World

Tourist claims to be stranded and begs for money to buy train ticket

A foreigner propped with a cardboard sign that reads "Ticket to Kunming" has been seen at Guangzhou East Railway Station, begging for money from strangers to buy a train ticket.

However, station staff claims that it is all just a scam, reported Shanghaiist.

Calling himself Victor, the 25-year-old Polish national told local reporters he had only arrived in Guangzhou last week.

Having burned through the US$500 (S$711) budget he had with him for his backpacking trip around Asia, the backpacker claims to be now left stranded.

As he had no cash, he said he was forced to rely on the kindness of strangers to buy himself a train ticket to Kunming, where he will then continue his trip into South-east Asia.

According to chinatrainguide.com, the slow train from Guangzhou to Kunming takes at least 24 hours and costs 192 yuan (S$43) for the cheapest ticket.

The station's janitor known as Zhang claims that the foreigner has been begging for 10 days, making about 1,000 yuan a day.

"Foreigners are often generous with him, giving him 100 or 200 yuan, while Chinese just give him 10 or 20 yuan."

A local police officer had also noticed Victor's presence before going on vacation on Oct 10.

However, he says that authorities won't be able to do anything as Victor is not causing a public disturbance.

When confronted about the allegations, Victor admitted to begging for 10 days but did not want to reveal the amount of money that he has received.

He did, however, say that Guangzhou residents had been "very friendly" and told the local reporter that he would leave soon for Kunming.

Sources: Shanghaiist

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