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safety/travel advice

  • azgrl

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd May, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Can anyone offer some safety/travel advice for first time travelers to Laos and Cambodia? We expect to keep passports, money, and cameras with us and not leave things unattended. But if we want to go swimming what do we do with the gear? Should we carry our passports and money around our neck in safety pouch or is there a better method? Is there any “should of, would of, could of” advice a seasoned traveler could pass on to us? We have strong common sense and are tapped into the travel books and websites. We just want to be as prepared as possible. Any pieces of advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks

    #1 Posted: 29/5/2008 - 07:11

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  • steviej

    Joined Travelfish
    18th March, 2006
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 265
    Total reviews: 2
    Places visited:
    At least 32

    I always carry a laminated photocopy of the relevant passport page and enough money to see the day out.

    You can always stash the rest in your room or at a push put everything in a sealed envelope (sign the back across the seal) and hand it to reception for lobbing in the safe.

    Personally I'd stash it in the room.............
    ............but don't forget where you hid it!! ;-)

    #2 Posted: 1/6/2008 - 20:00

  • 2face

    Joined Travelfish
    8th November, 2007
    Posts: 25

    Laos is no problem: The look on people's faces there don't even hint at ulterior motives. If anything, watch for fellow foreign tourists.

    So in Lao leave your stuff in your room; keep the key, I think.

    Cambodia is a different matter, though not by much.

    One thing you could do is swap money pouches. Perhaps try the ultra-thin one that goes around the waist. This is safer as you forget about it and less inclined to take it off.

    Another thing is, when looking for rooms, try and find one where you can attach your own lock. This is hit-and-miss in the countries you mention, but they can be found. (In India they're everywhere.)

    As you're traveling with friends, perhaps bring a combination lock for easy access between you, so as to not fiddle too much with keys.

    look for a room w/ no windows, too, or ones you are sure you can secure the windows.

    As to swimming, well...one time Sihanoukville, Cambodia I had only just left my towel and pack on the beach there, and hadn't yet reached the shore when I turned around to check and see if all was safe, but found that all was gone.

    Caught the guy, though. Ran through the tall reeds there, and not taking the given path to the road, where I guess the guy saw me coming with some speed, and perhaps some determination as well because he
    just stopped moving, and like waited for me at the road until I arrived. When I got there a second or
    so later, he simply handed my bag back to me.

    He wouldn't've got much, anyway - my Vaurnets, a frisbee, because I did what steviej advised and left my valuables in my room.

    #3 Posted: 2/6/2008 - 23:04

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2359
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    ironically, sleeply little laos is the only place i've ever been mugged, as snatch and grab can be a concern even in that generally safe destination (as it can in cambodia). be careful to wear your day pack on your back rather than place it in the basket if you hire a scooter or push bike. same goes for placing your back is a protected area when you sit at a restaurant. but as face says, it isn't an overly large problem and you won't be under seige. just use good judgement and common sense. cheers.

    #4 Posted: 3/6/2008 - 21:09

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    Exacto do you mean someone beat you up and took your money? As in mugged? It would have to be the first time I've heard of it in Laos, more common is bag snatch.

    I don't have much of value other than passport and money and camera. Money and junk always under clothes, never in room, never in day pack. Camera is over shoulder, across chest, under elbow which is touching it.

    Azgrl you say "we". One sits on stuff, the other swims. If you leave stuff in your room and it's gone don't even bother telling the hotel. It's your fault.

    If I had ten kip for every time I read about thieving hotel employees stealing from the room I'd have a round trip ticket. Of course who knows who took it. Westerners, employees, people next door, maybe it was ghosts. One thing for sure, you'll never know.

    #5 Posted: 4/6/2008 - 07:15

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2359
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    somsai is right. it wasn't a mugging in the traditional sense, but rather a bag snatch that had gone wrong. i've mentioned in a few other posts how i'd foolishly tied my day pack to the basket of mt hired push bike and that when two teenagers zoomed past on their scooter for the bag snatch, the bag got caught on the basket and my arm and i was dragged along the street for a good ten meters. bummer. when it happened, the local shop keeps were quick to come out and help me up, offer water and first aid, and apologize for the incident, noting that this was unfortunately a new type of problem that had arrived in their city (vientiane). no doubt that had i been wearing the day pack on my back, like i would have done in a place like thailand where such things were much more common at the time, i wouldn't have been injured. hope that clarifies. cheers.

    #6 Posted: 4/6/2008 - 10:27

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 950

    On Saturday evening one of my acquaintances and her niece were mugged at knifepoint outside her house in Vientiane by a guy clearly on yabba. His accomplice was waiting nearby on a motorcycle. It is getting a bit more common here in Laos.

    #7 Posted: 9/6/2008 - 14:27

  • DameR

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Posts: 1

    Hello All,

    I'm wondering if any one can help. I am planning to travel to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia on my own. I am a female of around 35. Would you say it is safe for me to do this?

    Thanks

    #8 Posted: 9/6/2008 - 20:07

  • figenways

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2008
    Posts: 5

    just be careful,stay in well populated areas,we travel as a group so no problems but a friend had his mobile and wallet stolen in cambodia yesterday.

    #9 Posted: 10/6/2008 - 15:59

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    Good to hear nothing worse exacto. Sounds like Vientiane becoming like a city.

    #10 Posted: 22/7/2008 - 11:06

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  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 950

    "Good to hear nothing worse exacto. Sounds like Vientiane becoming like a city."

    Well its certainly already much more of one than that backwater Nong Khai.

    #11 Posted: 23/7/2008 - 09:55

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