I know many of you dislike it when I blog about Phuket, but really, this post is so universal it could be about anywhere in Thailand. As a traveler, holidaymaker, backpacker, whatever, you pick up certain hints in guidebooks and from websites. One such hint, which I have read frequently, it to distrust anything resembling a personal safe in your room.
In hotels like the Marriott or the Hilton, there is a certain amount of trust between guest and brand, but in smaller hotels, like the ones you find in Patong, I find it remarkable that people would leave valuable items and money in room safes.
A group of tourists staying at a resort near Soi Bangla were recently duped out of money and a few other personal items. I’d rather not name the resort myself, but if you want to read about whole debacle, you can do so at Thai Visa.
There are a number of tourists who have made claims that they’ve been robbed while leaving items in room safes. Most of the tourists lost money. One group left US$1,000 in their room safe.
What’s interesting about this case is that all foreigners have automatically sided with each other and a campaign against the hotel has been launched. The Thais, however, have dodged the issue and dealt with it as you’d expect. Will there be any resolution in this case? Absolutely not. What great justice do these tourists expect to achieve?
There is even talk of setting up a website to bury the name of the hotel and destroy its reputation. While situations like this are unfortunate, I’m left wondering why the holidaymakers don’t just get their money back on insurance and let the matter rest. They certainly won’t be able to make the world spin backwards to achieve some sort of harmony here – this is Thailand.
The police won’t deal with the case, the governor has said it’s unfortunate and he will “look into it”, the hotel has denied any wrongdoing and the tourists won’t budge on their morals. Actually, these tourists aren’t out for justice – it’s simply a case of revenge.
You could argue that there is a principle at stake, but when you’re in Patong, principles go right out the window and you learn that the area has its own rules.
I think the tourists should lay this one to rest. Sure, post a warning on the Internet, but perhaps some information about how easy most hotel safes are to break into would be more fitting.