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Travel Forums Asia identification

1. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member 67 posts) 9y

hey guys,i was just wondering do you need to carry your passport or any identification on you while while out and about in se asia,do the police stop you for i.d?? thanks all!

2. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 9y

I never had any problems. Unless crossing borders of course.

You should be fine.

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

I've never been stopped and asked for ID. I've never heard of it happening either. But I would never leave my hotel without my passport secure in a pouch under my shirt. If you are leaving your passport behind, be very sure that it is safe. You don't want to loose it. The only times I ever leave it behind is when I'm on a beach and I have no choice to but take a chance.

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Dar Egan

The police never stopped me, or asked me, for ID, in Thailand.
I havent been to the other SE Asia countries.


[ Edit: Edited on May 21, 2007, at 7:16 AM by Mel. ]

5. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 9y

I have been all through SE Asia and have never heard police asking for a passport for ID- I would however recommend carrying your passport with you for safekeeping.
The only times I needed to bring out a passport was at banks (cashing traveler's cheques), at borders, getting VISAs, and when checking in to most guesthouses- most ask for the passport number, and in Vietnam in fact most actually kept the passport at least one day.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1615 posts) 9y

Quoting dar egan

hey guys,i was just wondering do you need to carry your passport or any identification on you while while out and about in se asia,do the police stop you for i.d?? thanks all!

In Thailand and the Philippines I keep my passport locked in the security box at the hotel - except for cashing travelers checks or something like that.

In the past 10 years I have not been stopped by the police or anyone in authority where they demanded my passport - I avoid situations where I would be in trouble anyway!

I do carry a photo copy of my passport with me in my walk-a-round bag for just in case I had to prove something to someone in authority. I believe this would give me a little breathing room to get my passport at my hotel if needed. Never needed it so far.

In Vietnam the last time I stayed there the hotel took my passport and kept it at the front desk. I did carry my photo copy with me anyway. Some of the expensive places don't confiscate your passport, so I have heard - but in cheap hotels the police have on occasion have been accused of keeping a tourist's passport until a bribe is paid. I expect more problems in Communist countries anyway. In Laos and Cambodia I carried my passport with me and if stopped I would try to wing it with a photo copy first, then the real passport - wary of a confiscation!

Also in Vietnam, a couple nights the police made an inspection of my room around 2 or 3 in the morning looking for something to hold against me for that bribe they wanted - they had the passport from the front desk with them. Nothing wrong was found, they did look under the bed, in the shower/tub, in the closet - just about any where a "local" girl would be hidden - very thorough! Expensive hotels simply pay the bribe ahead of time and charge you in your hotel room price.

So, all countries are not the same. Make sure you have copies of your passport available - this is helpful even if you only lose your passport and need something to help you get a replacement at the embassy. You can also scan your passport and save it on the internet in an email to yourself. (Same for flight itineraries, flight confirmation numbers and other important "must remember" information.)

I have other forms of government I.D. but no one overseas has ever asked about it.