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Pickpockets

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london
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8,928 posts
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Pickpockets

Beware pickpockets, especially in places like ChungKing Mansions or other well populated locations such as the Ladies Market or Temple Street market. I managed to have a wallet lifted there, and was not aware of it until I returned to my hotel. Fortunately, it was my 'daily' wallet that had only a small amount of cash and no credit cards in it.

I have to say that these guys really are masters of their 'art'.

You have been warned and no, it is not a problem specific to Hong Kong

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
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16,141 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Pickpockets

I would further advise to separate your IDs from cash, especially for travelling, like a US "green card" or the likes. The bad guys are after the cash. They aim for the wallets. Other stuff are of no use to them. Collateral damage. Many people place their ID + credit cards + cash in the same wallet - and make it bulky. Stands out from the cloths as if the advertisement sign is there "here... pick here". Cash is one thing. It is such a hassle losing travel documents or IDs and need get replacements. Also a good ideal to stash a spare credit card or ATM card or some methods to get cash while aboard. With all "eggs" in one basket - the wallet - once gone, everything gone, the trip will be greatly affected.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Macau, Holiday Travel, Food and Travel
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27,263 posts
5,504 reviews
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2. Re: Pickpockets

Oh No! Its been a very long time since we last knew someone victimised by pickpockets here. Not a nice way to return to HK, Steve! Sorry about that.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,760 posts
815 reviews
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3. Re: Pickpockets

Too bad. As you say, it can happen everywhere you have a crowd. But HK is generally better than many other places (in Europe).

Edited: 20 November 2013, 04:33
Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
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16,141 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Pickpockets

I am terribly sorry for my lack of manner, Steve. Sorry to hear that had happened to you. My wallet had been picked in Hong Kong before. I know how you feel. Hope that doesn't dampen your trip.

newcastle upon tyne
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10,031 posts
154 reviews
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5. Re: Pickpockets

Sorry to hear this, good to hear you didn't lose much, & pleased you use a daily wallet with little in it, rather than carrying everything around with you..

I wonder if you can tell us where you kept your wallet when walking about?, as I've read stories of pickpockets even taking things from zipped-up pockets etc, & many people don't realise how easily it can be done.

Sydney
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4 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Pickpockets

Thanks for this reminder. I'll be travelling on my own to HK next week, and I'll definitely use the tip of separating cards/IDs and cash. When travelling around Philippines, I usually use a bag that is close to my side (strap over the head and rests on one shoulder). I've usually got my hand held onto the bag, and someone's always walking beside me. Do you think carrying my wallet and "valuables" like camera in this same bag will be okay in HK when I"m on my own and have nobody to walk beside me (on bag side)?

Shanghai, China
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2,237 posts
14 reviews
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7. Re: Pickpockets

Could not agree more with HappyFeet! If you are out you only take with you what you really need. That is usually: cash, a bank/credit card and a copy of your passport or your local ID card (if your country gives them out). NEVER carry your passport around while traveling - even if it is "required by law" like here in China. I was never bothered to show it on the street in nearly 10 years living here (and no, even we Expats with residence permits do not get any ID cards, so we are also required to carry it).

For a tourist it is much more likely to get hit by a bus than to get into trouble for not carrying a passport. Even when I had an accident with a scooter in Shanghai the police was happy with my European ID card as they found me in their system where they store a copy of your passport ID page and a picture they take upon arrival. The incident before (heavy argument with taxi driver) a police officer drove me to my apartment to get the passport and then back to the police station. No hassle at all, only the advice that "by law I have to carry my passport with me" with a big smile.

Otherwise such a thing might help: amazon.com/Pacsafe-Walletsafe-Tri-Fold-Trave… but would always opt for above.

london
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42 reviews
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8. Re: Pickpockets

My wallet was in a buttoned down pocket in my shorts. The total amount lost was less than hkd300 but the bigger problem was that it had a debit card in it that has now been canceled

Put it down to experience and it really is not a big thing

newcastle upon tyne
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10,031 posts
154 reviews
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9. Re: Pickpockets

Sometimes it does make you wonder how they manage to do it, without you noticing anything.

Dublin, California
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19,241 posts
43 reviews
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10. Re: Pickpockets

They are professionals. I have a wallet that's hooked to my pants' belt and inside my pants. Anything in the outside pockets are fair game.