A young American teacher is lucky to have lived through a misadventure in Thailand. There’s an important lesson in race realism that shines through in the story: Be careful around dark men. Especially if you have pretty blue eyes like Hannah.
A female backpacker has described the horrific moment she broke her back in a 150ft fall down a cliff while fleeing a sex attacker in Thailand.
Hannah Gavios, 23, from Bayside in New York, got lost on pitch-black Railay Beach in the resort of Krabi and went into a local tourist shop asking for help back to her hotel at a nearby bay on Thursday.
A local worker offered to show her the way but instead led her into the jungle where they started climbing up a hilly path.
Ms Gavios, who was still tired after arriving in Thailand just the day before, innocently followed him before realizing she was in danger.
‘I really thought I was going to die,’ she said.
‘It was dark around 11pm and the only way to get back to my accommodation was by crossing the cliffs.
‘I went inside a tourist shop and asked for help back to my hotel. They said it was dangerous to do at night so they told me to follow one of their workers.
‘I didn’t get the best feeling about him but I was tired and wanted to get home. I’d been travelling for 16 hours so I guess I wasn’t feeling myself,’ Ms Gavios said.
She recalled how she followed him up a trail and kept asking ‘is this the right way?’.
‘While we were walking he grabbed me and was holding me down and trying to take off my clothes.
‘I started punching him in the face and beating him up and biting off his ear. I was biting his ear so hard it almost came off. His ear was half torn off,’ Ms Gavios said.
‘He was in pain and asked me to stop, so we shook hands and he stopped but I was still nervous and he was still trying to harass me so there was no choice but to run.
‘I started walking back to where I came from. Once there was distance between us I started running.’
She fled but blindly ran off the edge of a cliff edge in the darkness.
‘It was pitch black and before I knew it I was in mid air falling off a cliff. I was honestly thinking I wouldn’t survive,’ she said.
‘I hit my head a few times and landed with a big bump. I was screaming in pain. It was the most painful thing ever.
‘I felt like a total vegetable. I felt completely vulnerable. I couldn’t move anything.’
Ms Gavios – who has waived her anonymity – fractured her spine and smashed her head on the way down before she landed crippled at the bottom of the cliff.
To her terror her attacker – a Thai local named as Apai Ruengvorn, 28 – scrambled after her and sexually molested her as she lay helpless.
‘He heard me screaming and moaning and he came down and climbed down the mountain and starting crying and praying.
‘He was feeling very guilty. I was begging him to call for help. He got on the phone and started calling and I thought somebody was coming but nobody came.
‘I was stuck with this crazy person. I was in the woods in the bushes with wild snakes crawling on me while he was still continuing to harass me.
‘He got on top of me. He took of his pants and masturbated on me.
‘He didn’t rape me but he did everything else. I really thought I was going to die.
‘I honestly didn’t know what to do. I just had to remain calm. whenever I screamed he was choking me so I had to try to keep cool and stay friendly with him.
‘As soon as it got lighter I started calling for help. He kept saying “no police no police”,’ Ms Gavios said.
After a couple of hours Ruengvorn left but then returned later with other people who raised the alarm and Ms Gavios was rescued and taken to hospital.
Hannah is now recovering in a hospital in Thailand. Her parents have flown from New York to be with her. She still wants to remain in Asia and teach in Vietnam.
Wherever she lands, I hope that her ordeal has taught her some important lessons. Travelers to nonwhite countries must learn the basic principles of race realism in order to stay safe.
Her attacker is facing 5 to 10 years in prison. Let’s hope Hannah’s recovery is quick and complete and that she acts with common sense in her future travels.