How it works:
- Bike/moped: riding past with a pillion rider doing the snatch (usually by drug addicts).
- Bar, restaurant, cafe: stealing unattended bags/valuables on the chair or table.
- Bus: stealing unattended bags/luggage in luggage compartments.
- Violent mugging: Vientiane at night.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (hotspots – tourist spots in Vientiane; during festivals and events (e.g. Lao New Year in April, end of Buddhist lent in October, boat racing festival in September and October)
- Check out other hotspots of violent crime
What to do:
- Valuables: avoid laying out on tables or carrying in your hands while walking.
- Bags: consider using lockable bags that can be locked to another object and cross body anti-theft bags (difficult to snatch).
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – review).