How I Escaped Human Traffickers at The Cambodian / Thai Border - Part 4

in #travelfeed3 years ago (edited)

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Chased by the motorbike gang in Poipet

This is the fourth and last part of my story, if you have missed the other first three parts, you can check out the

first part here,

the second part here,

and the third part here.

The moment I jumped on that motorbike taxi, all of a sudden three more motorbikes rocked up on each side of mine. So I was surrounded by six motorbikes.

We are driving through the darkness of the streets of Poipet. All I am doing is pray. Pray to god that this has an end. WTF is going on?

I keep telling the driver I need to go to the bus station. He keeps on insisting to sell me a tourist taxi for $50.

Right, those guys they just wanted to sell an over prices tourist taxi to get to Siem Reap (Cambodia), (instead of bringing me to the bus station where I can get the $5 bus). Keep in mind I am a broke backpacker at the time.

That’s cool then. We are arguing about money. Money which I didn’t have a the time to spend on a taxi.

The driver stops at the side of the road (and so does everyone else) near the shops where people are lining up buy bus tickets. I joined the queue.

It’s my turn. I am the only white person. The seller kindly keeps ignoring me and pretends I am not there.

After 10 minutes, selling tickets to everyone else right in front of my eyes, he tells me: “No more tickets left!”.. And keeps selling the tickets to the locals.

The motorbike driver comes along and tries to sell me that taxi again… I tell him to bring me to the bus station again.

We leave, and so do the other six motorbike drivers.

We reach the bus station. Finally. I can’t believe it, I am at the bus station!

poipsiembus-1 2.jpg

Photo credit of the bus picture goes to Angkorroad

The sun is up. I am happy. I pay the driver. He doesn’t leave. And so don’t the other six drivers.

There are four buses parked at the station. In front of every bus is a table and a chair. On those chairs there are the bus drivers sitting, selling bus tickets.

I walk up to table number one. “Sorry, no tickets.” I look at the driver, he looks at the motorbike gang right behind me.

They are talking in their local language, which I don’t understand. They are laughing.

I walk up to table 2, 3 and 4. Same story at each table.

Right. Fuck it. I am going to leave this situation, starting to feel stressed again that the boss comes around the corner to get me.

After all I am about 15 minutes away from the place where I have just escaped from.

I enter a cafe opposite the bus station to use the toilet.

Finally the motorbike gang leaves.

Bus driver number one comes up to me, smiles and asks me: “Hey do you want a bus ticket to Siem Reap? It’s only $5!”

Angry and happy at the same time, wanting to kill and cuddle this man I get the ticket, sat in the bus in the rear raw, sank into the seat so nobody could see me from outside.

I feel stressed, anxious and dumb.

Four hours later the bus starts moving, I am on my way to Cambodia.


Trust me, this was only one craziest story I have experienced during my travels, but by far the most intense one as well.

This incident (amongst a few others) has inspired me to create a programme for solo travelling females.

Since I encourage travelling and I believe solo travel is the best form of self-development you can possibly go through, I want you to continue doing so, and if you haven’t started travelling solo just yet, just do it!

But I want you to stay safe out there at the same time! I don’t want you to be in in a situation like this EVER.

Girls Kick Ass Online Course.png
Me beating up my instructor

In our course you don’t only learn how to physically defend and protect yourself, you will also learn how to set boundaries verbally, read red flags on early stages, how to remove yourself from situations, how to understand your environment and much more!

When I first started off with the self-defense & confidence course, I was concerned because I didn’t have any credentials, degrees or anything…

I just knew that what I showed people worked and I wanted to share it.

But what caught me off guard was helping people get what they want in life actually changed the quality of my own life.

Sure you are going to be more confident - which means you get more freedom to travel.

Did you know with a higher self-esteem and stronger confidence you will be less of a target for perpetrators?
Photo Source: Pixabay

Surely you will be less of a target while travelling, but did you know you will also be less likely to be a victim at work?

Photo Source: Pixabay

Chances you will be sexually harassed or bullied at work minimize drastically and you will gain a lot more respect from your fellow colleagues.

Surely if you shine full of confidence you will also be able to close more deals in business!

women in Business.jpeg
Photo Source: Pixabay

This course is designed to be learned in your own time, at home or wherever in the world you may be!

The REAL hidden benefit has been the fulfillment I get when I see someone else change his or her life. And that is what this business really is about for me, I’m guessing if you’re here, then it’s probably the same thing for you too- am I right?

Let me give you a taste for the Girls Kick Ass course, and watch a video for free here.

Does that sound more than fair?

Cool, then go ahead and let me know what you think about it!

Thanks for reading my story,

Tina Dahmen

Please comment, upvote, resteem, or share with someone who could benefit of reading this story. It's much appreciated.

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Women on Steemit: Check this out:


Parts 1-3 were really interesting. Part 4 turned into advertising so it sort of dampened the story's climax. Bottom line though, always research where it is you are going and always, always use common sense and good judgement in all situations. Avoidance is the best measure for all things bad.

@retiredinsamar I have absolutely no problem with that as I hope I can prevent one or the other disaster and maybe safe one or the other life with my promotion :-) Mwah :-*

Hi Tina, incredible story. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm in New Zealand with my gf now and we want to travel around Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Seems like we will have to take extra care to do it safely. Thanks so much for your advice and thoughts. Really appreciate it. Cheers!

Nice, New Zealand!
Aww you will be fine travelling as a couple!
Let me know if you need any help when you plan your Bali trip! Please! :)

Great, thanks for your reply. Will definitely contact you for Bali if needed. Cheers!

My pleasure :) Would love to have fellow steemitians around! :) (Is that a word?!)


Lol ok :-p Cheers

Great post on a very important topic. Thanks for sharing. Followed, upvoted and resteemed.

Thank you, this is very much appreciated!

My pleasure. Keep up the great work

Safe and sound! Nice, nice.

That is one hell of a story. Did you have the first girl’s phone number, and if you did, have you ever confronted her about her dodgy friend?


Thanks @scrawly Yes we were in touch after and I explained it all to her... So up to this day I can't tell if she was involved or not, if she knew about it or not. Maybe she was involved and felt bad after and tried to warn me while I was in the hotel room,.. maybe she really didn't have any idea about what was going on. It will stay a mystery to the end of my days I guess.

Wow, what an insane and frightening story. Glad your Ok and willing to share to help others. Way to turn something bad into good!

Thanks, much appreciated. Always look on the bright side ;-)

Happy you escaped them! What a nightmare.

Hahah no more cliffhangers!

Beautiful story and nice post ! i like this post !

Teşekkür ederim

What a situation but very good you were able to "solve" it! Great example about the difficulties may someome occur while travelling!!

Thanks @philfreetotravel you may wanna share this with your fellow female travel friends :-)

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Awesome, cheers again.

Thanks for sharing your story. As you know, I've been following it intensely and it's been a very interesting and eye-opening read.

Thanks @Choogirl, I appreciate you following. I am hoping many more women will read it and learn from it.

Really well written, I read for part 1 to part 4. Thanks for sharing about these, it sure takes a lot of courage to compose all these.

I am glad you have ready all of the 4 parts. Thank you very much. Let all your girlsfriends know about it :-)

We just had the time to read all four parts! Wow 😳 what an experience and we are glad you made it out in one piece! Wonder how many tourists get trafficked? You often hear of locals or migrants getting trafficked. As you said, this experience has given more awareness to what is going around you. Becca has done a few solo trips, but her Dad gave her a 'tool' to defend herself. Still self defence is more practical as you can have tools, but one could hurt themselves if they don't know how to use it!

Hey you two! :) Thanks for reading through and I hope you got something out of it!
I don't know how many tourist get trafficked... There won't be any clear number on that anywhere... Also, I think this is a major local problem as well... That young local girls are being sold and trafficked.. But again, who am I to judge?
What is that 'tool' Becca is carrying? Like spray or like a little weapon or do you mean he taught her some moves?
Self-defense is about prevention in the first place also..
It's a very common miss-conception that people connect self-defense right away with beating up people :-D This is one thing we explain in our self-defense video course :-) Amongst many more topics! :-) @travelling-two

Sam went to Pattaya last year for a University induction weekend. He has seen how the city has changed and the amount of Eastern European girls (lot of Russians too) are working the streets. Pretty sure, some, if not most are human trafficking cases. Hard to ask, if they fear for their lives.
Becca has a little weapon, but it looks like it can cause some serious damage.
Yes, we thought self-defense is a martial arts type of course. Good to know there is more to it like the preventative measures. 😊

Pattaya?? Wow okay... well... surely there are many people around 'voluntarily'?...

Yes there might be, but also hear/read stories of girls being promised 'modelling contracts' in exotic destinations and are often tricked into prostitution and fuelled on drugs. Then again, these are just stories. Some might be true. Hard to tell as some might be there 'voluntarily' and are fed up and want to go home, but can't (for financial or 'ownership' reasons) . So, then they use the human trafficking story. One thing for sure is that we need to open our eyes more not only for ourselves, but others.

Very common story, yes. It's not only in exotic places.. there was this3 headed gang (2x male, 1 female) from Romania in London.. they promised Eastern European women to get a well paid job as a nanny in London... then took away their passport, drugged them up and accommodated them in UNIVERSITY HALLS (?!) where the prostitution took place... CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS??

Well, sadly, we can believe this as there are just vile human beings out there. Having lived in London and seeing how such a big and vast city it is, there is no doubt this activity went on for ages without being checked until an incident happened. Let's keep our eyes open! 👀

At all times.

Read through and resteemed every part of your story. We need more people like you in this world. Who knows what could have been laced in those drinks to make you more complacent. o.o It seemed like there was a scam right around every corner trying to fuck you over.
I am glad that the boss wasn't working with the taxi drivers as well to bring you in a circle and back to him...
Glad you have the courses set up to help others learn how to defend themselves, I hope you have much success with it and can help others stay safe. :)

@mr-bike, thanks for reading & resteeming, it means a lot :-) I know, I know, who knows... :-p This is what borders are all about. Scams, scams, and.. scams.
Thank you for your words of encouragement, I appreciate this. I hope it helps one or the other women to stay safe out there <3

I will keep your story in mind for the future, already told some friends about your story in my personal life. Next year when I have friends travel southeast Asia I will tell them to avoid that area. :)

Awesome!!! Put them in touch with me if they plan to go to Bali :-)

This was a fabulous read! I’m so glad I got to read it all in one sitting. It was intense and scary. Also a great initiative you’re planning. Women being away from home alone do need to be cautious, be reminded and have strategies. I think back to a few times where I’ve put myself in not-so-ideal situations when I’ve travelled interstate for work or overseas without my partner and I can’t believe I was so silly. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Thanks @linnyplant! Glad you got to read all parts. It's not just women who travel, it can happen any time in your home country as well... you need to be aware at all times, please trust me. Do you mind sharing a bit more of your story what happened to you? Don't even get there thinking you are silly... look at my story and please... don't even feel like this for one second!!

Oh, it’s not interesting like your stuff, and just the usual risks, drinking too much in the company of people you think will look after you, realizing you put yourself in a very vulnerable position later. The lack of situational awareness and taking personal accountability for your security. The younger me was naive and careless. I put myself in awkward situations with work colleagues making advances I was not interested in and not having the foresight or strategies to avoid it to begin with. Back then I was young and too eager to fit in. Overall, I’ve been fortunate, but things could have gone differently. Thinking back now with age, I find it shocking and I worry for my own daughters when they grow up. Besides letting my guard down, what I empathised with your post is being put on the spot and not wanting to offend.

Thank you for sharing @linnyplant I think we all can relate to situations like that... It also takes guts to share them publicly.. and then on blockchain muahah.
I appreciate your comment :-*

I couldn't stop reading this crazy story! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time - it's like movie something out of a movie. I can't imagine how terrifying it must've been, but I guess I'm naive for thinking bad things like this don't really happen in the world...

I'm about to embark on a solo 4.5 month trip around the world (without Aleks, the left butt cheek), starting with South and Central America...and I've heard stories from other female travellers. I haven't really travelled much alone, (I've only done it once for 3 days) so I sure am finding it rather daunting.

I'm pretty glad I found you and your blog as I hope to read more about your experiences as a solo female to prepare myself for what's to come! (And will be sure to check out your course!)

LOL the left butt cheek! :-D Why is the other half not moving his butt with you around South America?
I travelled Colombia... I met a local friend down there who is a human right journalist... and hey to be completely honest with you... After being where I was and seeing what I saw... there would be no way I would go by myself. My back then partner joined me along the ride and we visited the Amazonas together, which was AMAZING.. but hey, it's SO SO different when you have a man by your side.

Take good care of your right butt cheek darling. Be sure to check out the course and please let me know what you think.

Make sure you educate yourself enough on the places you go to ....

Long story short, the right butt cheek's mum was a flight attendant so she gets discounted staff tickets on most airlines, though they're due to expire this year. Meanwhile having to do the same trip for the left butt cheek just isn't that affordable unfortunately :( Hopefully he can join me somewhere, but it'll probably be back on the Eurasian continent where flights would be a little more affordable.

I'm actually not going to go to Colombia as much as I would love to, was thinking of saving it to visit with the left butt cheek as we love watching Narcos together :P Saving the Amazonas as well, but yeah, there's still Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Honduras and Belize... and I dunno if I'll think of going anywhere else along the way! But yeah, just gotta be careful I guess, and I hope to meet people along the way as well.

Will do! Thank you! <3

Aww depending on where you are staying you will always meet people along the way! :)I hope everything will work out the way you imagine it to. Let us know, report about it, take heaps of pictures and videos! :)

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Nice, cheers guys!

Nice to meet you, Tina! I like what you are doing because people believe when you are traveling everything is amazing and you just move from one picture from your Instagram to another. That is not completely true. It is good for the people and to understand that everything has disadvantages and you should be prepared for that especially and sadly if you are a young woman.

Thanks @best-trip-eva. Too much fake 'everything is all perfect at all times' profiles out there. Thanks for acknowledging. Too many people get confused with 'going travelling' and 'going on holiday'... 2 totally different stories...

That's a lot of craziness!

I admire your adventurous spirit!

Thanks greenbeans :-* Mwah