(fashion) Backpackers from rich western countries are begging in the streets of Bali, Thailand and Laos for cash, accommodation and transport, with no sign the trend will stop.
Dubbed 'begpackers', the tourists are earning a bad reputation in impoverished countries where the struggling locals they compete with are forced to beg in order to survive because of extreme poverty or sickness.
The practice has become endemic in tourist areas of southern Bali like Kuta, according to Farmers Yard Hostel, which offers free stays in return for work.
Many young begpackers reject consumerism and want to travel with no money, provoking an angry response from social media users who consider it self-indulgent. These begpackers were called 'an embarrassment to the Western world' on Facebook
Juka, who runs the hostel, and like many Indonesians has only one name, said the hostel had to implement rules against freeloading after an influx of begpackers.
'There are heaps of people who just come and borrow, and take,' he told the ABC.
Many of the rent-seekers were said to be affiliated with the Rainbow Gathering, a neo-primitive hippie movement into tribal drumming that hates consumerism.
Despite repeated condemnation and social media posts exposing the freeloaders to public ridicule, the social phenomenon refuses to die as ongoing images reveal.
In one video, three backpackers stand on a busy street in Thailand, holding a sign to hitchhike to the mountain town of Kanchanaburi.
The problem is ongoing in southeast Asia
They approach a Thai man in a car, who is filming them, and say 'no money'.
They remain wandering up and down the median strip on the busy highway waiting for a free trip.
The video provoked a number of irritated responses.
'So these f**kers have 20,000-25,000 for a plane ticket but no 200 Baht for the bus?' wrote one person.
'What an embarrassment to the West,' wrote another.
Not all the travelling beggars are from the Western world, however.
While some are Australian or British, many others are from poorer eastern European countries such as Russia or Ukraine.
Joshua D Bernstein, a tourism