Lies Travellers Have Told Me

Have you ever met travellers who tell you stories that just don’t seem to add up?

Here are three that were told to me:

  1. “We went diving over the Marianna Trench, about 100 miles south of the Acores.” - Canadian tourist in a restaurant in Bangladesh

  2. “And then, our guide thought he’d poke one of the hippos for a laugh. The thing grabs him and pulls him off our skiff. We never saw him again and had to drift along the river until we came to a village.” - Australian tourist on a bus in Nepal

  3. “This is our seventh time to India. You really need to see Kerala, it’s beautiful. (later…) We want to see the South because we never got past Goa last time.” - Israeli tourist in a hotel in India

What whoppers have you heard?

“Summer humidity in Tainan isn’t all that bad.

Here are two oft’ repeated statements both of which I believe are BS:

  1. “People don’t like americans so you should sew a canadian flag to your backpack and tell them you’re a canadian.” Ha. I’ve spent more than 6 years in over a dozen countries in Asia, plus various countries in Europe, and no one has ever treated me poorly because I’m american. I suspect that people who say that are disliked for other reasons.

  2. “Bangkok sucks. Spend one night there, but then you should get out as quickly as possible.” Whatever. I like Bangkok. Tuk tuks, river taxis, temples, kickboxing, naked girls, good food, etc. What’s the hurry. I’ll get to the beaches soon enough.

On asking Canadians in Thailand who were on holiday from English teaching in Taiwan, that I wanted to learn Mandarin, had they learnt any?

“No, they don’t speak Mandarin in Taiwan”
“Yeah, they do. I’m sure they do”.
“No they don’t - we live there”
“Oh. What do they speak?”

I didn’t feel like arguing the point, because there were other people around and I might have looked a tit - me who’d never been to Taiwan, trying to tell two knowledgeable Canadians the language of the country they were living in.


I’ve heard this one a lot, especially from people in Taipei. “Whatever you do, just get out of Bangkok fast and get down to the beaches.” I’m with MT on this one–I like Bangkok. It certainly has some of the best food in Thailand, if not the world. And an intersting article in a recent edition of the Asian Wall Street Journal stated that most of the seafood from places like Phuket is often shipped to wholesalers in BKK–who then ship it back to Phuket. So, the seafood you get in Bangkok may actually be fresher than what you get in Phuket, believe it or not.

One I’ve heard countless times – “And then we came across this little totally undiscovered village. We were the first Westerners/travelers/tourists/backpackers/caucasians/whatever they had ever seen . . .”

Uh, yeah, right.

“The ferry’s just down that road. Won’t take you more than an hour to walk it.”

“The fish is safe to eat.” :sick:

Lie I’ve told:

Yes, you are the best I’ve ever had.

[quote=“914”]Lie I’ve told:

Yes, you are the best I’ve ever had.[/quote]

That was not me!

C’mon 914, I’m sure you’ve been lied to. Spill it.

OK OK…let’s see…a lie I’ve been told by a traveller or while travelling…oh yes:

I’m a virgin.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]1. “People don’t like Americans so you should sew a Canadian flag to your backpack and tell them you’re a Canadian.” Ha. I’ve spent more than 6 years in over a dozen countries in Asia, plus various countries in Europe, and no one has ever treated me poorly because I’m American. I suspect that people who say that are disliked for other reasons.

i dunno how true it was/is, but on my travels through europe ten years ago, buddy and i travelled with some guys from chicago for about a week, and they politely asked for some canuck stuff we had brought along when we took off for italy. patches, t-shirts, pins etc. ( i had some stuff for relatives in holland, which canada helped to liberate.)
i don’t know what they had faced (perhaps nothing, maybe they had just had heard the same thing), or thought that they might face, but it was the case. and they weren’t the only ones to ask …

disclaimer: not boasting or bashing. just the facts.

My favorite, from the ultra-lightweight traveller, with the shoulder bag of stuff…
“Nah mate, I’ve got everything I need in here! You guys are suckers carrying that much stuff.”

Which is almost immediately followed by, “Can I borrow your ________ ?”

actually I have heard this one too, and I think maybe it depends on a specific region or the political tensions at the time. Maybe more so in Europe than in Asia, but when I went to Euro I made sure to stick a plenty o Maple Leaf stickers on all my luggage.

Heard it twice, two years apart.

You forgot:
“OK, just one more drink.”
“I’ve been to more and cooler places than you.”
“I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“I’m not that sort of girl.”
“It’ll be really cheap.”
“Israelis are really nice.”
“I paid half that for mine.”
“It’s totally unspoilt, not commercialised at all.”
and my favourite… “I promise not to come in your mouth.”

Traveller’s lies are bad, but I get really pissed off when the bible is wrong.

I got off a bus in the middle of the night in Indonesia once, to find the bus station full of backpackers who all agreed with my girlfriend that the nearest hotel was 20 minutes away by taxi - because that’s what Lonely Planet said. Being the sort of idiot who thinks that hotels spring up near to travel centres I walked outside.

What’s this? Why, it’s an information booth set up for tourists by the police. Talking to the nice man I learned that there was a hotel just around the corner. Arriving five minutes later I pissed myself. It was the same one that the LP guy had spent 20 minutes in a taxi being taken to.

Never, ever, believe anything that anyone tells you when you’re travelling.

Fishing is great in Canada. The fish jump into your boat. :slight_smile: