Foreign Backpacker Beggar in Guangzhou: Scammer or Traveler in Need?

Foreign Backpacker Beggar in Guangzhou: Scammer or Traveler in Need?
Nov 19, 2015 Translated by

Editor's Note: Sparing change for a beggar is a tug-of-war of the heart. The pull of wanting to help out the less fortunate against the push of a cynical list of excuses not to. "I don't think I have any small bills. I can just donate to a charity. They are just going to use my money to continue making bad choices," and the most private of excuses, "They are probably faking it." Victor from Poland has Guangzhou travelers pulling at both ends, and it seems like he's making some serious RMB off his indignity. This translated article reports on the story.

 “I’ve been here for 10 days, but if I tell people I’ve been here for that long, they would be angry.” A foreigner from Poland named Victor has been spotted begging at Guangzhou East Railway Station. He carries a sign asking in Chinese and English for a train ticket to Kunming. Those working at the station, however, said that his story is not true.

World Traveler?
Victor told the Chinese media said he was a backpacker and had arrived to Guangzhou three days ago and with no savings left. He had left on a backpacking trip three months ago and was traveling through Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia, and Beijing with only 500 Dollars.

With no money left when he arrived in Beijing, Victor decided to beg on the street to raise funds. The 25 year old brown-haired, bearded man got a lot of attention while begging. “Luckily, there are well-intentioned people along the way that have helped.” Subsidized by strangers, he used the money he earned in Beijing to travel by train to Nanjing, Huangshan, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Victor said that he arrived in Guangzhou three days ago from Hong Kong with no money left. He said that he was trying to raise money for a ticket to Kunming. A ticket to Kunming from Guangzhou costs about 200 Yuan. After Kunming, he hoped to go to Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Victor said that he had met a Polish girl who was studying in Guangzhou while in Beijing, who gave him the idea to come to the city. He said that he sleeps in a hostel that costs 80 Yuan per night and stores his luggage there during the day.

At 5 pm, Victor’s pile of money contained 30 Yuan.

“He’s Been Here 10 Days”
“Do not believe him, he has been here at least 10 days,” said Mr. Zhang, a cleaner who works in the station. “Foreigners are generous, they will give him one or two hundred. Chinese people will give him ten to twenty. I bet he makes over a thousand a day.”

Zhang said that when foreigners see Victor they stop and chat with him. They often give him a lot of money after talking to him.

“He’s been here at least month. I saw him here on October 10,” said a policeman on duty at the station.

Victor later admitted that he had lied about only being at the station for three days. People here are very friendly, he said. “I have been here for 10 days, but if people knew I had been here for that long, they would be angry.” He tried to show reporters his Instagram account online to prove that he was a backpacker, but the site is blocked in China.

Reporters asked to see his passport and Victor refused. They asked to see older travel photos on his camera. Victor said that he had uploaded pictures in Hong Kong, so he only has a few pictures from Guangzhou at the moment. He said that his phone had been stolen in Nanjing so he has to rely on public telephones.

Find a Job? Impossible!
Victor said that he has ventured out into Guangzhou every day to explore the city, and then returned to the train station to beg when he gets tired. When asked what he has seen in the city, he could only describe a park and a tower. Because he doesn’t speak Chinese, Victor wasn’t sure exactly what he was seeing in Guangzhou.

Why doesn’t he try to find a job? Victor explained that it is basically impossible to find an odd job in Guangzhou as a foreigner. He refused to say how much he has made begging, but said that he has in fact raised enough to get to Kunming.

He said that he will go to Kunming tomorrow if he can buy a ticket. Guangzhou Easy Railway police have repeatedly asked him to leave, but he always comes back. A policeman said that they have confiscated his cardboard sign a number of times, and he always leaves for a while and then comes back.

“He is not a nuisance to the public, and we cannot forcibly expel him. Sometimes it is difficult to communicate with him,” said police.

As the reporters prepared to leave, Victor asked them, “What percentage of my story do you believe?”

Source: QQ News

Warning:The use of any news and articles published on without written permission from constitutes copyright infringement, and legal action can be taken.

Keywords: foreigner backpacker beggar Guangzhou Polish beggar


All comments are subject to moderation by staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate.



Does anyone know if he will be at the guangzhuo station tomorrow or not?

Nov 30, 2015 13:26 Report Abuse



Just one fairly common way to earn money in China. When in Rome....

Nov 30, 2015 12:45 Report Abuse



I could have sworn I saw this goofball walking around Seaworld tonight in that same damn unwashed shirt.

Nov 27, 2015 22:00 Report Abuse



Sitting in the piss and spit. Good grief!

Nov 21, 2015 22:49 Report Abuse




Nov 21, 2015 17:36 Report Abuse



China really needs to raise the bar if they ever hope to keep trash like this out. Seriously, if you want to travel, you should be required to show proof that you can support yourself during your stay. If you want to teach English, you should be required to submit sealed copies of your transcripts proving that you majored in TESL/TESOL (or some related acronym) and graduated from an accredited university. I don't like when people assume that I'm some type of fraud because so many others are. They bring nothing but shame to those of us who are legitimate and who worked hard to get where we are today.

Nov 21, 2015 01:32 Report Abuse



You do realize that I was referring to TESL/TESOL degrees, right? A TESL or TESOL degree can't be earned in four weeks. They require the same amount of time that it takes to get through any other college graduate or undergraduate program. It would be absurd to allow anyone anywhere near an ESL classroom with just a 4-week certificate.

Nov 26, 2015 23:21 Report Abuse



I after reading most of the comments I think most of you are just jealous that he found an easier way to make money in China than we did. I would do the same if I didn't have dignity which as it turns out is very expensive and has cost me quite a bit of money from missing out on scams like this one. I don't care, people want to be lied too, and want to feel like they are helping other people. This is the real reason that people give to these people. From what it sounds like he is not accosting people for cash. Let him sit there with his little sign, he is better than the ones that get on the metro with amplifiers and sing horribly then hide in the crowd when the doors open at each stop. I always report a beggar in the metro to a conductor. Within one stop the beggar is off of your train and two stops for their look out.

Nov 20, 2015 17:19 Report Abuse



Typical Chinese thinking. As long as you make money its ok. No, people want to help, not 'feel' like their helping. If you really are not Chinese then you have found your home , this place is full of soulless drones.

Nov 21, 2015 05:00 Report Abuse



Jeolous of this scammer, you think everyone is like you, hypocrite? People want to be lied to, who taught you that, your parents? People want to help those who are worthy of their help and scammers are not on that list, something that simple is beyond the understanding of a hypocrite like you. You confuse ego with dignity which you don't have, if you have you wouldn't argue with wumao arguements.

Nov 21, 2015 10:38 Report Abuse



@Englteachted: If you don't feel like your helping when you are helping someone, what do you feel? When you watch a magician do a card trick you think it is real, its not you just got tricked. The people that give him money want to help him. After they gave him the money they felt like they helped him. What they do not know is that they just got tricked. I frequent this train station about once a month. The next time I am there I will ask him what he has to say on the topic. On another note, how sad are you to talk of people you have never met as soulless drones. You might as well be a soulless drone. Did you use chopsticks with your three meals today? Did you wipe your ass with toilet paper today? How much currency did you use today? How much energy? Now you tell me what makes you even a little bit more special or "soulful" than a Chinese, Japanese, or any other group of people in the world?

Nov 23, 2015 17:17 Report Abuse



If you can't sign a screen name to your words, what makes you think I care what nameless faceless auto generated Guest user has to say?

Nov 23, 2015 17:21 Report Abuse



Obviously you 1. can't read numbers, 2. never heard of 'cover of the book'. 3. haven't figured out the difference between a screen name and a system generated userid. A shallow moron you are.

Dec 05, 2015 11:45 Report Abuse



Can you understand what you wrote? I don't think you have finished grade school yet. When I was in second grade my teacher introduced me to this ground breaking concept called proof reading. After that moment I stopped writing half-baked garbled nonsense and handing it out to strangers as quickly as possible with the pipedream in mind that I was enlightening. 01000011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110101 01101110 01100100 01100101 01110010 01110011 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101110 01110101 01101101 01100010 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110011 01100001 01111001 01110011 00101110 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100100 01101111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01101100 01101001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110011 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01101100 01100101 01110011 00111111

Dec 29, 2015 10:36 Report Abuse



Come on! can't get a job in GZ, really?!?

Nov 20, 2015 11:40 Report Abuse



A bit of change from the Africans constantly asking around for money, anyone living in GZ will know what I mean. Don't even get me started on the Chinese beggars. Anyway, deport this idiot and foot the bill to his country.

Nov 19, 2015 22:43 Report Abuse



I've lived in Guangzhou 6 years now and have never once been asked for money by a begging African. Maybe you look like a soft touch or are making this up?

Nov 19, 2015 23:40 Report Abuse



What is a 'soft touch'?

Nov 20, 2015 04:18 Report Abuse



RandomGuy is a troll. I've never once seen an African begging. Offering to sell me something (legal/ illegal) , yes!

Nov 20, 2015 12:40 Report Abuse



Sorry for late reply. A "soft touch" is someone who is easily taken in by scams or looks like they'll be easy money for a beggar.

Dec 10, 2015 23:37 Report Abuse



Cruel and unusual punishment. CCP should make it mandatory!

Nov 20, 2015 03:09 Report Abuse



I can imagine being the idiot who gets sucked in by this disgraceful man. I would think along the lines of "Imagine if I got stuck in a foreign country with no means of leaving and no one would help". So I would feel inclined to help a foreigner begging but it's bullshit that he can't get a job in China especially in Guangzhou where any foreigner with a white face can walk into a job. Hearing his story that he has begged his way around the world is actually infuriating. They should classify his begging as working and then deport him for working illegally.

Nov 19, 2015 19:30 Report Abuse



go donate your kidney you polish loser.

Nov 19, 2015 17:43 Report Abuse




Nov 19, 2015 17:35 Report Abuse



Foreign scammer.

Nov 19, 2015 17:34 Report Abuse