Western backpackers spotted begging Thai people to fund travels

Two men were seen begging at a Phuket marketplace.
Two men were seen begging at a Phuket marketplace. Photo credit: Palm J. Sittichai / Facebook

A photo of Western backpackers begging strangers to fund their holiday at a Thailand marketplace has outraged locals.

In the image shared on Facebook, two men can be seen sitting on the ground at the busy market in Phuket, armed with handwritten signs in Thai and English.

"My name is Alex," read one sign. "I'm travelling in Asia for 15 months. Sadly, I'm out of my savings, but I stay positive."

"I'd like to ask for your kindness to fulfil my dream of travelling. Please donate for my trip. Thank you."

Coconuts, a Bangkok-based website, published the photo along with a scathing condemnation of Western "begpackers", who feel entitled to locals' money once they've run out of their own.

"There are plenty of travellers who still feel justified in asking locals in developing countries for cash to fund their extended holidays," the website wrote.

A Phuket resident told Coconuts she saw 'Alex' begging at another market in the same area some weeks ago.

She says she didn't give him any money, but that lots of locals and foreigners did.

Begpacking is common in popular backpacking destinations like Thailand.

German man Benjamin Holst has been denied entry into Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia after conning sympathetic residents into giving him money, which he then spent on partying and drinking in bars.

Newshub.