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The Phenomenon of Begpackers: Backpackers, do not beg

As I turned the corner toward Ben Thanh Market, the Central Market in Saigon, Vietnam last Friday, I was stunned to see two European backpackers sitting by the side of the road with a sign written on cardboard. One was singing a song while the other was playing a small set of drums. The sign invited people to give them money to finance their further travel. They call these people beg packers and I have now seen them in Auckland, New Zealand; Berlin, Germany; Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand; Pnom Penh and Siam Reap…

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