I've got my rental motorbike stolen on Independence beach in Siahnoukville.
The thieves cut the lock with pinces.
It was properly parked and I left it 20 minutes max without surveillance.
It was 13:00 local time.
To make matter worse, the hotel has my passport as a warranty and the owner asks me to pay him 850 dollars to buy another one.
I went to see the police but there is little hope to get it back.
It is probably a scam between the owner, the police and the thieves but I cannot prove it of course.
What should I do ?
#1 philuxbown has been a member since 16/12/2010. Posts: 5
Do you have travel insurance?
#2 Tomo has been a member since 18/8/2010. Posts: 4
Ahhh sorry to hear about your situation. It's not unusual for this to happen unfortunately. Did you sign a rental agreement? If so, they often spell out how much you have to pay in a case where the bike is stolen (or written off).
At the end of the day, you'll need to pay something. If the amount isn't in the rental agreement, what was the condition of the bike like? $850 won't buy a new Honda Dream. A friend here has had two rental bikes stolen in two months and it has cost him US$1,000 each time -- so it could be worse!
Perhaps it is a scam, but they're no shortage of theives in Sihanoukville, and it could be a "legitimate" theft.
Do you have travel insurance? If so, while the police won't be of much help, be sure to get a police report as the insurer will certainly require that before they even consider a claim.
Paid 700 dollars
#4 philuxbown has been a member since 16/12/2010. Posts: 5
Ouch! So sorry to hear about this. It's also a fear of mine when I have rented a scooter or car when in SEA. There is little paper work (if any), sometimes no insurance is included/available - and you're stuffed if something goes wrong.
We hired a jeep in Lombok for a week. Stopped in a local village, and I managed to lock the keys in the car. I realised as soon as I closed the door. We stood there for all of 5 seconds before a group of local guys came up and asked if they could help. I thought they were going to try to unlock the door with a coathanger through the window. But no, they each tried their own keys in the door. The 5th one actually fit and unlocked the car. While grateful that we could get in the car again, it did nothing for our feeling of security for the rest of the week.
Does travel insurance actually cover this sort of loss/theft, when you hire a car/bike from a guy in the street?
I called my Swiss embassy in Bangkok and they have a policeman working there who explained the different options, that is pay a new motorbike and manage with my insurances afrerwards if any or go back to Pnohm Pen and get a new temporary passport in order to get home. I took the first option as I planned to visit Vietnam.
I called the conulate in Pnohm Pen who gave me the informations to get in touch with the local police and served as a translator. I went there, met the proper agent, we all went back to the hotel and the bike owner came as well and we had a 4 hours meting, chain smoking and sticked to our mobile phones. It was nerve wrecking but finally we came to a correct price.
My advice if you rent a bike :
1) don't give your passport, give 200 dollars or so as a deposit
2) Buy your own lock and use it all all times, the contact key is a joke
3) always park your motorbike within sight or within the compound you are in
4) buy a cheap cell phone it will be priceless in case of problems, accident, theft, breakdown
5) be ready to pay 800 dollars in case of theft
6) don't rent a brand new bike, rent an old cheaper one
7) check the brakes !
take a picture of the bike, the licence plates
9) have the number of the police ready in your cell phone
10) wear a helmet and protective clothes
I will do it again, this could have happened anywhere in the world. It's just a bore to have such incidents while on holidays
Good luck to you all !
#6 philuxbown has been a member since 16/12/2010. Posts: 5
Nice call phil. #2 and #3 are huge. I might also suggest making sure the amount you're going to have to pay is in the rental agreement and trying to get it to more accurately reflect the price of the bike. It won't be the real cost, but get it closer. eg 800USD is absurd if you're renting an old bike with no brakes or headlight. ..
but helmets are for suckas, just sayin'...
A helmet is like a gun - you don't need it very often, but when you need it, you need it quickly, and damn badly.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
And it is now a legal requirement for the driver of a bike to wear a helmet in Cambodia. There are police checks pretty regularly in Phnom Penh now, and not just for barang - Khmers get pulled over too.
Agree that you should always have your own padlock when you rent a bike - there's a few places that are know to 'reclaim' their bikes, especially as they know where you are staying from the rental form. To be really clear, show it to the hire company when you get the bike.
It's also worth paying 1000 - 1500 reil to a security guard or a bike park, if you can find one. You'll get a ticket to reclaim your bike, so it's all official! There's always a bike park outside the markets, and often on street corners or empty buildings in Phnom Penh.
The difference is helmets are lame and carrying a gun is awesome. Just sayin'.
In PP there's a lot of fuzz looking to pull folks over for not wearing a helmet, having headlights on during the day, driving while white or whatever will make a buck or two. Outside PP not as much. In Banlung where I live there are checkpoints very occasionally, but they don't pull over foreigners.
for the helmet you do what you want. the fine for falangs is usually 1 dollar as for the paid guard, it is a good idea to use it when there is one. If you want to , you can buy a kmehr translation of your international drivers licence for 25 dollars but itis usualy useless.
Driving is a lot of fun down here. Don^t panic, just get in the flow and drive slowly like everybody else. They drive slow because petrol costs 1 dollar a litre ! A fortune for the average cambodian.
You can get out of any situation if you have some money.
Corruption is rampant over here, Cambodia is ranked 153 in the corrupted countries even worse than Afghanistan.
#11 philuxbown has been a member since 16/12/2010. Posts: 5
the price of a new bike is mentionned in the contract but it is for a new one of course.
Taking a pic of the km on the dashboard and of the general state of the bike is a good idea.
If you get an old bike stolen you pay for the price of a replacement, not for a new one. I happened to have a 2010 bike, almost new, only 20 000 km !
#12 philuxbown has been a member since 16/12/2010. Posts: 5