Each year more than a million Brits jet off to Thailand, in search of its golden beaches and party culture.
So, when Tom Hudson wanted to celebrated New Year in style, there was only one country he wanted to visit.
It was a decision that could have cost him his life.
His story is just one of the terrifying accounts of holidaymakers locked up abroad in Channel 5’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun.
The self-confessed raver from Kidderminster in the Midlands, first had the idea to soak up the sun for New Year when Thailand was recommended by a colleague.
Tom said: “I lovea party holiday, I’m into drum and bass and I go to a lot of raves. I like to get messy and I need a lot of looking after when I’m out.
“I was chatting to a bloke at work and he went to Thailand for New Year’s Eve and and elephant walked past him while he was celebrating and I thought ‘I want a bit of that’.”
The 23-year-old booked a flight with his friend, George, and like many young lads had a few beers at the airport before they set off.
Tom said: “A man on the plane was giving us free Hennessy, so we were having double Hennessy and coke. We were paralytic.”
The pair admit they felt “bullet-proof” when they landed in Bangkok and decided to head to the island of Phi Phi to celebrate New Year.
Tom said: “We got to our room and then went out and had a big bowl of cocktail, I’ve no idea what was in it.”
But when Tom lost George, who had the keys to their hotel, things took a dark turn.
He said: “I asked the man at reception if he had any spare keys and he followed me up to the room.
“Outside he pulled up his top and he had a knife underneath his T-shirt. He held it to my stomach and told me to get to my knees.
“He told me to get to my knees and pray. I was down on my knees and I was begging him not to hurt me.”
Tom pretended to pass out and when the man’s back was turned he sprinted away.
He and George returned in daylight, grabbed their stuff and got on the first boat off the island and headed to Phuket.
Tom says the pair were feeling “invicible” after what they had just fled and admits they “hit it harder than normal” when they went out to celebrate. It was also New Year’s Eve.
He added: “It was like Ibiza and Ayia Napa rolled into one.”
George and Tom met some girls in a soccer bar and played board games but at midnight they joined everyone on the main street to celebrate the New Year.
It was packed with people shoulder to shoulder, all celebrating the end of the year.
It was now that Tom made a decision that could have lead to his death or life in prison.
He said: “There was a woman with a box of fireworks and she was selling them for pennies. I think I paid about 5p for a firework.
“I lit the firework and I had the lighter in one hand and my phone in the other as I was filming.
“When it went bang, someone grabbed my hand. At first I thought it was someone helping me set the firework off but then he took it and threw it on the floor.
“He put my hands behind my back and put me in handcuffs. I threw my phone to George and then four cops turned up in uniform and took me to the police station in the back of a white pick-up truck.”
In Thailand, fireworks are covered by the same laws as guns and letting one off in public carries a sentence of life in sentence.
Last year, the law was strengthened so fireworks are treated in the same way as explosives and mis-use can result in the death penalty.
At the police station Tom realised he was in serious trouble when he was guarded by an officer carrying a huge rifle.
He said: “The police weren’t communicating with me at all. There was a Scottish lad and he kept saying ‘we’re going to be locked up for 30 years’.”
Then, one of the girls he’d been chatting to in the soccer bar came into the police station to talk to officers.
Tom was then told he would have to paty a fine and then he would be free to go.
He says he was marched to a cash point outside the police station and was told to withdraw the equivalent of £500 – and was then released.
Tom said: “I felt invincible again. I walked to the off licence and bought six beers and drank them straight away.
“But if I had dropped that firework and it had hit a child… it was a bit of a dumb thing to do.”
Former soldier Matt Davies was locked up in one of the most dangerous prisons in the world after a visa mix up when he visited Indonesia.
He was just 24 when he jetted off on his dream holiday.
But after he accepted an IT job from a mystery man, his dream turned into a nightmare.
Matt, from Wales, was working with the wrong visa and was arrested and jailed with 300 dangerous criminals, including rapists, terrorists and murderers.
While he was locked up in Cipinang Prison, he was drugged with crack while he was asleep, threatened with homemade shanks and had his wallet stolen.
He said: “One guy would wrap his money up then swallow it just to keep it safe. Then he’d have to go through his faeces later to go to the shop.
“You needed money to buy food. There’d be three dats where I could go without food.”
After shelling out £1,000 for a room in a seven-man cell, instead of the 300 people he had been sharing with, Matt was drugged as he slept when other inmates blew crystal meth into his face.
He spent three months in the hell hole prison and was only freed when he bribed a judge with £2,000.
Khiana Barrett-Dyer, from Ipswich, couldn’t wait to go on her first holiday with her friends.
She and 10 pals travelled to Ayia Napa and they partied hard.
But after a night of drinking super strong cocktails, one of Khiana’s friends was sick in their taxi home and she says her driver became aggressive.
She added: “I’ve never been so scared in my life. He tried to attack me by backhanding me and I had to step back.
“That’s when I punched him myself to protect myself.”
With blood pouring from the cabbie’s face, it wasn’t long before the police arrived and Khiana was arrested.
She spent two nights in a tiny cells with a hole in the floor as a toilet before she was taken to court for ABH and ordered to pay a 1,200 Euro fine.