Going on a vacation is a happy occasion but the happiness index could quickly head south when holiday goers fall prey to crime. Many years back, I had my wallet stolen while in Paris and another time I lost my wallet while shopping in Medan.
The experience was anything but pleasant. It would be a hectic realignment of itinerary and frantic phone calls to settle the serious matter at hand to add to the loss of personal items. This is definitely an unwanted distraction.
But falling prey to some other crimes could be much worse. We are not talking petty crimes like pickpockets or about carelessly leaving our wallet and mobile phone on the table in a café or a restaurant creating our own crime. There are crimes that are so serious that will not only cut short travel plans but terminate them.
We should be conscious of the fact that there are criminal elements every where in the world that specifically target tourists to rob them or even kill them during such attempts. Such calculations should be factored into out travel planning and do proper research about the destination where we wish to visit and the accommodation where we wish to stay.
Recently, a group of female tourists from Taiwan were robbed while they slept in their villa in Pattaya. The news report gave the impression that it might be an insider job. From the way they were checked into their accommodation till the time when they reported their loss to their hotel where help wasn’t given to report the matter to the police, this just doesn’t smell good.
These Taiwanese ladies should count themselves fortunate that they were not harmed during the robbery. A British couple were murdered in Koh Tao, Thailand not too long ago.
Of course, there were other cases of robbery and murder in Thailand as well.
Crimes targeting tourists are not happening in exotic places just in Thailand. There are reports of crimes against tourists in popular tourist destination in Bali as well.
Some Singaporean tourists had their monies stolen in their villa and the manager even threatened them. It was also impossible to make police report in Bali as the police refused to take their report.
In 2013, an Australian tourist was robbed and raped in her accommodation. The robber was so audacious that the assault took place while the woman’s family members were sleeping nearby the property.
Earlier this year, a Swedish tourist was raped and robbed while returning to her hotel during the wee hours of the morning. It is just bewildering that this lady took her personal safety for granted being out alone during an ungodly hour. When you throw common sense out of the window, then creating your own crime can easily become part of your tour itinerary.
The good news is that some robbery cases targeting tourist are solved. A serial robber targeting luxurious villa was napped in Bali.
Such robberies have have been going on for many years, especially where the accommodations are located at secluded area. In some countries, robbers would rather kill than get caught and this makes tour planning even more important than to leave things to chance.
Early last year while on the way back to Singapore after spending a quick weekend break in Bali, we chatted with two young ladies at the airport waiting for the same flight home. They told us they spent two nights at some accommodation that was so remote from human civilisation that it took hours for them to reach there.
Exotic location no doubt, they didn’t seem to enjoy it though. It seemed they would rather spend some time shopping in Bali than to maroon themselves away from human contact wasting so much time on the road and on the sea.
It was great that they made it back safely and it was their first time visiting Bali. It is just amazing young people have funny ideas about taking a vacation and not putting much thought into personal safety and comfort. A vacation should not be one that causes us to become even more tired and taking unnecessary risk to get an experience of roughing it out.
Criminals are targeting tourist everywhere including the world famous destination in the Maldives.
Closer to home, a French tourist was murdered in Pulau Tioman for refusing to have sex with the murderer.
Not too far away from Pulau Tioman, an Estonian model was murdered in Pulau Rawa.
It is really foolhardy for anyone wishing to travel to an exotic destination hoping to have the best time in their life taking for granted that their safety would not be compromised. This is even more true for female tourist who travels alone to destination where human contact is scarce and help would be hard to obtain in times of need.
It is good to take rejuvenating breaks from time to time but taking personal safety for granted is not the way to go. In addition, buying travel insurance is a must or prepare to face financial disaster when tragedy strikes.
So stay sane and stay safe for a safe and superb vacation.