India| Vietnam | Cambodia | Laos | Thailand | Malaysia | Indonesia | NZ | Fiji | Cook Islands | USA

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Night 147: A near theft experience

Close followers of our humble 365 will remember the tale of a midnight intruder from our time in Goa - without giving it away, it was not what we expected. On this occassion, in Vang Vien, it most definitely was.

I'll start from the beginning; it's about 2:30AM and Jeff, Rob and I are all asleep in our room. I'm awoken by Jeff saying "What are you doing down there?" and hazily look around. By the time I've come to my senses Jeff is out of bed and the figure that was standing at the foot of our beds has ran out of the open door and into the night.

Jeff had thought it was Rob rooting around my bags (left closest to the door) and asked him what he was doing, then she'd realised that both Rob and I were still in our beds, and the man crouching by my stuff looked distinctly local, and as she got up - he made a dash for it.

We checked our things; nothing had been taken but the question remains how he got through a locked door? We don't know but this story could have ended a lot worse, for sure.

We'd heard from other travellers that locals robbing westerners while they slept deeply in drunken stupors was common in town - a more than weekly occurrence in some specific hostels. So we stayed away from them. From then on we used our own padlocks to double-lock the door while we were both inside and out.

It's a horrible thing to wake up to so this is just a warning for anyone who is going to Vang Vieng, apart from the obvious good times to be had; only stay in a room that you can double lock and however drunk you get, make sure you do.


  1. very thankful that you are all alright and nothing was taken. Have you got to the bottom of how he managed to get into your room if you had a padlock on it on the inside ? How scary is that! Very wise that you do not stay in 'at risk places' - keep safe please. Lots of love

  2. fear not! we're all about the safety these days...actually when he got in the door was just locked the once (apparently not enough) so thereafter we were using the normal door lock AND our own padlock...

    i kind of suspect that the hostel owners are probably in on the scam and either provide keys to theifs or at least let them know which room is occupied and then look away when they pick the lock. the hostel owner didn't look very surprised when we told him about it...