In this latest top 10 series, I will be covering my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
Here is a list of Ten Top 10 I will be covering in this series:
- Horrible Experiences
- Favourite Experiences
- Life Lessons
- Hikes and Treks
You would think that travelling is all fun and games. Nothing bad ever happens right? This could be the furthest from the truth. Whenever you’re entering a new country, you will need to adapt as quickly as possible. This means being accustomed to a different culture and way of doing things.
Travelling to a new country can also be exciting with a lot of adventures and obstacles in sight.
During my 380 days of travel around the world, I managed to narrow down my top 10 horrible experiences.
My top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel
#10: Denied boarding a plane in South Korea
Read the full story here: How I was denied boarding a plane in South Korea.
After an amazing time exploring Jeju Island in South Korea, I was headed to my next destination: Beijing, China. At this point of my trip, I was hopping around from country to country collecting the 7 New Wonders of the World and the 7 Wonders of Nature.
Major problems arised as soon as I attempted to check in my bags. The lady at the check-in counter tells me that because I didn’t have a VISA to China, they would not let me board the plane.
I tried telling them about Beijing’s 72-Hour VISA free transit rule. However, there was one problem. The plane I was taking had a short connection through Shenzhen. Unfortunately, the airport in Shenzhen requires you to go through immigration as they didn’t have a passage way allowing you to connect to their domestic flights.
Long story short, I was denied boarding the plane and I wasted the money I paid for the flight tickets. I ended up having to buy new tickets with Korean Air to fly from Seoul to Beijing.
My experience being denied boarding a plane in South Korea is placed at number 10 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#9: Never ending scams and lies in Egypt
Read this article to prevent scams in Cairo: How I Would Travel in Cairo Egypt If I Can Do It Again
Egypt was the third country I visited during my one year around the world trip. I was a beginner backpacker back then and didn’t realize how difficult it would be to travel independently in the country. The main reason being the never ending harassment I experienced.
From the moment you leave your hotel room, someone is already waiting outside to scam you, trick you, or find a way to get money out of you. Cairo is one of the worst place on Earth. The sheer amount of scams and lies is staggering that you start developing trust issues.
Whenever an Egyptian tells me about their “hospitality”, it automatically triggers SCAM in my head.
It’s also difficult to travel in this country as a woman and my sister who came with me was sexual harassed when we took the local train.
My girlfriend broke down crying many times from the amount of harassment we experienced. I literally couldn’t wait to get out of the country.
Because of the sheer amount harassment and lies we experienced in Egypt, I firmly place this experience at number 9 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#8: Attempted robbery in Bologna, Italy
Read the full story here: How a Banana Saved Me From Getting Robbed in Italy
I was already having a bad time in Italy thanks to all the racism I experienced while I was in Rome and the Switzerland-Italy border. To add insult to injury, some Italian hooligans in the Bologna train station attempted to rob me.
One Italian thug kept following me in the train station and would not stop harassing me to give him some money. After spending a lengthy amount of time trying to get rid of him, I gave him a piece of banana because I knew he wasn’t going to leave me alone unless he gets something from me.
He takes it and walks away. As he was walking away, his fellow gang of criminal friends come out of hiding behind pillars to join him. I was shocked. They were definitely waiting for someone to open up their wallet and then his gang of friends would ambush the victim and take their stuff.
Giving this thug a piece of fruit saved me from getting robbed.
Because of this nerve wrecking experience, I place this experience in Italy at number 8 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#7: Inle Lake, Myanmar motel scam
Read the full story here: Scammed By Our Motel At Inle Lake Myanmar
While we were in Inle Lake, Myanmar, we have arranged a VIP bus with our motel to take us back to Yangon to catch our flight out of the country.
We were already having issues with the motel owner because she already messed up a previous booking. On the day we were suppose to board the VIP bus, turns out our tickets were invalid and we were essentially scammed.
The bus company was nice enough to get us a seat in the local long distance bus which turned out to be a big nightmare. We wanted the VIP bus because it had a toilet inside and it would arrive at Yangon in 10 hours instead of 15 hours.
We suffered through an insane 15 hour bus ride with only 1 toilet stop in between and many locals puking throughout the ride.
Because of this infuriating experience, I place this experience in Inle Lake, Myanmar at number 7 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#6: Food poisoning in a bus that doesn’t have a toilet in Albania
Read the full story here: Albania – The Worst Time To Get Food Poisoning
While travelling through the Balkan countries in Eastern Europe, I took a bus going from Podgorica, Montenegro to Skopje, Macedonia. During this journey, we stopped in both Albania and Kosovo to grab a bite to eat.
In the worst possible scenario, I ate some funky tasting food in Albania that caused my stomach to hurt. A few hours later, I soon realized I was food poisoned.
To make matters worst, our bus did not have a toilet and there was no place for me to get rid of the poison in my body. I was literally turning green from pain while I was in the bus.
After hours of suffering, we ended up in Kosovo where the bus driver was nice enough to take me to a place to help me get some temporary relief.
The whole experience was a nightmare and I learned that when travelling through undeveloped countries, it’s better to be hungry than risk getting sick eating the local food.
Because of this painful experience, I place this experience in Albania at number 6 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#5: Denied crossing the border from Cambodia to Thailand
Read the full story here: Denied Exiting The Cambodian Border – A Miracle Happens
After exploring Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, my next destination was Chiang Mai, Thailand. I ended up booking a bus going from Siem Reap, to Bangkok.
To complete this journey, I will need to cross the border. However, that’s when things started going downhill.
As soon as we arrived at the Cambodia-Thailand border, the immigration officer rudely announced to me that I need a print-out of the E-VISA I used to enter the country. I thought the E-VISA was only necessary upon entering the country and so I didn’t have one handy on me. As a result, I was denied leaving Cambodia.
To make matters worst, the bus that I took already crossed over to the Thailand side with all my belongings. I also had a flight that evening going from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. So if I don’t cross over to Thailand, I will lose all my belongings and I will miss my flight that evening.
You can click the link above to get the full story since it’s a lengthy one.
Because of this close call experience, I place getting denied crossing the Cambodian border at number 5 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#4: Massive racism towards Asian males in Italy
Read the full story here: Many Italian People in Italy Are Racist Towards Asian Males
One of my most infuriating experience was travelling in Italy. As soon as I crossed the border from Switzerland to Italy, the racism already started.
Racist #1: Italian woman in the Switzerland-Italy border
First, as I was trying to move from one train car to the next, one Italian woman randomly started yelling in a derogatory way “NI HA, NI HA, NI HA” at me. I think this moron was trying to say “Ni Hao” to me. If you’re trying to be racist, at least do it right. Fucking idiot.
Racist #2: Italian man in the metro in Rome
Next, while I was trying to take the metro towards my accommodation in Rome, a random Italian man started staring me down and started blurting out what seemed to be offensive words in Italian. As soon as the metro car opens, he gets up, looks at me in the eye and blatantly stomps on my foot then runs out of the metro car. He then proceeded to point at his crotch at me in which I responded with a middle finger. I loved how he only acted tough as soon as the metro car opened so he can get away. Pathetic coward.
Racist #3: Racist Italian boy in the Vatican Museum
The last blatant act of racism I experienced in Italy was this 12 year old boy blatantly mocking every Asian that walked by him with a prayer bow while I was in the Vatican Museum.
I think the saddest thing about this whole experience is it all happened within a 2 day time span. That is a lot of racism in 48 hours. Not to mention someone tried to rob me on my 3rd day in Italy.
Because of the blatant racism I incurred in Italy, I place this experience at number 4 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#3: Car crash in Namibia
Read the full story here: Car Crash Nightmare in Namibia
I was asleep when it started happening. The car suddenly began spinning out of control. Before I know it, I was fully awake and the car was heading towards a dirt ramp at the corner of the road.
The car crashed hard causing massive damage to the front and under the car.
Thankfully, no one was hurt. However, we were now stranded, in the middle of the Namibian desert with no one to help us get back to town.
There are no paved roads for most of Namibia and it’s easy to lose control when driving. The backpacker driving the car may have gotten a bit confident in his driving. It’s important to stay cautious when driving in Namibia.
As we waited in the desert, a random pick up truck full of Namibians can by and helped us push the car from where it was lodged and back to the main “road”. Soon after, a police car came by and told us to visit the local police station to report the car crash.
This event was such a huge nightmare because we had to pay a deductible for the crash. To make matters worst, Karen and myself had to constantly message three of the other backpackers we were in the car in to try and get the money from them to help pay for the damages (we put the car rental under my credit card). It took over three months for them to eventually pay us back for the car crash damage.
Because of this nightmare situation, I place this experience in Namibia at number 3 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#2: Food poisoning in Bagan, Myanmar
Read the full story here: I Thought I Was Going To Die From Food Poisoning In Myanmar
After having a great time riding an e-bike to explore Bagan in Myanmar, Karen and myself decided to go to this restaurant to grab a bite to eat.
Several hours later, I started feeling really queasy. Not too long after, I started getting chills and started spewing from both ends. This is the worst food poisoning I have ever experienced in my entire life.
It just wouldn’t end and I couldn’t hold any liquid down for long without spewing and spewing. I’ve never suffered so bad from food poisoning until this moment. Karen was also food poisoned; though, not as bad as me as she also spent some time puking during the night.
We eventually got over it a few days later without seeing a doctor.
This gut wrenching experience in Bagan, Myanmar firmly places this experience at number 2 in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
#1: Stranded in the middle of the jungle with a smuggler in Guyana
Read the full story here: Stranded In The Middle Of The Jungle At 2AM – Our Driver Gets Caught Smuggling In Guyana
After travelling through Venezuela, I thought my insane adventures are over in South America. I thought that from this point on, it will be smooth sailing for me.
I was wrong.
For me to reach Georgetown, Guyana, I had to take a 24-hour van ride through the dense jungle in Guyana. There was only one problem. Turns out our driver was a smuggler.
At the river crossing, something felt off. Our driver was taking forever for us to leave at our dinner stop. Before we knew it, he was loading sacks of alcohol onto the van. It seems like he retrieved it from the river.
When we finally got going, we were stopped in the mid-way point by a police road block. Our driver was busted of smuggling and the van was confiscated in the middle of the jungle.
All the passengers were stranded in the middle of the dense jungle at 2 am with no place to sleep and no place to go. To make matters worst, there is a ton of mosquitoes in this jungle. When those mosquitoes bite you, they lay an egg in your skin. If you don’t scratch it off, the eggs will hatch under your skin. If you scratch it off, you will have a massive open wound for a week. That’s what happened to me as I scratched off the mosquito bite leaving a massive open wound that won’t heal.
Escaping the jungle
The next day at 8:30am, a pickup truck drove by and we begged him to take us to the next city. After paying him $25 USD each, he crammed us all in the truck. After over 8 hours of the most uncomfortable ride in my life, we made it back to Georgetown.
This painful experience in Guyana takes the number 1 spot in my top 10 horrible experiences during my 380 days of travel around the world.
Despite having all these horrible experiences while I was travelling, they’re part of the adventure. They also make the best stories whenever someone asks me about my travel experiences.
While I try to avoid bad things from happening to me while travelling, sometimes, they can’t be avoided.
When bad things happen during my travels, I realize, it’s best to just accept my fate and do my best to resolve the situation.