Western Backpackers Funding Their Trips In South East Asia By Begging?


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a link to a piece on Malaysian media about backpackers begging for money in Kuala Lumpur. There was similar piece last week about this happening in Thailand as well.

Western Backpackers Begging In Asia

What happened to the idea of saving money in advance or working during the travels instead of setting up a begging shop?

Here’s an excerpt from Free Malaysia Today (access here):

There now seems to be “Western backpackers” who are asking for money from other tourists and Malaysians alike, to help fund their travels.

“I have seen them trying to sell postcards and photos. I think it is fine if they genuinely run out of money and need some cash to go back home, but not to fund their travels,” NST quoted a street artist, who only identified himself as Wan.

Some of these westerners were also spotted asking for money along the KL Pedestrian Walkway that connects KLCC to The Pavilion in Jalan Bukit Bintang, with various connections along the way to hotels and office buildings.

A guard who patrols the walkway said he had chased away foreigners begging in the area on several occasions.


I think that this is appalling. There are genuinely (a lot of) poor people in South East Asia that either beg or sell small stuff to get by. It is privilege for these backpackers to travel around during their gap years or on extensive holidays.

If someone runs out of cash and need some to get home, give a call to your family and hope that they help you out.

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