Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tips to avoid pickpockets at Pratunam

this is how I use my bag
It is our last night in Pratunam. After 4 days and 3 nights of shopping we have consumed our budget for our online shop in Philippines. I have sent this morning our cargo through a Filipino forwarding company to Manila while my wife and two kids will bring with them some of our merchandises when they travel back to the Philippines tomorrow.

Our business trip has ended smoothly and we are now in "relax mode."

See how I was robbed: Beware of rampant pickpockets at Pratunam

To avoid being robbed again, we booked a different hotel, changed our USD in a different money changer located in a safe and uncrowded place while we took different paths when coming and leaving our hotel. More so, we just brought a partial amount whenever we go out while the rest of the money was secured with our youngest son who opted to remain in the hotel during our shopping.

I shortened the strap of my new shoulder bag (I threw my old sling bag) so I can easily hug it whenever a crowd starts to develop. We also decided that my wife would be the one handling our shopping money while I would always stand beside her wherever she goes; my daughter would be the one doing the shopping and assisting her Mom during payment. It was a great team work for three of us.

Being aware of the peril of shopping in Pratunam I have noticed that there are still people who act suspiciously. Hence, here are my tips to avoid getting robbed in Pratunam:

- Leave your passports and other important documents such as credit cards, ID, etc. in your hotel's security lockers located in reception area. Take the key with you. You may check your documents every night.
- If you are in group always distribute your money.
- If you need to convert your money then distribute the money immediately to your companions after changing. If you are alone then double your guard once you have left the money exchange shop.
- Shorten the strap of your shoulder bag until it reaches slightly above your waist. Trust me, your eyes will immediately notice if someone will try to open your bag. I have observed that even the locals are doing this thing to their bags.
- Don't put your wallet in your back pocket but rather use your front pocket to secure it.
- When a crowd starts to develop, stay alert and lower your arms; if possible stay in close group as well and hug your bags.
- The pickpockets need their hands free to do their "thing" thus be suspicious of shoppers who have a few plastics with them especially if they appear to be in group. Pratunam is a place for wholesale shopping thus normal shoppers usually have plenty of bags in both hands or pulling a huge trolley bag.
- Lastly, don't wear cargo pants or shorts. If you can't help wearing one then don't put any valuable inside its pockets.

Enjoy your shopping!