Backpacking. The campfire stories

A girl I met in Chiang Mai told me the story of her bus trip in Vietnam. She had booked a bus to take a 12 hour night trip from Hue to Hoi Am for that night, her and her two friends waited together for the bus to come. After the bus was two hours late they asked one of the workers when the bus was due. They were told the bus had been cancelled and they would need to get the next one the following night.
Obviously they were annoyed and went back to the hostel that they had booked the trip through to get the ticket changed as they would have had to pay for a new ticket otherwise. The hostel worker rang the bus station to find out what had happened to their bus. It turns out the bus was returning from an earlier run to Hoi Am and had crashed on the way, killing 30 passengers, mostly locals and some tourists.

A man I met on a night bus in Laos told me the story of his iPad. He had been taking some photos using his iPad just before going on a overnight bus in Laos, and when he was told his bus was ready he put his iPad into his big backpack and locked the backpack up. All large backpacks and luggage are stored in the luggage compartment at the bottom of the bus. Sometimes you may find a motorbike or two sitting alongside backpacks and crates. On the bus he slept for a few hours before the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere, the bottom storage doors opened, but no one got of the bus.
He went back to sleep and woke up just before they reached Vientiane, when he left the bus he collected his backpack and went with a few friends to find a hostel for the night and to see some of the city. When at the hostel he unlocked his back and discovered that his iPad had gone. Ringing the bus company he found no one could help him, he offered money for the safe return of his iPad but did not hear back from them.

A guy I met in Bangkok who had been living in Bangkok for the last year told me about an incident with a taxi driver. He had gotten a taxi to work and as some taxis do here he was taken the long way around, the taxi purposelessly missing turns and at one point went in completely the wrong direction. Bangkok is known for its dodgy taxis that will do just about anything to get a higher fare. My friend had argued with the taxi man, resulting in him paying the fare and getting out to walk. He slammed the door behind him, and the taxi man angrily got out of his car and went to the boot pulling out a large machete knife. My friend instantly apologised and was lucky enough just to get spat on by the driver before he returned to the car and drove of.

A hostel worker at one of the hostels I’ve stayed at told me about a girl who had been robbed walking down the street. A man on a motorbike had cut her bag with a knife and went to dive away. The girl had somehow managed to get a grip on her bag and held on as the guy drove down the road. After two streets the guy let go of the bag but by then the girl had been dragged behind him so far that all her skin had been scrapped. She ended in a hospital for two weeks.

Halloween in Penang had me and some friends were walking to a club. I had stopped for food with three others leaving everyone else to walk ahead. Once fully fed we went to catch up with the group and found them just at the end of the road. One was nursing his foot and when I asked him what was wrong he told me about the events of the last 10 minutes.
The group was walking at the side of the road as there are no pavements when a taxi driver started beeping at them. The group moved as far over as possible but this was not good enough for the taxi driver who got out of the car. The driver shouting in Malay kicked one of the girls square in the chest, she fell to the floor. My friend had seen this and went to defend her turning in to a fight with the driver. Once the taxi realised he was out numbered he returned to his car and quickly drove of. Leaving one guy with a broken foot and the girl with a nasty bruise on her chest still lying on the road.

A friend of a friend who has been staying in Thailand legally but working illegally over the last two years wanted a B visa so he could work and stay longer. To get this visa there are many hoops to jump through and you have to be sponsored by your work.  This lead the friend of a friend to take a short cut and go through an agent for a little extra money. This agent was introduced to him by a friend of his who had reassured him it was fine to do. After handing over his passport and most of his money the agent went to get the visas. Two weeks later the agent contacted the friend asking for more money, the guy and the others who had also handed over their passports and money refused to pay more. After a few weeks of back and forth with the agent, they threatened to go to the police. Finally they had their passports returned to them, but after a month waiting most had gone over the allowed time on their visas and were now in trouble with immigration and had to pay a fine for every day they over the visa end date. Many then left the country after paying thousands of baht for a visa they did not get and thousands more in fines from immigration.

A friend was offered a job in Thailand, this job was working with the army to get people specifically Black Africans to buy fake visas. The reason for this was to get them into trouble, deported and possibly arrested, all because the visa guy did not like black Africans.
Side note: My friend refused the job offer.

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