duty-free port, so we thought they were going to search our possessions. We had not stopped in Colon so had no purchases. The officer spoke very quickly which made it hard for Beerman to understand exactly what he was saying. It took a several frustrating minutes for both of them to understand the officer was asking for a ride to the next town. We definitely agreed to give him a lift since he was a police officer. On the way, he asked if we were tourists or there for business. We said tourists and he proceeded to point out all of the farms for sale, quote the prices and tell us if the cattle were part of the deal or not. We figured being two Americans in an SUV might have been a good target for a shake down but he only wanted a ride and we had a nice conversation all the way to the next town. Well, Beerman and he had a nice conversation as I speak virtually no Spanish.

4. Posted by alsalis (Full Member 63 posts) 8y

For me it was probably circling on a plane for an hour or so before landing and as they started the descent they mentioned they couldn't get the front wheel down, but they thought it was ok now and were going to land anyway! all turned out fine though.

I'd have to add a number of bus journeys the were inches away from cliff edges as well!

5. Posted by pau_p1 (Respected Member 214 posts) 8y

One experience I had was when we were cruising at Halong Bay in North Vietnam. During the afternoon stop before dinner which is around 4pm. Our ship (a traditional junk), docked in the middle of the sea and the tourists (we) were invited to take a swim into the open sea. They provided life preserves that are attached to the junk for those who are not good at swimming while the rest swam a bit farther.

The water was calm and not too cold so it was good feel to swim in. But after 30 minutes in the water, I felt that something tugging me underneath or farther, only to realize that the underwater current is getting stronger. It took about an hour before me and a friend was brought back on board... my... I thought we'll be drifted back to Manila by the current.. heheheh

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

1. Shockingly bad, and long, turbulence in a plane coming into Sydney. To this day, I wonder if it was as bad as I thought, and when I ask my friend, he assures me it was.

2. Getting a knife pulled on me at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio De Janeiro. Desperate people with nothing to lose.

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

It was only scary in retrospect, but this huge guy came blaring at me in Paris when I was going to meet up with Neal. I remember seeing the guy from the corner of my eye, dressed in leather with big Docs and crazy hair (apparently in front of Notre Dame isn't the place to be at night). I put my finger up in front of his face (how brilliant) and said "Non, non, non!", which only made him madder. I don't know what he was planning to do, but then Neal walked up and the guy decided I was "taken" or something and apologized to Neal.

It's only when I got back home and lost my travel bravado that I wondered what could have happened...

8. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 8y

In caves in Thailand off Phuket, getting into kayaks to go into a lagoon cave. The tide had not come down sufficently and so we were trapped having to lie flat on this kayak with my nose scrapping off the roof of the cave. Nice!

9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

Quoting Purdy

In caves in Thailand off Phuket, getting into kayaks to go into a lagoon cave. The tide had not come down sufficently and so we were trapped having to lie flat on this kayak with my nose scrapping off the roof of the cave. Nice!

Now THAT would have sent me to the loony bin. I had to talk myself calm just trying to climb up St. Peter's dome because the stairs kept getting narrower and narrower and I was getting claustrophobic...

10. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 8y

Quoting tway

Quoting Purdy

In caves in Thailand off Phuket, getting into kayaks to go into a lagoon cave. The tide had not come down sufficently and so we were trapped having to lie flat on this kayak with my nose scrapping off the roof of the cave. Nice!

Now THAT would have sent me to the loony bin. I had to talk myself calm just trying to climb up St. Peter's dome because the stairs kept getting narrower and narrower and I was getting claustrophobic...

Yeah well you've met me Tina you know l like too talk - l went silent - thats when you know that theres something wrong with me l stop talking!!! It was scary l just closed my eyes and tried to visit my "happy place"!!

In St Pauls Cathedral in London l did think l was gonna have to live in the Whispering Gallery cos l didnt think l would make it back down the steps - more to do with the the fact they were spiral and open on one side and l dont like heights at all!! So l sat down on the steps and came down one by one on my bum!! I really dont care that l caused a traffic jam up behind me!!!