This is my first time ever to post on this site. Anyways, I wanted to write about an experience I had during this summer vacation. I know that winter vacation is here and many people will be traveling to other countries. I am not writing this post to discourage anyone from traveling or visiting certain countries. I am writing this as information, concern, and caution to those who will be traveling, especially for the women.
This summer, my 2 friends and I, went to Malaysia, it was only us 3 ladies and we were ready to have a nice relaxing vacation. However, although we had some awesome moments in Malaysia, we had several uncomfortable moments (with men staring and cat calling at us, etc.) and one huge terrifying moment!
That terrifying moment took place when we took a bus to a nearby fairy so that we could spend the rest of our vacation in Langkawi Island in Malaysia. The bus ride was going to be about 7 hours long from KL to our destination, so we decided to take an over night bus to save our day time for leisure time and not travel time. We planned on arriving at the bus station around 630 or 7am. However, the bus arrived way ahead of schedule of what we were told and we arrived at the bus station around 4am. Dazed and confused we got off of the terminal. Luckily, I did not sleep on the bus because I was super uncomfortable and cold, but my friends were still half asleep when we got off the bus. When the bus stopped we were the only 3 people who got off the bus. Immediately, we had a hoard of taxi drivers run up to us asking if we needed a ride to the fairy. One "taxi" driver was being more aggressive than the others and took our bags to his car. As he was putting our luggage in his car, his "taxi partner" came to greet us. (Red Flag # 1) Then, when I had a closer look at this "taxi partner" I noticed it was a man dressed and posing as a woman. (Red Flag # 2). All along my friends were chatting with the "taxi" driver. At this point, I became suspicious so before I got in the taxi I looked inside and noticed there was not a meter in the taxi. (Red Flag #3) As I stepped back I noticed that the taxi was not a taxi but a regular car that blended in with all of the other taxi cars surrounding it. (Red Flag #4) I immediately began yelling saying to my friends "This is not a taxi," simultaneously throwing our luggage out of the trunk of the car. When I did this both the "taxi" driver and his partner began trying to convince us that they were a "private car" and would take us anywhere we wanted to go. When my friends and I tried to walk away he followed us and continued to harass us about getting in the car with him and his partner. We were finally able to get in a real taxi who drove us safely to the fairy. Once we arrived at the fairy...we waited inside a 7/11 (since we were terrified) and met 3 Chinese girls who said a similar experience had just happened to them on their way to the fairy.
So here it is, I never thought in my whole LIFE, I would experience a real life "TAKEN" experience. My friends and I are all educated. I even hold a Masters degree in Social Work and most of my research in graduate school was about sex trafficking, so I really never thought this sort of thing could happen to me! These men were sex traffickers and to be honest if one of us would not have been alert...we would have gotten into the car with those men. My friends were drowsy from sleeping on the bus, and I am thankful that I was not able to sleep on that bus, because I would not have been alert! You always hear stories about people disappearing while on vacation, well we would have been those people. Please, Im writing this because I care about all of you, even though I do not know you personally. Ladies, if you are traveling by yourself or with other females..PLEASE be alert at ALL times and don't ever be too trusting, especially when you are traveling to developing countries such as Malaysia, which has a serious issue with sex trafficking! If you can, try to have at least one male with you. I really believe that if we would have had one male with us, they would not have tried to kidnap us. These men targeted us because we were alone and foreign to their country. I wish I would have wrote this post earlier....but I hope that this post will make you more cautious and alert while traveling from now on. I know my friends and I will be.
As for me, I really don't have any desire to go back to Malaysia, unless I was accompanied by a male. Again, this is not to discourage anyone from traveling to Malaysia or anywhere else. I just wanted to share to honestly help other people out there who might find themselves in a questionable situation. Please trust your instinct, if something doesn't feel right then, don't do it!
Safe travels everyone! Love ya'll!
OMG, you mean all those shady taxi drivers in Southeast Asia that try to get away with charging tourists multiple times the real rate are also sex traffickers?