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bangkok to ko samui scam - getting money back?

Posted by sinstone on 2/8/2009 at 22:02

hey boys and girls,

we were taken by the bangkok to ko samui bus scam. got all our big USD and Thai bills stolen from under our noses... both in our checked luggage and in our carry on. We have no clue how they could have been to sneaky to get through our carry on but they did. Thankfully we didn't get our passports or any other stuff stolen.

Is there any way we can get our money back? Reporting to the tourist police? Going back to see the "travel agency"?

Any suggestions would be appreciated... 120 USD stolen is like a freaking week or two worth of traveling!



#1 sinstone has been a member since 5/7/2009. Posts: 20

Posted by SBE on 3/8/2009 at 01:10

Check your travel insurance policy (if you have one) and go and report the theft to the police.

Some travel insurance policies cover theft of money but only if you can produce a proper police report. You often need to declare the theft within a certain time limit too ... like within 24 or 48 hours of the theft.

I doubt very much if the travel agency will do anything for you.

#2 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
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Posted by Thaiman on 3/8/2009 at 04:11

A lesson learnt.It pays to keep all valuables in a small bag and on your person at all times.

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Posted by sirhalberd on 3/8/2009 at 08:28

By any chance did you book your bus ride out of the Khao San Road area? When I read about "stuff stolen on buses" it is usually when a bus is booked by KSR travel agencies.

Too late now but never leave any money or valuables in the checked in bag. Keep your valuables on your body or within sight. I always lock my bags even the bag in the overhead bin on a plane.

Rumor is that when the bus pulls out they have a live person in the baggage compartment who goes through the bags during the ride.

I have never had any problems with buses where I bought the tickets at a real bus station! I did have a bus that broke down once on the highway and they got a replacement bus in a half hour and I have been on some that I thought could have broken down but no real problems and that is over 12 years! Never put any valuables in a checked in bag and keep your money on your body or in your locked bag that is in view.

Sorry for your problems.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 3/8/2009 at 09:21 admin

Sorry to hear about the theft -- as per sirhalberd I'm assuming you booked a Khao San Road bus?

I'd get a police report, but at the end of the day, I'm not sure that many insurance companies will cover you for unattended cash and even if they did, don't be surprised if there is a $100 excess.

Just curious, were was the carryon when the cash was taken - above you or at your feet? Again as per sirhalberd it's not at all usual for these shoddy operators to have a thief in the luggage compartment who goes through all the bags that have been stowed -- it's one of the reasons why I say at every possible opportunity, don't get a bus from KSR!

Anyway, sorry to hear about your bad luck -- hope the rest of your trip goes better.

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,941
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Posted by MADMAC on 3/8/2009 at 11:37

Are you saying you kept cash somewhere other than on your person?

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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 7/8/2009 at 15:31

Another KSR bus ride to hell!!!

Well, might not be hell but it pisses you off. Don't EVER stash your cash somewhere other than on your person. But I guess you lerned that now.

Use the government bus in future init. ;)

#7 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by billbevan01 on 8/8/2009 at 04:13

Do any of the Bangkok regulars know of any reliable travel agencies in the Khao San area? We have had to book a couple of buses in the past from agencies near KSR, with some misgivings, and they've supplied what they said they would. The prices haven't been cheap offers. But I'm afraid I can't remember names. Sorry about that. So there must be some companies that can be trusted. Sharing the names and addresses of reputable agencies could be useful for others who may, for whatever reason, need to book a bus from the area.

#8 billbevan01 has been a member since 19/6/2009. Location: Global Village. Posts: 46

Posted by busylizzy on 8/8/2009 at 04:50

I think you are best to just go to one of the 'public' bus stations. Ask someone at your hostel which bus stations has the busses for your destination - there are several bus stations around Bangkok, and each serves different destinations.

I found this very easy and straight forward to do. You just buy your ticket at the window counter and you know then that you are paying the published price.

#9 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by SBE on 8/8/2009 at 05:10

I've a feeling the problem isn't necessarily with the travel agencies themselves, more with the bus companies that go to and from Khao San Road. The different travel agencies sell tickets for the same buses.

And if you are going to Siem Reap be aware that every travel agency in Bangkok (not just KSR) sells tickets for the same scam buses.

#10 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 8/8/2009 at 15:40

All great advise!! The public bus stations are THEE ones to use.

Q. How many Thais (g/f's not included) are using the KSR buses?

A. none!

#11 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by Sparts on 17/8/2009 at 23:48

The sad thing is that the Thai police could easily clamp down on this. How easy must it be for them to catch the culprits in action.

Its not exactly the perfect crime!

#12 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169
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Posted by federika on 25/8/2009 at 02:10

The same happened to me. I was stolen all my euros in a bag that I had with me. I couldn't believe it either. Then I've been told by several people that they send a special gaz in the ventilation system, then you fall asleep and don't remember the next day that you slept. The agency was part of the business. When I called, she never called me back but pretend that she called the other people taking the same bus and that nothing had happened to them. Maybe some are serious but this one is not and DO NOT BOOK THERE : Rambuttri travel in Kao San Road, in front of the Cinnamon Cafe.

#13 federika has been a member since 25/8/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by SBE on 25/8/2009 at 03:51

When did you travel federika? I remember reading about this "special gas" on KSR buses years ago on TT but haven't seen anything recently. (Not that I look at TT much nowadays). On many overnight buses the driver is in a separate sealed compartment so I suppose it is possible if they keep the door shut. If it is a gas they use though, what is it?

Most thefts on KSR buses seem to be from luggage in the hold. One guy I met got robbed on a bus from Krabi. He thought his backpack felt light when he got off the bus but it was still locked with his padlock so he didn't check to see if anything had been taken. He only discovered stuff was missing when he got back to his GH ... which suggests that the thieves have keys that enable them to open padlocks without forcing them.

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