More White People are Going to Southeast Asia to Beg For Money on the Streets

To go on a backpack adventure around the world is a dream, but if you need to be a “beg-packer” to do it, then you might want to rethink your strategy.

Many Western backpackers frequent the streets of Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and other Asia countries to beg for money. Some can be seen sitting on pavements with posters asking for money, while others play music to attract people on the street. But with their expensive looking cameras, musical instruments, and the notion that they have more money than an average local, many Asian residents are finding the sight bizarre.

Photos of these foreign “beg-packers” surface on social media and mixed reactions from netizens.  While some admired these backpackers for their free spirit, paving their paths to the unknown, still, many were unimpressed.  

According to The Sun, most locals are not happy that that these foreigners are begging people for money to fund their vacations.

A young Singaporean, Maisarah Abu Samah, told France 24 that she finds it “extremely strange” to see “white people” asking for money to fund their trips.

“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!” she said.

A Twitter user who goes by the handle Solo Traveller shared some snaps of foreign backpackers on the streets of Thailand.

“Poor foreigners, only in #Bangkok #Thailand,” he captioned one photo.

The rise of Western backpackers travelling to Asian regions has long been on the horizon and locals are more than happy to accommodate them as guests, but probably not so as “beg-packers.”


NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries:

More Stories
‘Ghost in the Shell’ Trailer is Full of White People Pretending to Be Asian