A blond begpacker selling his travel photos for a flight home attracted a small crowd at Hat Yai’s Greenway Market last night, and unlike popular opinions from the international community, many Thais spoke in support of the shameful, illegal action — even describing the disheveled young man in orange shants as “cute.”
Facebook user Taiiwan Yanawimuti made a video about the begpacker — who’s reportedly from the Ukraine — and asked people to share her post and help fund the young man’s travel.
“He’s traveling the world and looking for money to go back to Ukraine. He’s selling the photos he took himself. We can pay how much we want. He also tells a story with every photo. Let’s help him. #PleaseShare,” the woman wrote.
The video shows a small crowd, mostly young Thai women, checking out him and his pictures. The video has received over a thousand likes since last night, with many people even giving it a “love” reaction.
The user also wrote that she paid THB100 (US$3) for a photo with the begpacker in it.
“Isn’t he cute?” she wrote.
Another woman commented, “I just went to him today. I just told him he was cute.”
A third lady tagged her female friend and left the questionable comment, “Are you interested? He’s white! You can get a picture and talk to him. So worth it.”
Many comments, both from men and women, admired him for being clever and pointed out that he’s not harming anyone or “begging.”
“He’s not begging. He sells stuff. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it and shut up,” said a popular comment.
Others wonder how long he’d been selling his photos, since he’s been in Thailand for months. The photos show him at locations around the country. Many commented that they had seen him selling in Bangkok, specially in the Silom, Siam Square and Victory Monument areas.
The minority disagreed, “I waste my time getting a travel visa. I submit my hotel confirmation. But foreigners can just chill, and when they run out of money they can do this. If we do the same while traveling, will we be arrested?”
“These people are beggars. Plain and simple.”
This young man is probably one of the better-received begpackers that social media in Thailand has seen. The government made an attempt to keep begpackers from entering the country by randomly selecting foreigners to show that they had THB20,000 in cash to fund their travels at immigration.
In the past year, Thailand has seen a family of begpackers, dubbed the “begpacker brood,” a begpacker that started a GoFundMe because he was too lazy to hit the streets; and, of course, the notorious big-legged beggar Benjamin Holst, aka the most hated German in Thailand, who has been banned from the country.
Thankfully, that famous beggar found a lovely wife in the African nation of Gambia and has vowed to never return to Asia.