5 of My Most Stomach Churning Rides from around the World

  November 12, 2016 travel posts ๐Ÿ•‘ 5 minutes read

Holding on for dear life in Savusavu, Fiji. Still managed to smile.


He flipped his fellow driver the Lankan Bird.


After spitting out a hearty, “F*ck You!” and glaring at his fellow tuk tuk driver, our suicidal operator cut him off, flipped him off, and put the pedal to the medal until the tuk tuk reached a deadly 50 MPH.


Just another day being ferried around in paradise, feeling like I’d paid the ferryman to cross the River Styxx into hell.


Getting from Point A to Point B can be a harrowing experience as you circle the globe.


In places like Bali and Thailand, traffic signs or signals are often viewed as casual suggestions.


Enjoy 5 of my wildest rides from around the world.


1: Rage-Filled 3 Wheel Lankans in Colombo, Sri Lanka


3 Wheel Lankan drivers in Colombo, Sri Lanka were a combustible combo: imagine the savage aggressiveness of a New York City driver with the reckless abandon of a SE Asian motorbike operator.


I got the feeling that unless you wildly passed 5 people during a 2 minute ride, a 3 Wheel guy believed all onboard would spontaneously burst into flames, a Colombo Cremation worthy of a Michael Bey movie.


Since I didn’t want to go out like an immolating monk, Kelli and I took like 3 tuk tuk rides in Colombo.


2: Dozing Drivers Laos


I coughed like an 80 year old, life-time smoker who left the womb puffing on Lucky’s.


Had to, to grab the attention of our sleepy driver.


The bus guy on the 24 hour ride from Northern Laos to Chiang Mai, Thailand had dozed again as we entered a wildly tight, highly dangerous, blind curve in mountain country.


Red Bulls were strewn to and fro by the driver’s seat, fueling these 2 Young Turks as we hurtled through the night on some of the world’s most dangerous roads.


Every hour or so I spotted a 10 to 20 foot section of guard rail ripped away.


Meaning the driver and passengers of the autos or buses which blasted through the guard hurtled hundreds of feet to their deaths.


A lady began retching not 45 minutes into the trip as we wound around severe curves, climbing higher and higher through the mountains.


24 hours later we arrived in Chiang Mai.


In peace.


Sure as Hell felt like Hades during some of these rides.

Sure as Hell felt like Hades during some of these rides.


Not in pieces.


3: 1 Way Bus Drivers Cambodia


“Tribute to England!”


My friends and I yelled this – in our best Brit accents – when we drove down the wrong way of the street, on quiet side streets, late at night, ย as dingbat high schoolers.


Cambodian bus drivers seemed to resonate withย our juvenile silliness.


Except they ferried around a collection of blase, “no big deal this guy’s driving like a Kampuchean Kamikaze” Cambodians and pale-white tourists, calling in their will, praying to their Maker, and getting in that critical last Facebook update before transitioning to the ethers.


These jokers regularly passed cars, buses, tuk tuks, cows, dogs and anything sentient – or inanimate – driving into oncoming traffic, cutting it DANGEROUSLY close as buses and trucks and cars hustled toward us at a terrifying high rate of speed.


We avoided becoming part of a Cambodian Steel Sandwich.




4: Death-Defying Logger Run Savusavu, Fiji


I’ve chronicled my near death experience on a logging truck in Savusavu, Fiji.


Sunday ain’t a high traffic day in Savusavu.


NO day is a high traffic day in Savusavu.


Had to hitch-hike from the waterfalls to Savusavu. On the way home.


So naturally, my Fijian buddies picked the first ride: a huge logging flatbed.


The chicks got inside the cab.


Me and my Fiji bro’s and I rode by the lumber.


The set-up: I clung to a steel grate with 2 hands, awkwardly reaching across my body as I balanced on the outside 3 toes of my right foot, on a razor’s edge, as we were buffeted around by 1 ton lumber load shifts, when the driver barreled around tight turns at 30 to 40 MPH.


How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging


Like a deadly game of Twister.


If it weren’t for my guns/pipes/arms, I’d have been a Fijian version of Frogger.




5: Agitating ATV Ride Buena Vista, Costa Rica


“Welcome to the Jungle Baby! You Gonna DDDDIIIIIIIIEEEEE!” ~ Axel Rose (or Ryan Biddulph in Buena Vista, Costa Rica)


Kelli and I were transported from the remote outpost of Bribri, Costa Rica to the freaking wilderness in the DEEP jungles of the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, in lovely Buena Vista….via ATV.


4 wheel drive trucks could make it 40% of the way.


Then ya had to do ATV or horseback.

Me cruising by the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. From 2014. One of my few boat rides.

Me cruising by the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. From 2014. One of my few boat rides.

Or, by your tootsies.


I was whipped to and fro, like a spastic rag doll, feeling like Indiana Jones as we were whisked around hair pin turns in the dense jungle underbrush.


The young Tico driver wheeled this sucker up 1 mile high, muddy, rocky mountain as my rear end slid off the back of the quad.


I clung onto the machine for dear life as bullet ants rained down from the jungle canopy.


No lie.


When the homeowner rode on the quad a few minutes after us he found the critter with the most excruciatingly painful bite on earth climbing up the ATV, ready to sink its ferocious fangs into his fanny.


Honorable Mention: Van from Sihanoukville to Kampot, Cambodia


We were packed in like slimy, sweaty sardines, 10 to 12 tourists (some smelling like they’d bathed in freshly-dredged sewer scum and eaten shit sandwiches the night before) jammed into a van which flew from Sihanoukville to Kampot, Cambodia.


Luggage was tied to the top of the van.


A van without a real luggage rack.


Air conditioning took a while to kick in.


Adding to the sweat.


And stink.


A child vomited last night’s Cambodian fish stew on some guy’s flip flops.


The kid’s mom cleaned it up, piling said puke into a small plastic bag.


Which she hung from the back of the passenger-side chair.


The bag of child vomit swung back and forth with each turn, creating a Puke Pendulum that teased my gag reflex.


When I arrived in Kampot I swore I was prepared to crawl on all 4’s to my next destination.

  1. LH Louis says:
    at 5:19 pm

    If you have a chance to stop by VN that’d be great, I missed that place since I came over here.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 5:57 pm

      Hi LH,

      I’ve LOVE to head back to Vietnam. Your home country rocks! Thanks for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Harleena Singh says:
    at 7:43 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Happy Monday ๐Ÿ™‚

    My goodness!! Really – really wild!! I can never think of such rides, leave alone going ahead with any of them, so hats off to you!!

    Thanks for sharing, and have a nice week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 2:57 pm

      Hi Harleena,

      Happy Monday! I’ve had some crazy rides. The ones I’m forgetting are probably worse LOL. Thanks so much and you too!


  3. Debra @ Traveling Well For Less says:
    at 9:55 pm

    ROFL. So here I was thinking jaw dropping, scary roller coaster rides, etc. Nope, scary as crap taxi, etc. rides. Definitely stomach churning for sure. The puke pendulum would do me in.

  4. John Roberts says:
    at 8:09 am

    I’d watch that series. Good luck on landing something, bro. We once had a van blow a tire in Belize and the driver somehow get the rig to a stop inches from hurtling off the side of an embankment that would have left our vehicle filled with post-river-rafting, jerk-chicken-munching passengers tumbling down the hillside an into the afterlife. Oh, no seatbelts, of course, as my lady sat on my lap and we took deep breaths while staring through our window at the precipice. Escaping that one left us knowing we better get out to see as much in this world as possible. Because we are gauranteed nothing.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 9:15 am

      Hi John,

      Nuts man! And the jerk-chicken add is a wonderful touch ๐Ÿ˜‰ We travel for the same reasons. After cheating death once or a few times I got the urge to see more of the world, to enjoy more of what it has to offer. Thanks!


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