“Backpackers Are The Bane of Existence”, A Confession That Gained Traction of 9.2 Million Views


In 2020 BC (before COVID), I usually spent my day walking and shopping in the Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur areas. There I saw several Westerners selling handmade jewelry. Right in front of them, there was a cutout cardboard that read, “Please help me to fund my travel”. It baffled me and to some extent, vexed me. If you do not have the fund, you shouldn’t have traveled to other countries, to begin with.

However, I didn’t buy or said anything to those people. At that point, I thought I was the only one who was annoyed with it. Little did I know, this is some sort of ‘plague’ that occurs within many SEA countries.

One internet user took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction.

Image | Raphael Rashid

Let’s take a closer look at these photos.

Images | Raphael Rashid

In the thread, Raphael added how exploitative this is to the kindness of the locals.

He also criticised the unfairness of the treatment Asians would get if they were to travel to some countries.

A different Twitter user defended this action and justify how this action is actually used to fund their travel and the money would eventually be spent directly to help the local economy. The exchange of the conversation is as below.

I have not visited Bukit Bintang for a very long time now for my crippling fear of the pandemic (now an endemic). I have no idea whether this is still going on. Personally, I hope the local authorities take strict action to curb this exploitative behavior. To the very least, this is an eyesore.

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