Tourist escapes kidnap in Thailand – A young backpacker has described the painful choice she had to make to escape a kidnapping attempt in Thailand.
Rachel Turner, 22, spent a year studying in Shanghai. Then she made the spontaneous decision to travel around Thailand in August 2017, reports Yahoo7 News.
She ended up in Ko Pha-ngan, an island famous for its alcohol-fuelled Full Moon Party held in the depths of the rainforest.
Encouraged by her fellow backpackers she started drinking early in the day. Ms Turner soon found herself out of control in a foreign environment.
“Everyone is going crazy and I just got swept up in it all,” she told Yahoo7 News.
“You think you’re untouchable but that is just not the case.”
Feeling ill – or just another irresponsible drunk?
She remembers starting to feel ill and realising she needed to leave the festival. But she struggled to find an affordable tuk-tuk taxi back to her hostel.
As she walked alone down the road, she was approached by a man wearing a high-vis jacket. He claimed to be a motorbike taxi driver.
Ms Turner says she accepted the ride because he “looked completely legit.” But it wasn’t long before the man’s behaviour started to give off serious red flags.
He drove past her hostel and told her he knew somewhere better they could go.
Then the intoxicated woman eventually realised the man had no intention of getting her home safely. She asked him to pull over, reports Yahoo7 News.
“Shut up, you’re coming with me, you’re not going to the hostel,” he replied.
Found herself alone with a stranger
With no one around to hear her scream for help, Ms Turner realised she had three options before her. She could go with him, she could try to cause a crash or she could grab his arm to slow him down.
She went for the latter, pulling at his arm and forcing him to brake enough for her to jump off the bike. The rough landing tore the skin from her right leg.
However, she managed to lie motionless on the side of the road long enough to fool her would-be kidnapper.
“He yelled out, ‘Are you dead?’ I didn’t move and he yelled ‘shit’ and drove off.”
Once he was gone, Ms Turner got up and stumbled all the way back to her hostel to treat her scratched leg.
It wasn’t until the next morning that she realised how stupid she is.
“I remember sitting on the ferry the next day and I just broke down crying,” she told Yahoo7 News.
“The stupidity and severity of the situation just hit me.”
She contacted the airline and changed her flight so she could go home as soon as possible.
Many other assaults
There have been several high-profile cases of young tourists being assaulted or killed while travelling in Thailand. UK nationals David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found bludgeoned to death on Ko Tao Island in 2014 under mysterious circumstances.
In August 2018, a young woman was smashed in the head with a bottle while she attended the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha-ngan.