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Tourists’ belongings ‘vanish’ from hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker area’

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 23:12 GMT+7
Tourists’ belongings ‘vanish’ from hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker area’
Tourists crowd the Bui Vien Walking Street, located within the so-called ‘backpacker area’ in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huu Thuan / Tuoi Tre

A Belgian tourist has reported having all his belongings mysteriously “vanish” from his hotel room in the popular 'backpacker area' in Ho Chi Minh City.

Yves, 37, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper he and a friend checked into a hotel on Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1 on Friday last week.

Pham Ngu Lao is one of several streets making up the so-called ‘backpacker area’ in the namesake ward in District 1, which is a well-known haunt of international travelers in the southern metropolis.

The next morning, the Belgian national and his friend requested a room change after finding that their room was too noisy.

Their request was approved, and the two tourists moved their belongings into a new room, witnessed by a security guard and a room cleaner.

After settling into their new room, Yves and his friend went sightseeing for the whole day, only returning to the hotel in the evening.

To their surprise, they were told that two other guests had already checked into their new room due to a mix-up.

Apparently, the receptionist who was in charge of the morning shift had failed to inform his afternoon-shift colleague about the room change.

When Yves and a security guard went to inspect the room, they found that all of his and his friend’s belongings - including two laptops, passports, temporary resident cards, and other personal papers and valuables - were nowhere to be found.

Hotel staff also conducted a thorough search through every other empty room as well as the hotel storage room to no avail.

Yves said he and his friend have reported the case to the Pham Ngu Lao Ward Police.

Police officers are reviewing CCTV footage from cameras installed inside the hotel to investigate the suspected “property theft” incident, a source confirmed with Tuoi Tre on Wednesday.

>> Keeping your belongings safe when travelling in Vietnam

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