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pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
62 posts
33 reviews
33 helpful votes
pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

I am a solo female traveler. Should i be worried about pick pockets. Has anyone used a neck wallet or is the money belt a better option.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
23,288 posts
28 reviews
39 helpful votes
1. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

Purse snatchers and pickpockets are always a concern in crowded tourist haunts. Always be aware.

A rather common ploy is for passing motorcyclists to snatch things from people. Try not to walk curb-side and/or keep you bag(s) on the side away from the street.

If you are comfortable with wearing something under your clothes, the money belt or wallet can't hurt.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Brooklyn
Level Contributor
41,362 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

(Not sure what a neck wallet is.)

Have been to Bangkok 2-3 times every year for a while now. Never really gave pick-pockets much thought until I went to Chatuchak Market and saw all of the signs posted with pictures of "pick pockets" who have been caught at the market. I still pretty much don't give them any thought.

This is what I do(I'm male)......I don;t leave my hotel with a million things that I use at home that I don't in Bangkok. I carry these items-camera/money clip with Baht, some USD and my hotel card key/copy of passport/watch. I don't carry my wallet or even my phone.

When I carry my backpack, all that really holds is a bottle of water, spare battery for my camera, wash cloth(for my forehead in the heat) and coins that I get as change.

Basically, that is it.

I think people get caught up in taking a purse/wallet/etc that they use at home with everything that they may use at home, but 85% what they don't in Bangkok. Leave that at the hotel(or at home.) Try to leave with ONLY what you need.

Consider buying a smaller purse that will hold your basics.

Also, just be aware of your surroundings and don't walk very close to the curb/street. Also, be confident and don't "over-worry" yourself.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
62 posts
33 reviews
33 helpful votes
3. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

Thanks for the info. I am probably over-worrying but it is my 1st time traveling alone and abroad. I am also going to be using my phone as my camera so i want to make sure nothing happens to it.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
37,406 posts
7 reviews
16 helpful votes
4. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

Worried may not be the right word, but aware yes, and good on you for asking.

Again, I'm male so I don't carry a purse/handbag. I wear jeans/trousers. I carry a small amount of money (say 500 baht) in one of my front pockets.

My (one, the other stays in the hotel safe) credit card, my ID and photocopy of my passport, travel insurance card and the rest of my money for the day go in a pouch attached to my belt that goes inside my jeans. Yes it looks idiotic when I have to pull that pouch out and put it back but my cards/money is safe; I'd have to be seriously drunk not to notice someone feeling for my valuables! My iPhone goes in my front pocket. The wallet stays in the safe, and (unless going to a club that requires official ID) so does the passport.

Foreigners are more susceptible to pickpockets and those with purses or handbags more so. If you think along the lines of how we men look after our belongings you'll be fine.

And btw I take exactly the same precautions when visiting other foreign cities, even on business, including London (the city in which I was born).

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai Region, Shenzhen, Bangkok
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8,227 posts
102 reviews
41 helpful votes
5. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

Not sure where you are coming from as you have not added any location to your profile, but precautions are the same like for other big, crowded cities with a lot of tourists. Be careful, but not too worried. Do not carry too much money with you and keep it at a safe place.

Kuala Lumpur...
Level Contributor
2,148 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
6. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

I'm male, i take out all those discount and rewards card from home before i go to BKK.

My wallet will only have "enough" for me for the day, others i will leave it at hotel and locked up. My cash are organised....some big notes in front left pocket, right front is for coins and small notes. Nothing in the back pocket

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
62 posts
33 reviews
33 helpful votes
7. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

Hi. I am coming from NYC. Which again, I realize I should probably be more aware here too but I am more comfortable since it is home. I did end purchasing a anti theft purse. Atleast my mind will be at ease.

London, England
Level Contributor
384 posts
94 reviews
119 helpful votes
8. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

Wise words from OctoberSix, Ter and others - all applicable to being streetwise anywhere in the world and not just Bangkok! Caution also applies to jewellery. A friend of ours was mugged by two very large men in Buenos Aires earlier this year. They wrestled him to the ground, ripped off his Rolex and vanished on a motorbike, all done in a few seconds.

We've also seen reports on TA about motorbike snatch thefts from people riding in tuktuks, so keep everything close to you - anywhere - and Bangkok tuktuks tend to be a dubious idea, anyway. On the other hand, to be fair, during our many stays in Bangkok we have never had any trouble, apart from the inevitable "Grand Palace is closed" advice and the occasional friendly "teacher" or "hotel employee" on a street corner.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Brooklyn
Level Contributor
41,362 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

**apart from the inevitable "Grand Palace is closed" advice and the occasional friendly "teacher" or "hotel employee" on a street corner.**

Good point.

I have never encountered this..but it is another thing to look out for.

The person who stops you on the street and says that they work at your hotel and start to chat. They will lead you to a "great" tour which includes gem shops and tailors.

Or the "official" who stops you outside the Grand Palace who says that it is closed for the day...however..he can set you up at another tour. Same results as above.

They probably won't look to "rob" you, but will look to ferry you from A to B to C looking for commissions.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24,757 posts
10. Re: pickpocket scams/advice in bangkok

You have some good advice already for pickpockets. I have velcro flaps on my pockets or at least buttons. In some crowds I switch my wallet to my side pouch pocket. When paying for cheap items I don't like to keep reaching for my wallet. I keep some smaller denomination baht in a pants pocket or shirt pocket for quick purchases. If you have a huge purse hanging from your shoulder at least move it to the shoulder that is furthest from the curb. Keep the amount of junk in your purse to a bare minimum. Have copies of your passport info and visa page at your hotel.

Some tourists do have an extra pocket sewn into their pants. (When you run out of money you will end stripping down somewhere to replenish.)

Do a forum search and even a Google search for scams to avoid. Read up on how to use taxis properly in Bangkok. (Maybe a thousand posts will come up with a forum search on using taxis.) If you are worried about theft keep in mind that random people you may meet while wandering around, and invite to your hotel room, could also rob you blind too! When visitors visit your room keep valuables locked up and out of sight. Passport, cell phone, purse, wallet, jewelry, etc. Out of sight out of mind!

Have fun.

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