I got pick pocketed in Sri Lanka!

sri lanka


I didn’t have much cash on me in LCCT so I only changed RM 350.22 into LKR (Sri Lankan Rupees). Thus, I had to find a HSBC ATM over here to withdraw LKR and managed to withdraw LKR 30,000 this morning (about USD 300 or RM 1,100) in two batches of LKR 20,000 and LKR 10,000.


The thing about Sri Lankan money is that it’s abnormally large and it doesn’t really fit into my wallet. In a fit of (ill-conceived) inspiration, I decided to fold the LKR 30,000 and put it in the back pocket of my jeans. I thought this would be a good way to budget since I won’t touch that money and only use the LKR 9,440 from the RM 350 (plus 22 sen) I exchanged at the airport.

*cue fun and games in Colombo*

I took a tuk tuk back to the hotel and realized that I have used up most of the LKR 9,440 during the day and reached into my left back pocket to retrieve the LKR 30,000. It wasn’t there.

I searched all pockets, my bags, my dSLR bag and even my wallet but the LKR 30,000 was nowhere to be found.

Fuck! I have walked through a huge portion of Colombo today and had to battle human traffic most of the time so I deduce that someone must have nicked it sometime during my adventures in Colombo.

It should be noted that the missing LKR 30,000 is USD 300 or RM 1,100. *insert expletives*

I’m broke and I didn’t even get the chance to spend the money. Damn pick pockets.

Welcome to Sri Lanka. πŸ™


Anyway, on to less depressing matters, I bumped into a reader on the plane here. Hello Jason. A special shout out to Catherine Cherng! Hola!


I also got myself a Sri Lankan prepaid card. I’m on Dialog – a Sri Lankan cell phone provider. Text me at +94779469842 if you need to contact me. Cheers!

Posted: 8:06 PM Colombo time

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40 thoughts on “I got pick pocketed in Sri Lanka!”

  1. just dont understand why guys must put their stuffs in the back pocket… front cannot meh?
    anyway, take care. there’s alwayz credit card cash advance πŸ™‚

  2. zer0ize: Sigh. I really have to budget like a backpacker now that I lost so much on the first day.
    yuetmui: I used to keep my wallet in the front pocket. Serious. I’ve always done that. However, this year I put it in the back, for some reason I forgot. My cell phone goes into my front right and my cigarettes and keys into front left now.

  3. HB,
    Never, ever, ever put your wallet or cash in your back pocket, as you’ve learned from this experience. I always have my wallet and phone in my right front, and keys and gum in my left front pocket. Sadly, while this protects my wallet from a pickpocket, it also doesn’t leave room for my cigarettes, but this problem is easily remedied by putting your cigarettes in a backpack, or computer bag.
    I was pick pocketed in London once, and as I remember it wasn’t a fun experience. My sympathies and condolences to you, and your lost $300. However I’m also sad that you get to go to Sri Lanka, and I don’t, so I can’t feel to sorry for you, you’re experiencing something I might never be able to so try to enjoy it, despite your loss.

  4. hola back! enjoy the rest Sri Lanka (despite being pickpocketed) thanks for the shoutout.
    ps: Jason! shocking to see your face on sixthseal.

  5. Hey SixthSeal,
    Wanting to say ola to my ‘papa’ thru your blog.
    He still does not look any bit decent despite wearing his tiny ipod shuffle.
    Take care both.

  6. bigwillie: I will. Thanks for the perspective buddy, you the best! πŸ™‚
    Simon Seow: Yeah. πŸ™ Thanks! I will! πŸ™‚
    cat: OMG! It’s Jason, not Johan. Corrected. Oops. Hello Cat! πŸ™‚
    I’ll enjoy the rest of my trip!
    suanie: Yeah, this string of bad luck doesn’t seem to be ending. Sigh. One whole year of luck. Could it be…karma? Hmm…
    Shanky: Hello there! You all work in the same place? πŸ™‚
    Okay, no wonder I got the name wrong. Johan, Jason.

  7. Dude,my name is jason,not sure where you all got Johan from,LOL….ignore shanky,she is mad!!!! Btw,if I am around tomorrow will buy you dinner,damn the pickpockets…..hi cat!!!!

  8. For a moment or two, I thought I saw the wrong person in HB’s blog.
    Anyway, HB, hopefully things will get better for you. Keep up your good job here and take care!
    By the way, I didn’t see the wrong person. Indeed, it is you – hello, Jason!

  9. Never EVER put anything in your back pocket, phone wallet or anything else because you can’t feel it if someone dips in.
    But yah the stupid 2000LKR notes are HUGE. I just shoved em in my wallet and let them get creased.

  10. Sometimes the pockets that come together with jeans/khakis are just not enough.
    For me, left side, ciggies and lighter. Right side, handphone and keys. Just four items in the front pockets is already causing a huge bulge in the front (especially my ciggies and lighter), especially when its a box of 25s.
    If you happened to be wearing jeans, have a softpack ciggies and wallet in the same pocket, there you go, *drum rolls* introducing OBLONG cigarettes! Try smoking oblong ciggies man, its hard to suck and somehow for me, it tasted weird the last time when I tried them.
    Anyways, look out for more pickpockets and enjoy your trip!

  11. oh dear… tht totally sucks.
    Sigh..i can only say i hope your hol will turn out for better. It’s not been a good year i gather?
    Neither has it been for me, so I do understand. Like Suanie said, maybe go some temples?

  12. Sam Clark: Thanks for the tip! I don’t have enough time on this trip though – it’s purely Colombo and surrounding districts. πŸ™‚
    Jason David: Heh! I must have gotten the names confused. Sorry! Sure thing, text me at the Sri Lankan number. BTW, why are we both online during our vacation? πŸ˜‰
    Angel: Thanks Angel! It’s looking up – today was a good day, went out at 6 am in the morning and came back at around 6 pm. I’ll be heading to bed soon – exhausting day, but fun.
    At least the LKR 40,000 (USD 400) I withdrew today is safe and sound and I managed to learn the fine art of haggling with tuk tuk drivers. πŸ™‚
    shim: I’m here on a holiday! πŸ™‚
    ShaolinTiger: Yeah, I know! Today I went to an ATM that gives out LKR 1,000 instead of LKR 2,000 and withdrew LKR 40,000. Hard to stuff in the wallet, but at least it’s stuffable. πŸ™‚
    Marlboro Guy: Cheers! I’ll be wearing a zipped up adidas trackpants tomorrow since I’m carrying the remainder of my budget on this trip. Tomorrow is another long day, gotta wake up early! πŸ™‚
    thenomadGourmand: Yep, not a good year for me. I sure hope it turns for the better. On the other hand, today was great! Managed to explore a lot of areas around Colombo, eat at hotels, drink coconuts by the beach etc. πŸ™‚
    chefmel: Yup, today is certainly looking up! I had a lot of fun, but was quite tiring since I had to look after my belongings so I couldn’t swim in the beach although I really wanted to. The waves here is HUGE coz it’s an island bordered by the ocean! πŸ™‚
    eiling: Thanks! I’m alright, just poorer. πŸ™
    Shirley Snow: Thanks! πŸ™‚
    Tian Chad: Haha! That’s one way to look at it bro. πŸ™‚
    kenwooi: …for the entire year, mate. πŸ™‚
    cynthia: Heh! I may not have been an angel this year. πŸ˜‰
    No devil either, but still not an angel. πŸ™‚
    hitomi: Yalor! I can nearly pay for my 3 nights hotel with that. πŸ™
    Nope, I’m here on leisure! Experiencing the local culture and all that.
    jg: I’ve never been to Sri Lanka before and I got a really good deal – RM 301 return, so it’s really cheap. πŸ™‚
    I wanted to explore Colombo and experience the local culture too. Drank water just now from a roadside stall that came out of a container which used to contain paint (!).
    Now waiting for diarrea to hit. πŸ˜‰

  13. Front pocket feels more comfortable to me as I know that my things are there. As a guy, I never ever put anything in my back pocket (always sit on it) lol

  14. shucks, so sorry for you to hear that u lost ur money! but hope that dont affect u enjoying the rest of ur holi and be more careful bout ur tuff!

  15. Cy: Yeah, same here! It’s always front for me but for some reason this year, I started putting it in my back pocket. No enough pocket real estate in the front. πŸ™‚
    dragoncity: Yeah, I’m using my credit card for all large purchases now at places which seem trustworthy (hypermarkets etc). It’s a good thing food is SO CHEAP over here. πŸ™‚
    Alli: Thanks! Yeah I wore an adidas trackpants with zippered pockets today, since I went to Pettah (like Petaling Street in Malaysia).
    horace: Hmm…I’ll say their English is rudimentary at best. Even the hotel staff has problems with conversational English. Rule of thumb is to use plenty of gestures. πŸ˜‰

  16. dude. wl b heading to SL this weekend, need some urgent info. is HSBC ATMs available like everywhere? what abt the airport, bcoz, i will b reaching in the wee hours. Did u manage to change any SL rupees in KL? tx mate.

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