Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't get robbed in Thailand!

If you do, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the resulting bureaucratic tangles will drive you batty.  Here's an excerpt.

When your passport and valuables are stolen in Thailand - including all your cash - the first thing the victim must do is pay money. That's right, you've been robbed of everything you own, now it's the policeman's turn.

Police reports (for insurance) don't come for free, I discover halfway through reporting the crime to an awfully young trainee policeman. No money; no report. So I borrow 240 baht ($7.50) off the nearest backpacker (a feat in itself) and finish the process.

. . .

I explain to the woman at check-in at Koh Samui airport that I'm flying to Bangkok to replace the passport I had stolen. I even show her my 240-baht police report. "No photo identification, you can't board the flight," she says. I reason with her. Then I beg. She calls for the airport manager. "Sorry sir, without photo ID, you can't get on this flight."

I rip my flight itinerary into a thousand angry little pieces and make my way to the harbour, where I begin a journey involving ferries, trains and buses that will take more than 12 hours (the flight time was 65 minutes).

. . .

The next morning at customs there's a problem; they need to see a Thailand entry stamp on my passport. I show them my 240-baht police report. I cry a little, I tell them I just want to go home. It's no good.

Instead I'm frog-marched to a stark room where six customs officers watch a World Cup qualifying soccer game on TV. The game's obviously an important one because no one wants to leave it despite my teary protests that my flight's about to board.

There's more at the link.

After reading that, I think I'll do my best to avoid the place . . .



Joe in PNG said...

Here we have a tale of how not to travel. Look at the following quote:
>...the bag containing my passport, driver's licence, credit card and cash.

Travelers' quiz: what's wrong with this sentence? Yes, Billy, the doofus had all these very essential things in one convenient, easy to steal bag.

Kids, don't do this when you travel international. Passports, licences, cash, and credit cards go inside your pants pockets...not all in the same place... and the front pockets if possible.

And get travel insurance, especially where airline delays are a national pastime.

Anonymous said...

Joe, as soon as I read the line you quoted, I stopped reading the article. Whatever followed, he earned. I wonder if our Mr. Craig still carries a purse these days?

Old NFO said...

Stupid... And whining about it... He broke EVERY common sense travel rule.

bmq215 said...

Oh no, a guy gets all of his documents stolen at once and then they won't let him board a plane without ID even though he swears that he's just doing it to get new ID? Good. Props to the Thais for having decent airport security.

And then he expects to sail right through customs with a freshly issued passport that doesn't show him entering the country?

Picture a Thai guy (with the limited local language skills that I suspect this guy had) and without any ID in your home country of choice. Would he slide through security? Would you want him to be able to?

Whiny guy got what whiny guy deserved.

Gerald said...

I have lived in Thailand over 30 years and have gone thru immigration many times. If they were ignoring him while watching football I would be willing to bet that he was acting like an a**hole thinking he was better than they were or using curse-words.