8 Truly Frightening Travel Experiences

Because, frankly, this picture scared the beejeezus out of me.  Great little piece from the Sydney Morning Herald blog.  The rest of them are not even a consideration.  Except for #3, which isn’t so much of a problem for me.  Tho’ Stuart would disagree.

8 Truly Frightening Experiences.

Posted by Ben Groundwater

“If you really wanted to scare the hell out of yourself, there are certain experiences around the world that are guaranteed to do the job.

Here are just a few of them …

1.  Swimming in Devil’s Pool, Zambia
This small rockpool just above the thundering rage that is Victoria Falls ticks all the “stupidly scary experience” boxes. Fairly pointless? Check. You could go swimming anywhere. Complete lack of safety precautions? Check. One large swell of water would sweep you over the edge to your watery, ugly death. Considered a badge of honour among travellers? Check. Nutters.

2.  Climbing Mount Kinabalu’s via ferrata, Malaysia
There are several safe ways to get up a mountain. I wouldn’t have thought bolting a few planks of wood and some rusty iron railings to a cliff face would be one of those. Still, if your heart really desires, you can climb the world’s highest via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu – spine-tingling views included.

3.  Passing through US Immigration, USA
You’re not a criminal; you know you’re not a criminal. Sure, you once slagged off George Dubya at a dinner party, but it’s not like your shoes are filled with explosives. So why are you standing there, sweating like Alfie Langer at an RBT? Why? Because US immigration officials are the scariest in the business. One mistake and it’s going to be a very bad day for you.

4.  Driving between Chittagong and Dhaka, Bangladesh
I’ve written about this one before, but really, I can’t do a list of scary experiences and not include it. Because it is without doubt The. Most. Frightening. Journey. In the world. Buses careen towards each other at top speed, ignoring the lack of overtaking lanes, pedestrians sprint across the pot-holed bitumen, trucks play chicken with each other while rickshaws veer onto the dirt verges … it’s incredible, and petrifying.

5.  Bungee jumping from Macau Tower, Macau
Bungee jumping’s pretty scary anywhere, but there’s something about being 223 metres in the air, on a tower that sways in the wind (scary enough in itself), and then plucking up the courage to throw yourself off it with only an elastic band wrapped around your ankles that sets this one above the rest. I admit: I bottled it.

6.  Riding Death Road, Bolivia (Battered Orange Suitcase Winner)
This’d be one of those things that’d be scary even if, like bungee jumping or sky-diving, it was actually quite safe. But, it’s not. It’s just a muddy, narrow road clinging to the Andean mountainside – no railings, no safety nets, just a straight drop into a gaping abyss. People die on this road, regularly. And tourists pay money to ride mountain bikes down it. Go figure.

7.  Bush camping in the Serengeti
It’s only when you notice the cooks that you realise how much trouble you’re in. You’re sleeping in a tent. Fair enough. So why have the cooks locked themselves into the mesh-lined food cages? Because there are lions out there. They’ll probably be prowling through the camp in the middle of the night. Don’t worry, they tell you. Just don’t leave any food in your tent. Not including you, of course.

8.  Taking a motorbike taxi, Vietnam
The constant cries are too much to ignore. “Moto? Mister! Moto?” Fine, you think, I’ll take a motorbike taxi. It’s cheap, and I only need to go a few blocks. What you hadn’t reckoned on was the helmet-free dash through a mind-boggling amount of traffic, your driver paying no heed to things like road rules or natural physics. Even worse: it’s kinda fun.”

To see the entire posting, click here.

2 comments for “8 Truly Frightening Travel Experiences

  1. May 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    OMG, I wonder how many people in Kenya have become dinner in those little tents! I would not do any of them, even in my nutso youth!

  2. Mom
    May 14, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Yep – scared to death. Altho – maybe a bungee jump would be great. After all I have zipped lined. Not the same? As close as I come.

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