Beg-packers are everywhere in the media at the moment. They’ve been around for a while, but a rise in numbers (and a rise in blatant insensitivity) are getting people really mad. So, what are beg-packers, why are they asking for money and are they wrong to do so?
Here are a few answers to those questions and my own personal opinion, which argues that beg-packing is pretty ridiculous, but it isn’t all bad (read first before you get angry at me too).
What are beg-packers?
Beg-packers are Western (majority white) tourists who are asking others to fund their travelling. Beg-packers are raising this money through crowdfunding websites such as fundmytravel.com, hawking postcards or busking on the street, and in some cases, just begging for money. Read more
So, I’d covered Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Next was a brief few days in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, also known fondly by its previous name, Saigon. I only spent a few days in the city, so here is my Ho Chi Minh City travel advice and budget planning for a brief visit.
This was my second trip to Vietnam, having visited Hanoi and explored Ha Long Bay back in 2013. I’d heard great things about Saigon, so even though I’d experienced some of Vietnam before, I didn’t want to leave it off my Southeast Asia backpacking trip.
From my visit to the capital and with two weeks of Cambodia behind me, I had some idea of what to expect once I’d hopped over the border. But, as ever, I was wrong! Read more
My passport expires in 2020, but it’s almost certainly going to be filled by then. I’ve even stuck post-it notes onto the few empty pages left to save them from an Immigration officer’s careless stamp. But no matter how much I love flicking through the pages and admiring the ink, I don’t ask how many countries are there?
I don’t count countries.
I see a lot of travel bloggers, travel Instagrammers and travel enthusiasts with a running total on their websites or profiles, ’27 countries and counting!’ And I think it’s great if you want to do that. It’s a great way to quantify the places you’ve travelled to, it’s satisfying to hit the big landmark numbers and it’s good motivation if you want to see ‘all the countries in the world’.
I just don’t think it’s the only way to measure travel (if it can be measured at all). And it’s certainly not for me. You’ll never see a running total on here or on any social media page I’m on and here’s why: Read more
So, I had started my Southeast Asia trip in Myanmar followed by Laos. Now, I was ready for the next leg of the adventure, Cambodia. This is the ‘big one’ for many backpackers, myself included. Here is how I planned my trip and all my Cambodia travel advice:
My Itinerary: I spent just under two weeks in Cambodia, including travel days. I flew into Phnom Penh and left the same city by bus for Vietnam. I zig-zagged around from Phnom Penh, visiting Siem Reap, Kampot and Sihanoukville. However, if you have more time, then there is definitely plenty to see and do. (See ‘Things I May Have Missed’)
Disclaimers: I have quoted prices in US dollars because locals use this currency more commonly than Cambodian riel. When I visited in November 2016, the exchange rate was 4,000r to US$1 and prices can often be bartered and haggled.
Three pictures taken in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Three places that were difficult to visit, but too important not to miss. Let me share the stories behind them…
Sometimes tourism is more than just a holiday in a nice resort, cocktail with curly straw in hand. More than being brave and backpacking solo around Southeast Asia, posting lovely photos of exotic places on Instagram.
Travel educates you about the world in a way a textbook and the Internet can’t. And part of that education is learning about the history of a country or city to discover what shaped it into the place it is today. Read more