Foreign backpackers slammed for begging in Asian cities -- to fund their travels

Chen Jingwen
Thursday, Apr 13, 2017

A recent phenomenon on the streets of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong has raised eyebrows and confused stares: Young foreign backpackers begging for money to fund their epic trips in the region.

These 'beg-packers' are also buskering by playing music and 'selling' simple items in the hope that some generous bloke would pop up and shell out big bucks to fulfil their tropical dreams.

This has riled up some Asians who want them off the pavement, as they are flouting begging and labour laws of the country.

Asian netizens also accused the 'shameless beggars' of exploiting the locals, who are possibly poorer than them, and questioned why they need to beg when they could afford the expensive gadgets and cameras they are carrying.

One incensed Singaporean, Maisarah Abu Samah, who saw one Western couple selling postcards, tweeted: "We find it extremely strange to ask other people for money to help you travel. Selling things in the street or begging isn't considered respectable. People who do so are really in need: they beg in order to buy food, pay their children's school fees or pay off debts. But not in order to do something seen as a luxury."

Louisa, a Malaysian woman, told France 24 that such backpackers often feel they can behave in any way they want while travelling in an 'exotic' place.

She said: "I want to ask these tourists: What makes you think that this kind of behaviour is normal in Asia? Why don't you do the same thing at home?"