Our Top Three Awkward Travel Memories

Our Top Three Awkward Travel Memories

Why yes, we are suckers for blogosphere relays- especially when prizes and our egos are at stake.  Low Cost Holidays is asking bloggers to write a post about their top three travel memories.  Not wanting to conform completely, we decided to write about some of our most awkward, albeit memorable, experiences from our travels.  A big thanks to DJ, from The World of Deej, for throwing us into the melee.  This one goes out to you.

Without further ado, our most awkward travel memories in no particular order.

Coming across sex toy vending machines in South Korea.

Sex vending machinesIt was Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) during our second year in South Korea.  We decided that we needed to do something epic with our scarce holiday vacation days.  With a few good friends in tow, we decided to take an epic road trip to the Demilitarized Zone.  On day two, we were exhausted from all of the frivolity.  We decided to catch a little sleep at a cheap love motel along our route.  Upon entering our room, we noticed a circular bed, glow in the dark ceiling, and bookshelves stacked with porn.  The most surprising additions to the hotel were probably the vending machines placed in every hallway. That was a first.

Condoms, dildos, and vibrators were just a few Korean won away.  The most awkward part?  Pairing our two non-romantic, opposite sex friends in the same room with pink fluorescent lights, and one round, vibrating bed.

Getting drunk with a Korean monk.

South Korean monksIt all started with a mysterious e-mail.  A Korean woman living in New York happened upon our Pohang videos and was thrilled that we were exploring her hometown.  She told us that she had something that we absolutely had to film and sent us a list of clues to follow.  “Go to Daewoo Tower and find a gold animal” was one of our tips.  Needless to say, after a few weeks of searching, and multiple e-mails begging for her help, we finally stumbled across monk Mok-Sul.

Our meeting was awkward in itself.  We followed directions to his temple high up in the hills outside of Pohang.  He was in the middle of his chants when we clambered through the bushes.  He invited us to stay for lunch and regaled us of stories from his travels all over the world.  He was wearing his gray robes, which didn’t surprise me, but his brand new Nike shoes had me a little perplexed.

After our lunch he invited us down the mountain to meet up with his friend.  We had feasted on the traditional vegetarian fare while at his temple, but our stomachs were already growling for more.  Luckily, Mok-Sul knows friends in high places and led us to a nearby restaurant.  I prepared myself for another meal of noodles and vegetables when I overheard (in my limited Korean) what sounded like soju and crab.

Crab meat in South KoreaYes, my friends.  Monk Mok-Sul likes to dine on platters of crab and bottles of soju when not in the mountains (awkward because monks aren’t supposed to eat meat, drink, or hit on women… keep reading.).  I’m not exaggerating when I say that we went through at least twenty bottles of soju.  We have video proof of the aftermath and it’s not pretty.  Monk Mok-Sul actually proposed to Chris’s mom who was visiting us at the time.  They fed each other shots of soju with their arms intertwined.  While it was an unexpected turn of events, it was definitely memorable.

Smoking hookah in a hookah hooker bar in Bahrain.

Bahrain hookah prostitute bar
Yes, that’s me in Bahrain. No, I’m not a hooker.

Ah, Bahrain.  You have my heart.  Our spur of the moment trip to the tiny island off the coast of Saudi Arabia was one of our most memorable trips of all.  Aside from training royal falcons, eating our weight in shwarmas, and experiencing Ashura, we also were able to fit in some time with new friends at a local hookah bar.

I thought it odd that all of the waitresses at the joint were women from the Philippines.  They were dressed in pretty skimpy clothing considering the location.  They were also extremely friendly to all of the men they were serving. The Ah-ha moment came as I saw one of them leave with a husky German patron.  She’s not just serving hookah, she’s also servicing hookahs.  The rest of the night was spent swapping stories and trying to figure out which women were “working” that night.

To be honest, the reason why we had to choose our top three awkward travel moments was because we’ve had too many incredible experiences.  It’s extremely hard to narrow it down to only three.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the post.  To follow along on the rest of the rally, be sure to follow the twitter hashtag #TeamBLUE or #BloggerRelay.  BOOM.  We now pass the baton onto Evan and Tracy of  We can’t wait to see their most memorable travel memories.  Go get ’em!

27 thoughts on “Our Top Three Awkward Travel Memories

    • Author gravatar

      Shut the front door! OMG…these made me laugh so hard. I can’t believe y’all got drunk with a monk. That’s classic and the stuff of legends. Brilliant!

    • Author gravatar

      I feel like a failure here in Korea, now – I’ve NEVER stayed in a love motel with any of the things you’ve described! Although I’ve had condoms on the counter and free heterosexual porn on TV.

      Love the monk one (I didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to eat meat/fish) and the last one is hilarious! I had a similar experience here in Korea – it also involved Filipino girls, but this time American GIs and a truly rancid little town called Waegwan.

      p.s. GO TEAM BLUE!

      • Author gravatar

        Oh Tom, you’ve got to find a love motel with the vending machines. They’re hilarious! Have you been to one with a ceiling that has mood lighting that changes every couple of seconds? Those are legit 😉

    • Author gravatar

      What a fun post. I’ve never come across a motel with a sex toy vending machine but I’ve never slept in a love hotel either. Great story about the monk ….and Chris’s mom. I wonder if the fellow is still a monk.

    • Author gravatar

      Korea is surprising! Never been, but from what I’ve read from Tom and now you guys, it seems worth visiting in many ways 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your most awkward memories! Go Team Blue!

    • Author gravatar

      Haha, that weird toy machine is pretty funny! Very awkward indeed, staying at a love hotel in Korea – but not as awkward as it would have been staying there alone!

    • Author gravatar

      Umm.. awkward… LOL. That last one was funny. Also curious to know who’d be desperate enough to buy sex toys from a vending machine.

    • Author gravatar

      Bahahaha. I love the love motel one. So random!

    • Author gravatar

      Great read.
      I would love to see as much of the world as is possible in a lifetime.
      However, I would be wary of visiting parts of the world such as Saudi Arabia, and the “demilitarized zone” in South Korea sounds terribly ominous.
      I was wondering if you’ve ever been to any places that made you fear for your safety?

      • Author gravatar

        I forgot to add, on an unrelated but hopefully helpful note:
        All of the comments appear to have duplicate overlapping images of the poster, with the larger of the two images obscuring the first word of everyone’s comments.
        I have tried viewing the comments in both Chrome and IE.
        I’m wondering if it’s just a problem on my end or not?

      • Author gravatar

        We’ve been very fortunate in our travels. I think the place that we were the most “on guard” was in Quito, Ecuador. It was really just a matter of being smart and taking extra precautions. There are a few places that we’re hesitant about visiting at the moment (Syria would be a good example), but for the most part, we’ve always felt very safe.

        As for the DMZ, we really need to write a post about the experience. It was actually extremely touristy with popcorn vendors and war reenactment movies. We were shocked. It was a very odd experience.

        Thanks for the heads up about the images. We’ve had that problem for a little while now and are still trying to figure out how to fix it 🙁 I don’t know why our picture always looks so bad.,,

    • Author gravatar

      When I was in Korea I couldn’t figure out who would ever want to stay in a love motel….Now I know:)

    • Author gravatar

      the hooker bar makes me so so sad. I watched a human trafficking documentary, depicting how many women from Africa and Asia are brought to Middle Eastern countries (such as Bahrain, but particularly the UAE) to be sexually exploited by madames and tourists that visit that area. But then again, this is not what this blog post is about 😉

      Is it weird that I would not find it awkward at all to find a sex toy vending machine in the middle of the hotel? Maybe it is because I’m Latin 😛

      I am so sad you missed the “sexy” motels in Puerto Rico, by the way! I visited to with my honey back in July and I’m about to write an article about them this week, actually. Remind me to send it your way when it is published ;D

      – Maria Alexandra

      • Author gravatar

        It’s true and very sad about human trafficking. It would actually be a really good topic to look into and share. It’s something that we’ve come across on our travels and definitely needs to be examined.

        As for the vending machines, we were pretty shocked at first. After that, it was just plain funny. Who would’ve thought? I think you’ll have to take us around the next time we’re in Puerto Rico. I didn’t even know about these “sexy” motels! 🙂

    • Author gravatar

      Did you have to use coins on the vending machine or were you able to use a credit card? 😛

    • Author gravatar

      Sounds like some crazy experiences! Now I know why you call it Top 3 awkward experiences.

      Still it all sounds like fun!

    • Author gravatar

      Haha! These are pretty funny! I have stayed at a few cheap love motels since I’ve been here but none of them have been that tacky! Before I leave this country I need to find one with a circular bed and neon lights – it’s one of those ‘must-do’ Korean experiences. 😉

    • Author gravatar

      These are hilarious! It’s sad to think about how much human trafficking might happen at hookah bars like that. But moving on, I’m glad you can laugh at events like these! They usually define trips. Like barging in on a praying monk! Amazing.

      Also, I’m ‘plusjames’ on twitter! Tried messaging you guys… Not sure where it went! Hello!

    • Author gravatar

      Haha!! Awesome adventures. Sex toy vending machines? And I thought nothing could surprise me anymore…

    • Author gravatar

      Awkwardly delicious, guys! Monk Mok-Sul sounds like a real hoot, I can imagine him regaling you with stories as he munches on a plate of crabs haha.

    • Author gravatar

      I love your twist on this post, you do seem to get into a lot of strange experiences…

    • Author gravatar

      Hehehe .. the first picture is so funny dear. and yeah thank god that you mention there that you are not a hooker. lol love this post Thanks

    • Author gravatar

      Ha ha random times! That’s what makes travelling such fun, stories like these!

    • Author gravatar

      Awesome pictures and post. That crab looks amazing on the plate. How did you find the pricing of sea food there? Extremely high? Where’s the next stop on your adventure? Keep up the stories and enjoy the journey!


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