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Robbed in Penang

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posts: 4
reviews: 22
Robbed in Penang

Anyone else be robbed in Penang? I was target and had my pocket picked in George Town on the free "hop on/hop off" city shuttle. Honestly the place isn't safe and it's not worth a look. Go elsewhere.

Nelson Bay...
Destination Expert
for Penang
posts: 1,533
reviews: 45
1. Re: Robbed in Penang

Very sad to hear of your loss. There was a post early this year when one of the Penang forum DE's, Roostown, suffered a similar fate again on a bus. See tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g298302-i9174-k…

I have to disagree with your closing points. I am sure Roostown will be back in Penang come December.


Edited: 11:49 pm, April 10, 2012
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 16,556
reviews: 840
2. Re: Robbed in Penang

If you avoided places where there is crime or pick pockets you would have nowhere to go.

Just count yourself unlucky and the main thing is that you werent hurt. You can always replace money.


Norfolk, England
Destination Expert
for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Batu Ferringhi, Chaweng, Ko Samui
posts: 30,732
reviews: 218
3. Re: Robbed in Penang

Sorry you had a bad experiance. We had a similar experiance in the Vatican, Rome. Hey who would have thought a mother and baby would do such a thing!

Pick pockets work everywhere around the world. Money is money, at least you are in one piece.

When we travel [and Mr Mitch and I are as guilty as any] we all seem to leave our sensible heads at home, and we do darft things when on our holidays. Even though we think we aren't, we walk around with more money, our cards, or even our passport and expensive cameras etc. At home we would take security seriously. We try to do so when travelling . . .. .

Sorry you feel like you do about Penang, as it is worthy of more. Still its a big world out there. Although I would suggest you avoid Swetto

Travel safe.

Edited: 1:36 am, April 11, 2012
posts: 1,124
reviews: 75
4. Re: Robbed in Penang

Hi -

I echo what others are saying above - always a horrible feeling and to hear that it spoilt your holiday.

Unfortunately these crimes are everywhere - TM said it correctly regarding Rome. I was there recently - fortunately didnt happen to me but to a young couple who was not too far away from me in the Trevi Fountain area - saw them reporting to the police etc. I read a similar thing in the Rethymnon Crete forum after I just returned and I thought Rethymnon had to be one of the safest places I have ever been. My travelling companion was robbed (not pictpocketed but mugged) in Romania. I was let off cause I had too little money in my wallet (I had the rest stuffed away somewhere). I would still return if the chance comes along.

Sorry you feel this way about Penang. There are always bad apples there. I'd alway recommend friends going there - or anywhere unusual for that matter - to take precaution.

Best regards

Edited: 1:50 am, April 11, 2012
Luzon, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
posts: 14,099
reviews: 201
5. Re: Robbed in Penang

There's a different between a bad experience and a bad destination. Georgetown is worth a visit as highly recommended by UNESCO. The whole island of Penang is generally safe and loved by tourists but of course crimes do exists just like anywhere else.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Penang
posts: 2,595
reviews: 51
6. Re: Robbed in Penang

MiddleAgeAussie...I can understand your first reaction ..but such is not Penang ...my brother in law had his wallet etc pick pocketed in Singapore on Orchard Road ...myslef i was on the 101 bus from Komtar on the way back to the hotel and did not realise until I got to the hotel what had happened ..and then too late..this has not stopped me from returning to Penang ...and is the first time in 20 years something like this has happened to me in this wonderful place...and Iwill be back there again come December and again I will ride the 101 but will take caution this time ...on the side ..did you report the theft to the police ..and you fill in a police report ..do you have travel insurance ..if yes to all these questions then you should be able to make a claim ..I did and got every cent back ..in fact i still look back on the funny side ..when I went to the Police station I HAD TO SIT behind the desk and type up the reort because the young Polce Woman could not do in English

Sorry you had this experience but do not let it turn you off Penang...it happens all over the world

Edited: 6:28 am, April 11, 2012
posts: 394
reviews: 5
7. Re: Robbed in Penang

Kegler747,you got it in one.There is a difference between a bad experience and a bad destination.I've got some friends who had the same experience in Paris.Unfortunately for the pickpockets all they got was an empty wallet.You might say all they got was experience.I can't see the sense in blaming an entire population or location for the actions of dirtbags.Roostown and I received an email from a friend who was pushed down some stairs in KL recently.She lost her money and some dignity but I don't think that'll stop her going back to KL.Happy trails.

Destination Expert
for Penang Island
posts: 786
reviews: 1
8. Re: Robbed in Penang

Dear MiddleAgeAussie

There's a difference between Rob and Pick Pocket. Is very rare to see people get rob in Penang (especially Penang Island) compare to other part of Malaysia. Mainly because its an Island and easier for the police to catch the culprit.

However, Snatch Thief (sling-handbag) are very common (use too..but didn't hear much lately) because it's easy to target and run by bike in Penang (same to KL).

Pickpocket, petty thief? Well, you got that every part of the world. You can lost your whole luggage in Spain.


Nevertheless, losing your precious belonging during holiday from thief is very unfortunate and depressing ... if its not your cup of tea..then don't take it but please be moderate when you express your feeling.

posts: 4
reviews: 22
9. Re: Robbed in Penang

To all those who offered supportive comments regarding my George Town experience: sincere thanks and yes good humour returns. In fact, I feel now that I'm really part of the Tripadvisor community.

That said, I'll not bother with Penang again - apart from Long Beach the place just didn't grab me. I actually live in Asia and have travelled fairly extensively in the region as well as to Europe etc. Yes, I've done the criminal hotspots of Rome and Paris and, with due diligence, had no problems. The guys in Penang were just too good for me.

Again thanks everyone for your kind words and support. And you're right Roostown, I did get to type out my own report!!

By the way, if I seem a bit grumpy, you can check some of my other posts. You'll see that I'm usually quite easily pleased.

posts: 394
reviews: 5
10. Re: Robbed in Penang

G'day MiddleAge Aussie,pity things didn't pan out.But where ever you go and what ever you do, I am sure that most TA's will join me when I wish you happy trails.