Tuktuk of doom
“Traveling in Asia at the time. I got a tuktuk to go to the center of a village with a young driver. We started driving and he turned around while telling me he wouldn’t take me to the center of the village because he knew a better spot in the jungle – a place he and his friends loved… I told him no, I want to go to the center of the village and that’s it. He got angry and sped up while I was considering my chances of just jumping out. But then he also grabbed my arm in a tight grip so I knew for sure no good would come from the situation. Luckily for me I had an umbrella with me and with my free hand I started slamming him with it as hard as I could till he stopped the vehicle and he offered me to “take me to the center of the village. lol. No. I ended up walking 3 hours to the village. I had planned one more day there and was constantly confronted by people that I was the girl who attacked the tuktuk driver offering me rides. Pretty sure they were his friends.. I strictly stayed in busy areas till I was able to take a train out. F that situation.” — CaveFlavored
Solo road trip
“For me it was when I was driving from Georgia to California to visit a friend. I didn’t want to fly because I wanted to site see on the way. When I got to San Diego, the hotel I booked on Expedia screamed run from the get go. But I was exhausted and wanted to rest. Got my room key and checked in. I locked the door and because I am always on guard, I locked the bar on the door for extra safety. About 4 am I was sleeping and heard someone trying to come in my room. They had opened the door but couldn’t get pass the little bar that was locked. I quickly got up, threw clothes on, and went to the door to see what was going on. Two guys outside the door with their hand in the slit of the door yelling at me. They kept saying “come here pretty girl. Oh a pretty face” or something like that.” — slayer-of-vampires
“Had some dude try to haul me off my first day in Berlin.
He stopped to ask me a question when I was in Tiergarten, and proceeded to grab me by the wrist and refuse to let me go. I had told him I was going to Alexanderplatz and he started dragging me out of the park, telling me he would ‘show me a shortcut’ that he insisted would only take five minutes to get there (for those of you that have never been, it’s at least a 30 minute walk.) I was so panicked I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t even scream, all I could think was that he was going to take to somewhere where no one would be able to help me. I had a friend who I was staying with in the city text me at the right time and managed to beg off and say she was waiting for me back at Brandenburger Tor station, which was the opposite direction. He only let me go if I open mouth kissed him goodbye and gave me his number, which he made me call so he was sure ‘I had the right one.’ He was pulling me towards the holocaust memorial, so after he let go I rushed to it and hid in it so he wouldn’t follow me.” — fluxy2535
A fake STD saved her life
“My mum, over 40 years ago went backpacking around Europe, at the end of her trip she ended up in Germany with no money left and only a plane ticket to get home, but the plane was from Paris to Canada so she had to find a way to get to Paris. She hitchhiked her way towards the german/belgian border with people who were high and once they dropped her off she immediately found someone else who was willing to take her beyond the border but within 10 minutes she noticed he was taking her away from the highway and taking small roads and she got scared. Since she didn’t want to inform him that she knew something was up she just kept talking about her trips and added some not so pleasant details, talking about how she had recently caught a STD that gave her really painful and disgusting boils all over her genitals. They were quickly back on the highway and he dropped her off 50 meters away from the border before vanishing. 2 days later she landed in Canada safely and STD free. She didn’t tell me any of this until I was well in my 20s.” —
Man in black
“I was hiking alone in the mountains. To get their you obviously had to come through the woods way down below. As I made my way back down to the tree line, I headed into a clearing and decided to take a moment to rest. Took off my hat, took in a breath, shook off dust and pebbles. Suddenly I just became very aware that I wasn’t alone. Normally when this sense kicks in there’s a deer or moose or bear nearby. Some animal. I turned towards the trees and saw a man all clad in black just staring at me. He was completely motionless. Didn’t look like an inch of hiking or climbing gear on or around him. I thought it was odd so I wanted to snag a photo. Reached out for my camera and when I stood back up the dude was just gone. I immediately got flashbacks of that scene from David Fincher’s Zodiac when the killer appears by a tree at Lake Berryessa then disappears. I was extremely spooked. Now of course, I’m in the wild. Surely I’m not the only one out there. But this was in a relatively remote spot and I hadn’t come across anyone until then. I had to make my way into the area where I saw this person. I was on high alert for some intuitive reason. But when I passed by where he or she stood there was no one to be found. I looked around, called out even. Nothing. And the whole 8 hours back down I still came upon no one. Not one single soul. I think of that day often.” — TheGhostofYourPast
“Had a layover in Moscow, flying from Seoul to Barcelona a few years ago. Aeroflot, of course.
Standard economy ticket, nothing special.
We land as usual, and are leaving. Cabin crew and pilot were thanking us as we left. When I got to the door, the captain looks at me and grins. “thanks for flying with us Captain (last name).” I was a military Intel guy at the time, and it seemed apparent they wanted me to know I was being watched and tracked.
My phone immediately started blowing up with Russian phone numbers calling it once I cleared security and hid out at a different terminal than my follow on flight. Never been to Russia before, no friends or family. Super weird.” — cavscout43
Lost crawling around in a dark tunnel
“I traveled to Vietnam with my sister and father. One of the places we visited was an area of concentrated tunnels upkept from the Vietnam war era. We had the option of touring some of the tunnels, and jumped at the chance. We started out in a small room with holes at eye level that just cleared the earth’s surface. Perfect for shooting at the feet of the enemy.
We were then led down a tunnel that required us to stoop, seeing as we were significantly taller than our vietnamese guide. We came to another small room. Our guide told us that one tunnel led up and out, the other led to what was once a weapon cache. My sister and I really wanted to see that room, but my dad had enough and asked to be led out. To this day I have no idea what my thought process was, but I decided to lead my sister to the next room. I might have been under the impression that there was a second guide there, waiting for us?
Unsurprisingly, it got dark. The guide had the flashlight, and the hanging lamp from the previous room got harder to see by. I kept thinking “it has to be just a few feet further.” Instead, the tunnel got shorter and shorter, until we were basically crawling forwards in the dark, single file. I remember looking back, and realizing the tunnel must have curved or something because the lamp light was gone. There wasn’t enough space to turn around, so I kept going. I felt horrible, like I had just condemned my sister and I to dying in the dark, crushed by the ever shrinking tunnel.
Eventually the floor in front of me ended. Thinking back, we had probably reached the weapon cache room and only needed to drop a couple of feet to stand, but in the dark I only felt empty air in front of me. I’m pretty sure that moment is the moment I developed a fear of really wide open spaces, because to this day I can imagine some giant maw inches from my flailing arm looking for purchase.
I told my sister we’d have to crawl backwards, and goddamn if that middle schooler wasn’t an absolute trooper about the whole thing. Unfortunately we must have taken a turn without realizing it, because we started down there blind, lost, crawling in the dirt for what I would later learn was about an hour.
The guide eventually found us, and I’ve never been happier to see a flashlight.” — Aiged
“Some guy told me he would take me to Nevsky Prospect and he grabbed my arm. I was so paralyzed with fear and didn’t know what to do–even when he kissed me on the cheek! I felt like I couldn’t even scream or cry for help to any of the people passing by. He tried to give me his number too but I didn’t have a phone on me. I was really lucky that I was near my hostel, but he ended up chasing me all the way up to the front door.” — Cosmosisjoneses
“I pulled into a parking lot in Red River Gorge. Pretty deep back country. Bear warnings all over, I was an in idiot and ignored them because I’ve spent thousands, tens of thousands of hours there and never saw so much as what looks like it maybe, could possibly be with a stretch of the imagination, bear sign. Arrived at night so decided to sleep in my driver seat, woke up to a bear opening passenger door. Literally pissed on my self and managed to pull away.” — Tokin_To_Tolkien
He’s still driving cabs around Melbourne
“My friend was sexually assaulted by a cab driver. She had a bad feeling so started videoing. She actually got video footage of it while fighting him off. She thankfully managed to get out of the car and ran back to where she had left her vehicle. (She called the cab as she had been drinking). She drove to the nearest police station to report it. She was distressed to say the least. They arrested her for drink driving. Then later the police (Victoria, Australia) dropped her sexual assault case due to having ‘not having enough evidence’. Video of his hands, where they were, and his face, and her fighting him off. Not enough evidence?! That was the day I stopped feeling guilt for not reporting the monster who attacked me. She’s still suffering her punishment and he’s still driving cabs around Melbourne.” — ArtisFarkus
“Fell asleep on a cross-Atlantic flight. Window seat, split from my parents cuz fuck United. Woke up to the guy next to me sticking his hands down my pants. I was in middle school at the time.” — Quixy101
It could have been me
“While I was in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, a man in his early fifties was stabbed and killed for his backpack containing photography equipment. I am a man in my early fifties and at the time I was traveling with a backpack containing photography equipment.” — ken_davies
I wasn’t even alone
“I was on a short trip with four other women in Morrocco, and we still got harassed when walking through the old market, and one guy even grabbed my friend’s butt. I want to be independent and free, and for instance travel on my own, but honestly it seems unsafe in so many scenarios. Pretty frustrating.” — girls_gone_wireless
“As I went down one particularly deserted street I passed two men sitting in a doorway. In French one muttered to the other, “a woman”, and they both got up to follow me. Luckily I could see the train a block ahead, so I checked my imaginary watch and started running. I made it before the train left. I don’t know how far the men followed me, but there was hardly anyone at the station so I’m glad the train was there.” — FoldedButterfly
“Was riding a bicycle from Bangkok to Hanoi, solo. Met hostile behavior in rural Cambodia (no judgement, they’ve been through it!), but Vietnam was so friendly I completely let my guard down. By the time I made it to Huế, mid-Vietnam, I’d been invited back to peoples homes several times and was in love with the country. I didn’t realize Huế is known for scams. (The DMZ has been through it, too, obviously)
A dude on a motorbike intercepted me on my way into town and showed me a hotel, took me out to eat. Spent 3 days as my friend and tour guide. This is somewhat normal – english teachers want to practice with a native speaker. It’s very tough for even fluent Vietnamese people to compete with native speakers for teaching jobs.
On the day he knew to be my last in town, he rolled up a joint and we smoked it. He dropped out after two hits, saying he was a lightweight. I remember thinking it was weak-ass weed, and then I remember tripping balls as he rode in circles with me on the back of his motorbike, waiting for whatever drug to kick in. I recall thinking I was having so much fun, I’d never forget that night. This was laced weed – My tolerance was fine, I’d been smoking weed since I crossed out of Thailand (don’t fuck with drugs in Thailand).
He brought me to a food truck next to an ATM and kept doing magic tricks with money, to my hallucinogenic amazement. Then he needed to borrow my bills for the next trick, and that continued until I realized I was out of money – he’d been returning smaller bills after each trick. I was so messed up I realized nothing, so I went to the ATM and pulled out more money until he’d stolen all of that, too.” — arcticTaco
Another creepy tuktuk story
“My friends buddy (female) , apparently got sick in Thailand and decided to take the tuktuk back to the hotel by herself. She told the group to continue without her since she didn’t want to spoil their fun. She went missing ever since that…” — Freakzone2212
“There’s a lot of bad men out there”
“Traveling in South America by myself as a 22 year old woman. Arrived to Santiago, Chile by bus really late at night, like around 10 pm. Shortly after I got off the bus a guy comes up to me from the general area of the taxi stand and asks if I need a cab and I say yes. We start walking to his cab and it’s really far away. Like at least 5 blocks. I start to feel kind of uneasy but I’m also in the middle of this big, unfamiliar city and just try to reassure myself it’s fine. I double check his cab has all the normal brand markings when we finally get to it, and sit up front with my bag (more out of habit, it’s common to do this in Ubers in South America).
I give him the address of the hostel I booked and we small talk in Spanish for the first few minutes of the ride, and then there’s a bit of a natural pause, which he breaks by looking over at me and saying very calmly, “Are you scared?”
Of course that really freaked me out but I tried to seem calm. I just laughed a bit and was “Haha, no I’m good! Just tired and it’s late.”
And he goes “Hm. Well you seemed pretty scared back there when we were walking. You know, there’s a lot of bad people around here. Sometimes they pretend to be taxis, you never know who to trust. I’ve heard of women being sold after taking a bad taxi. Are you traveling here alone?”
This is while we’re still driving through the middle of the city. It’s dark and it’s late, and I’m now painfully aware literally no one knows where I am. I was going to message my family with an update when I got to the hostel. They don’t know I’m in Santiago, they think I’m still on the coast.
Of course I don’t say that and tell him that I’m always very careful and actually my group of friends know I’m on my way and are waiting for me at the hostel!
I see a stoplight coming up and was literally thinking that as soon as the car slowed down I was going to make a break for it and just jump out of the car. Probably the most scared I’ve ever been in my life.
Then out of the corner of my eye I see this guy reaching down for something under his seat and my brain is just going GUN GUN GUN it’s going to be a gun!
Instead, he pulls out a pamphlet. And then goes, “But you know, there’s always one thing we can trust, right? The Lord. Do you believe in God?”
And then proceeded to try and convert me for the remainder of the ride. Turned out to be harmless but in the moment that random religious cab driver scared the absolute shit out of me.”