My Top 5 Travel Misadventures

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Tina

Have you ever experienced any misadventure while traveling? I did many times. I think in almost all of the trips I took, I had some misadventures. The misadventures were not major catastrophes though, thank God. They were just minor inconveniences and are actually funny to look back on. And in this post, I’m sharing my top 5 travel misadventures.

A monkey jumped on my back in Mt. Popa, Myanmar

In 2019 while I was backpacking, I visited Mt. Popa Monastery in Myanmar. It sits atop a huge rocky outcrop on the slopes of the extinct volcano Mt. Popa. My friend Andreu was planning to visit Myanmar 2 months after my trip there and Mt. Popa is on his itinerary. During the time that I was in Myanmar, I took videos and shared them with him. When I was in Mt. Popa, I decided to take a video for him when I was on my way down.

So I was filming, complete with the narration when suddenly a monkey jumped on my back and stayed there for maybe 2 minutes or longer. Boy, he was heavy. It’s like having a child on your back. I got scared and didn’t know what to do. I decided not to move so as not to agitate the monkey. I didn’t want him to bite or scratch me. Can you imagine the hassle it will bring if I get bitten by that monkey? I will probably need to have an anti-rabies injection.

What’s even scarier is that I could see the other monkeys coming towards me while I was standing there. Luckily a local saw what was happening and rescued me. She successfully drove away the monkey on my back and all the other monkeys near me.

Related post: Myanmar Travel Guide for Solo Travelers

Getting lost on our way to Mt. Gulugod Baboy

In 2016, my friend Mina and I were supposed to climb Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Anilao, Batangas. Everything should have turned out as I have planned it. He even woke up earlier than his usual time of waking up because I told him it is ideal that we leave at 9:00 am. He said he normally wakes up at 11:00 am. But I probably got too excited that I didn’t notice we boarded the wrong bus.

I knew we had to take the bus bound for Batangas Grand Terminal. The bus we boarded had the sign Lucena Grand Terminal. During that time I thought there is only one Grand Terminal in the south. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that Lucena is in Quezon Province and Batangas is a different province. I told the bus conductor to drop us off at the Grand Terminal and we were charged Php 220.00 each for the bus fare. I was surprised because the blogs I read say that the fare is only around Php 160.00. But that didn’t make me realize we were on the wrong bus.

Three hours have passed when I noticed a sign on the road that says the place is in a town in Quezon Province. Mina checked google maps and asked me why we were moving away from our destination. I just told him maybe there’s another way. And then it was already almost 1:00 pm and we were not yet at our destination. It should only take about 3 hours to get to Batangas Terminal. That’s when I started to think that something’s wrong. I asked the bus conductor if the bus is going to Batangas Grand Terminal. Guess what, it’s not. Disaster!!

Related Post: Tita Hike Series Episode 1: Why Mt. Manabu is the Perfect Mountain for Late Risers, Solo Hikers and Beginners

We had to alight the bus and take another bus going to Sto. Tomas and from there we have to ride the Batangas Bus. It was already 1 pm. It will be late already when we reach Anilao so I decided we’re going to climb Mt. Manabu instead because it is nearer to where we were. It was almost 4 pm when we got there.

We didn’t get a guide. The trail was so muddy and slippery because it rained the day before. We didn’t reach the summit as we don’t want to be walking in the dark with that kind of trail and we didn’t even have a flashlight. We only reached halfway. But it was a nice, challenging, fun hike and Mina had a great time even if his shoes got torn while climbing.

What I love about him is that he never got angry or grumpy the whole time, even after we got lost. He was just so cool about everything and just told me that the next time I am in doubt, I need to tell him so we could decide together.

Related Post: Misadventure that Led to a Hike to Mount Manabu

Looking for a hotel at 2 am in Hanoi, Vietnam

On my first trip to Vietnam in 2018, I didn’t book accommodation prior to my flight to Hanoi. My flight was scheduled to arrive there at 1:00 AM. I couldn’t decide if I’m going to stay at the airport until 6 in the morning or stay in a hotel. The adventurous me decided not to book. I told myself when I arrive in Hanoi I will know what I want to do. Well, I was super sleepy when I arrived so I decided to book a Grab car to The Signature Inn.

When I checked their website a few hours before my flight, there were still a few bunk beds available so I assumed that they have available space. Unfortunately, they were fully booked when I got there. So at 2 in the morning, I was out in the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, looking for a place to stay, and didn’t know where to go. What’s worse is that it was raining. Good thing I brought my raincoat.

Related Post: Hanoi Travel Guide and How to Spend One Day in Hanoi, Vietnam

I didn’t expect that I will have a hard time looking for a hostel or hotel at 2 in the morning. The hotels and hostels I passed by were closed, probably because they were already fully booked. I continued walking and was starting to get scared (yeah I know how to get scared too haha) because there were few guys on motorcycles and some taxi drivers who approached me and asked where I was going. I just ignored them and continued walking. Just as I was about to give up, I saw Hanoi Friends Inn. I thought that maybe they were fully booked too but inquired anyway. Luckily they have a vacant room. I was so relieved when I got to my room.

Thank God nothing bad happened to me while I was walking alone. I’ve been told by a friend who used to work in Vietnam and also read on the internet that there are street robbers in Hanoi. From then on, every time I travel I make sure I book accommodation for at least one night so that I don’t have to go through that experience again.

Related Post: Review: Hanoi Friends Inn- Tidy Place with a Friendly Service

Tour to My Son Sanctuary Got Cancelled

My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary

On the same trip as the story above, I traveled to Hoi-an, Vietnam for my birthday. My youngest brother was also in Vietnam so we agreed to meet in Hoi-an. One of the places we wanted to visit is the My Son Sanctuary because it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We were planning on going to My Son Sanctuary without joining a tour group. However, my brother found out there isn’t really any reliable public transport from Hoi An to My Son and booking a tour is the cheapest way to go.

We booked a Sunrise Tour to My Son in our hotel. The tour costs VND 200 000 (~10 USD) and is inclusive of an English-speaking guide, hotel pick-up, and breakfast. The receptionist said we will be picked up from the hotel at 5 in the morning and will be back at 9 in the morning. We were happy because we will still have some time to roam around the Old Town before checking out.

Everything would have been great except when we got back to our hotel room after having dinner and exploring Hoi An Old Town, we found a note on our door that says “Sorry Raymond & Tina. Because in My Son it’s stormy now, so the tour sunrise doesn’t work tomorrow. So tomorrow please come to reception to get back your money. Thank you!”

It was already late to find another booking office to book a tour, and we didn’t want to skip visiting this site so my brother searched for directions on how to get there by public transport. We were able to get to the intersection that goes to My Son with the public transport. We thought that there would be motorcycle taxis waiting at the intersection, but we were wrong. There were locals who offered to take us there for VND 300 000 (~15 USD) for the round trip. We thought it’s too expensive compared to the cost of booking a tour so we declined.

We decided to walk until we find a cheaper alternative, and even considered walking up to My Son, but the sign at the intersection says My Son is 9 kilometers away. What made our search for transportation to My Son more difficult was that the locals didn’t know how to speak English. We communicated with them mostly through sign language and Google translate. It was so hard, believe me.

Just when we have given up the thought of finding a ride, a man on a rickshaw stopped beside us and offered to take us there. I forgot to take a picture of his vehicle, but it looks like the ones used to transport sacks of rice from the farm. It looks old and rusty but I didn’t mind riding in there anymore as long as he can take us to My Son. Just like the others, he doesn’t speak English too. We were able to haggle with him using Google translate and we agreed at VND 200 000 (~10 USD) round trip. After we agreed on the rate, he called someone over the phone. A few minutes later, a young Vietnamese guy arrived on a motorcycle. He was the one who took us to My Son.

Related Post: Misadventure on Our Way to My Son Sanctuary: A Guide on Visiting the Site Without a Tour Group

Hitchhiking in a tourist bus in Fenchihu, Taiwan

In 2017, I traveled solo to Taiwan. On my way to Alishan from Fenchihu, I hitchhiked on a tour bus unintentionally. When I checked in at my hotel the day before, the receptionist gave me a map with Chinese characters and told me that to get to Alishan, I have to ride on the bus at the bus stop at 9 in the morning.

So the following day, I went to the bus stop before 9 AM. I asked the passengers of the bus that was parked there if it’s the bus to Alishan. It was a bit difficult communicating with them because they don’t speak English and I don’t speak Chinese. And then one of them said it is not, the bus is going to Chiayi. So I left.

Related Post: My Solo Travel Itinerary to Chiayi County and Taipei in Taiwan

But then I remembered that the receptionist told me to get off somewhere and from there I have to wait for a bus to Alishan. She marked it on the map so I went back to the bus and showed the driver the map. I asked him if they are passing by that place and he said yes. I asked him if he could drop me off there. He said yes, then told me to sit on the step near him. I thought the bus is full that’s why he asked me to sit there. When I asked him how much is the fare, he said “no fee”. When I was already sitting, it’s when I realized it’s actually a tour bus. No wonder it’s free. 😆

So that’s my top 5 travel misadventures. I hope you got entertained reading the stories and hope you learned from my mistakes. Is there any travel misadventure you would like to share? Please write them down below in the comments section.

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