A pair of Asian travelers were spotted in the Thailand province of Sa Kaeo on Thursday after being inspired by Western “beg-packers.”
Beg-packing is the practice of traveling Westerners in Southeast Asia without money, and then asking donations from strangers.
Authorities in the rural part of Isaan encountered what could be the first reported case of Asian beg-packers in the country in the form of two Japanese tourists.
The two young men, found at a roadside with signs seeking help from locals, would later reveal to the police that they were Japanese college students.
Before they were taken into custody, the tourists posed for pictures with the officers who gave them some water and useful advice about traveling safely.
Images of the Asian beg-packers posted by the police on Facebook quickly went viral.
“The patrolmen of Aranyaprathet Police Department [of the Sa Kaeo province] saw two tourists outside Sri Aranyothai kindergarten. They were holding signs that read ‘No Money,’ ‘Bangkok,’ and ‘Sa Kaeo,’ so the officers went and talked to them,” the caption read, as translated by Coconuts Bangkok.
“We found out that they were Japanese university students who wanted to travel to Bangkok, so they made signs in order to hitchhike and save money. The patrolmen contacted the tourist police, who brought the two tourists to rest at Aranyaprathet Police Station and told them that traveling that way was unsafe. We then contacted the public vans at Aranyaprathet Transport to take them to Bangkok, so that they would travel safely.”
The post also bore the hashtags #HighStandardService #AranyaprathetPolice.
Some users commended the officers for assisting the tourists, while many netizens expressed outrage toward the travelers for traveling without money despite being enrolled in college and coming from a relatively “rich” nation.
Others observed that since one of the signs saying “No Money” was also translated into Khmer, it meant that they might have come from Cambodia before going to Thailand.
Feature Image via Facebook/AranprathetPolice