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Return of the Begpacker


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A solid four years after we first began reporting on the rising trend of “begpacking,” there are plenty of travelers who still feel justified in asking locals in developing countries for cash to fund their extended holidays. 

Two such Western begpackers were spotted at Samkong Market on the resort island of Phuket just last week, something that didn’t escape the notice of social media. 

“Wait a minute. They do this now? Farangs beg for travel money at Samkong Market. Is this right?” Thai Facebook user Palm J. Sittichai wrote in a post on Thursday.

The two men sat on the ground next to signs bearing an identical message in both Thai and English. To be fair, only one put their name to it, so it’s entirely possible the other half of the duo is simply a friend or perhaps a missionary looking for converts.

“My name is Alex. I’m traveling in Asia for 15 months. Sadly, I’m out of my savings, but I stay positive,” the sign reads. 

Yep, stay positive, Alex. 

“I’d like to ask for your kindness to fulfill my dream of traveling. Please donate for my trip. Thank you,” said his Thai-language sign.



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Around 6 or 8 years ago there was a Farang who used to sit near Washington Square with a sign in English saying he didn't have enough money to fly home and asking for help. He was there for quite a few months. Besides begging being illegal (at least for foreigners), I wonder what he was doing for a visa. The police never bothered him, presumably being paid off.

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Last year in Patts  I noticed a young farang woman " busking " I think is the name for it ,on beach road,trying to sing something and strumming a guitar with a box placed in front for donations.I thought to myself " Oh no,this is what I`m trying to get away from and now its here in LOS as well ".

She wasn`t there next day so probably been moved on by the police.

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