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Are padlocks and chains essential?

Posted by Indoluso on 21/1/2010 at 07:15


Planning a trip to Indochina, we´d like to know how many of you used padlocks and chains to secure your bags in hotels, boats, trains, buses, to lock hotel rooms, hotel windows, etc, as for us it feels strange to get to a place/transport and show our absence of trust in people.

Is the use of padlocks a basic rule, is it really safer for belongings, don´t people look at you as the arrogant westner?

Thanks for your replies!

#1 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133

Posted by Gorey on 21/1/2010 at 07:58

I always take a couple of padlocks with me, really only to keep my bags zips secure while they're on planes (im way more distrustful of baggage handlers than anyone else) and on trains when i want to sleep which is the only time i actually padlocked my bag to something. I've never encountered somewhere where id felt a need or want to add extra locks to windows or doors.

I cant imagine anyone thinking 'arrogant westener' at all, safety conscious is safety conscious its not a western hemisphere thing, everyone wants to keep their belongings safe. Plus if your staying somewhere with room cleaners or something they have seen it all, padlocked bags wont be anything new to them and if anything was new to them they would probably just have a little giggle about it.

#2 Gorey has been a member since 26/3/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 58

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Posted by DLuek on 21/1/2010 at 10:49 TF writer

I've never used them...

#3 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,305
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Posted by JessandScott on 21/1/2010 at 11:32

Hi Indoluso

My husband and I bought padlocks for our backpack and bigger bag, and a bike chain to attach the bag to the bed when we went out. We did this in Bangkok (the bag-bed thing) but then didn't even bother anywhere else (Siem Reap, Koh Chang or Koh Mak... or when we came back to Bangkok). We kept the padlock on the bag, though it wasn't always locked, and it wasn't tethered to anything.

We also stopped using the combination lock on our main compartment of our backpack as it was a pain in the butt and took too long to get our wallets, etc out. We did leave the smaller compartment, containing only our passports, locked though. We didn't have anything stolen.

So I guess it depends where you're staying. If you're staying in big cities, I'd carry your passports on you and get a padlock to secure that compartment of your backpack, and I'd get a padlock for your main bag (if you have more than one). If you're staying in not-so-great hostels, I'd get the chain as well. But if you're staying in reasonably nice places I wouldn't bother with the chain (it was just one more thing for us to have to carry!). I would DEFINITELY recommend padlocking your bags when travelling (overland or by air) though.

I hope this helps.

#4 JessandScott has been a member since 7/12/2008. Posts: 34

Posted by JessandScott on 21/1/2010 at 11:37

Oops, realised I wasn't very clear.

I should have said that you should always have your passports on you (or in your hotel safe, if you think they're trustworthy...) and that if you're in a big city I would be more conscious of being pickpocketed while walking around (so would make sure that the passports are very secure - locked - in your backpack).

The chain is optional, depending on where you're planning on staying and what you're planning on taking with you. We just took, besides clothes, etc, a camera - and we always had that on us anyway, so there really wasn't anything to steal.

#5 JessandScott has been a member since 7/12/2008. Posts: 34

Posted by Indoluso on 23/1/2010 at 01:12

Hello all!

Thank you very much for your answers, helped alot!


#6 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133

Posted by JessandScott on 23/1/2010 at 14:04

You're welcome - have an awesome time!

#7 JessandScott has been a member since 7/12/2008. Posts: 34

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