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Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

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Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

No matter how busy a street you are on or whatever the time of day, be vigilant if you are a lone traveler and carrying a bag. Motorbike violence and bag snatching has increased and the police are useless and do not want to know. Be warned that you can be badly injured if you are smacked over the back of the head and knocked to the ground when your bag is snatched.

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1. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

I have just returned from 4 days in Vientiane. Am a solo female traveller. I found it quite safe.

I did a lot of walking.

First of all, I always have a crossbody bag or small backpack that I carry in front.

Secondly never walk close to the road.

Thirdly, avoid streets with not many people walking

Lastly, when it's dark be extra vigilant.

I don't know which street this happened with you.

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Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Prefecture, Laos
Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

Is this happened to you? Cuz we havent heard anything like you say - of course you cant say or claim where will be safe and where will not be, however, Laos is relatively safe without organized crime.

Thanks,

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Laos
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Vientiane, Laos
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3. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

Its true there are bag snatchings from young men on motorbikes frequently. Some get reported in the local paper, many don't. Not only walkers either - people have been dragged off their moving motorbikes by bag-snatchers. It seems to be on the rise in Vientiane and Phnom Penh as more young people get involved with meth pills which are widely available all over SE Asia. There is a pill dealer living next to some land I own on the edge of Vientiane, and there are often newly discarded handbags scattered on this land that have been stolen by the people going to buy pills from him. A couple of times the bags still had the owners ID's inside and we were able to get them back to their owner (minus cash of course), and hear their story of how it was robbed.

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Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Prefecture, Laos
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Cambodia
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Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

I have a small bag that I also carried in front of me. I was hit hard from behind, knocked to the ground, hit over the back of the head as they grappled my bag off me. I would hardly call that safe. Locals report this crime is quite common and the police do nothing. I did report it to the police as there was no interest or result. I had concussion and could have been severely injured. So don't tell me how safe Vientiane is!

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Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Prefecture, Laos
Bangkok, Thailand
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5. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

Thank you for assisting the victims! The government needs to clamp down and travelers need to be award that Laos is not the haven it once was.

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6. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

Of course it happened to me - last week - this is why I posted about it. I am still physically recovering and very shocked having lost cash and mobile phone. Not what I expected and like many, I naively believed Laos to be calm and safe. It is not. I am not stupid enough to walk down lonely streets even in broad daylight let alone at night and was on a busy well-lit tourist type street by the German Bakery.

Edited: 27 June 2017, 04:50
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7. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

WARNING FROM BRITISH EMBASSY WEBSITE: Safety and security

Crime

The local equivalent to the UK ‘999’ emergency lines are: 1190 for fire, 1195 for ambulance and for police: 1191, 241162, 241163, 241164, and 212703. The Tourist Police can be contacted in Vientiane on 021-251-128.

Petty crime, including bag snatching occurs frequently, especially in tourist areas. Take sensible precautions, keep hold of your bags and do not have valuables on display.

Safes provided in hotels and guesthouses aren’t necessarily secure. Consider using your own lock where possible. Take care of your possessions if you’re travelling long distances, or overnight, by public transport. Be particularly vigilant travelling at night by bicycle or motorcycle, especially if you’re alone. Stick to well-used, well lit roads and carry a personal alarm if possible. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid unlit roads, especially if you’re alone.

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Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Prefecture, Laos
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8. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

Jeeez. It is only about 100% safer than a standard town in England. Bad things happen everywhere. Vientiane is a very safe place as long as you are sensible.

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Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Prefecture, Laos
Vientiane, Laos
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9. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

angstas - it is a safe place relatively speaking - but violent crime and robberies are on the rise and I believe that was why the OP started the thread. People have their bag snatched every day in Vientiane, mostly in the tourist areas where thieves perceive the easy money to be. The thieves come from behind and you don't see them till its too late. If you hang onto your bag you can be dragged along the road by the motorbike ad lose your skin, as has been on the news recently. Houses are broken into every week in my part of town.

Things are changing in Vientiane fast - I think there is good reason for this post

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Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Prefecture, Laos
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10. Re: Beware of Violent Bag Snatchers in Vientiane

I spent 4 nights in Vientiane in April & I felt perfectly safe. I walked to local restaurants / bars & went to the night market every evening & didn't have any trouble. I've always found SE Asia to be much safer than England. I just exercise the same sensible precautions wherever I go e.g don't walk around flashing expensive jewellery & gadgets & stick to busy well lit areas.

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