This is one guy's story about what happend when his bag containing a wallet, passport, etc was snatched.
"If I'd known what lay ahead, I might've thrown a rock at the head of the teenager who ran off with the bag containing my passport, driver's licence, credit card and cash. But I wasn't to know then that losing your identity in Thailand starts a downward spiral that could end in temporary insanity, if you let it."
Let it be a lesson! Keep spare cash, a spare credit/ATM card and a photocopy of your passport in a separate, safe place. Don't carry your passport on you if you plan to go out and get drunk.
Having lost my wallet on the first day of a 6-month trip a few years ago, I was grateful that I had the foresight to have spare cash and credit card back in my room. It bought me time and saved me much stress while waiting for my replacement cards to arrive 3 weeks later.
I think this is a very peculiar story for the following reasons:
*) New passport issued in a day.
Oz govt page related to stolen passports says:
"If your passport has been lost or stolen, you are unable to renew it and must complete a full adult passport application form and attend an interview."
So the author was robbed, lost everything, yet was able to supply all the required documentation and attend an interview and got the passport in 24 hours. Sorry, I just do not believe that.
*) Paying for police reports. I've had to get police reports in thailand three times, once in Krabi, once in Ko Phi Phi and once on Ko Pha Ngan. On not one of those occasions was I required, nor was it even suggested, that I pay for a report. I realise that sometimes people do pay for them, but it is not the norm.
*) Travel insurance may have covered the trip cancellation stuff for the Cambodia portion.
Overall, a very odd post.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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I can't speak for the rest of the story, but when my Thai maid's daughter was killed in a traffic accident, my maid had to "pay" for a copy of the police report. I'm willing to bet that most folks don't have to pay for police reports either, but I'm pretty sure it does happen from time to time.
I'd never heard of getting a passport re-issued overseas like that. I thought folks typically got a transit card that allowed them to return home and nothing else. Does anyone else have experience with this?
I'll also second lizzy's advice to keep spare cash, a copy of your passport, and even a spare credit card somewhere if you can. I usually leave a copy of my passport and travel insurance policy with a friend or relative back home too (or a scanned copy in an email to myself). Cheers.
Good point about the quick passport replacement, Somtam. I did briefly think when I read it that 'that was quick' - but didn't dwell on it to further. You're right - it doesn't make sense. So in reality, the situation would be probably worse as you'd be stuck for a few days while waiting for it.
I keep emergency money ($100 note) in a couple of places- one in my bag (in a place you would never think of!), in my day pack, and in the money pocket in pants/jeans.
I carry local money in shirt pockets- high denomination in one, low in the other. This means I can reach in to the correct pocket when I buy bus ticket and dont have to wave lottsa money about!
"I can't speak for the rest of the story, but when my Thai maid's daughter was killed in a traffic accident, my maid had to "pay" for a copy of the police report."
Exacto, how do you know this? I have a friend with a Thai daughter and she always had a story (which he always believed) about some expense, usually minor, that she had to pay. It was always something funky and tied to Thai corruption or some other practice. I don't doubt some of the stories were true, but I also know many were not. Just scams to get money off of daddy. Did your maid ask for money to help with this? Or perhaps she was hoping you would help her out? I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but when I hear Thais tell these stories, my suspicion meter goes on right away. Because nine times out of ten my wife doesn't pay anything even when she's dead wrong.
I guess I can't know for sure if this was true or not, but I believe her. She needed the police report to collect on an insurance policy, and the police officer knew this. Overall, I think this may be the difference between life in Bangkok and life in the provinces. People tend to be more faceless in Bangkok, so behavior like this isn't as likely to come back to the individual as it is in Mukdahan. My maid is a sweetie, but she's a nobody from BF upcountry. No sen. No connections. No status. And no, she did not try to get money from me.
I will certainly take advise from you guys (and gals) next time. But let me tell you a short (promise) "miracle story" about what happened to us (wife and self) on an island off Malaysia.
Arrived, checked into beach side back packers, rented motorbike, went for ride around Island and along a beach. I got video camera out of shoulder camera bag and asked wife to film me riding along beach......
That evening decided to go to A.Village or B.Local resort hotel for dinner; Thought we would "check out" the outside of hotel first so put on helmets and hopped on motor bike. Drove up the tree lined road to hotel, looked to upmarket for our pockets so started to head to village when !!! a man stepped in front of the bike and held his hand up (remember it was nearly dark). "Excuse me, but are you Mr ****?" he said giving my full name and "Are you Mrs ***?" he asked my wife giving her full name !!!!!!! HOW DID HE KNOW !!!
We even had helmets on !!. "Do you have a passport?" he asked. S*** I thought, what have we done. "Do you have a Visa Card?" He asked. Well by this time I was not sure so replied "Yes.. I think so" and pulled the video camera (never put it down) out of it's bag to dig out our passports and Visa Cards that were packed safely in the bottom of the bag..... S*** again.. THEY WERE NOT THERE !!!
The man then told us that he was leading a tourist group from Singapore and that day on the beach one of their party had picked up the passports and Visa cards which had obviously stuck to the camera when I pulled it out and dropped onto the sand.
How lucky were we....... On an island.. no passports.. no credit cards.. and riding a motor bike at dusk with helmets on to be stopped by the person who had found our stuff. He said he had rung all the hotels and guest houses on the island but as we were el cheapo backpacking at a place with no phone or power (I said it was cheap) he could not locate us.
If we had not been in that place at that time........ I hate to think what the consequences would have been.
Please no posts telling us "You should not do this or that !!!!" We have learn't :-)