Ever since Bali first established a position on the tourist trail in the 1920s, the Indonesian island has become a haven for foreign travellers in search of sanctuary among its picturesque paddy fields, deep blue breaks and sacred temples. From well-heeled proponents of “barefoot luxury” (with a firm emphasis on “luxury”) to down-at-heel backpackers for whom budget is the buzzword, Bali has something for everyone. Well, almost everyone. There is one type of tourist that the island’s immigration office recently said is not welcome: the begpacker . A product of the sort of entitlement only privilege affords, the begpacker has become a scourge across Asia, affecting everywhere from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, as well as here in Hong Kong. Almost always white, the bedraggled begpacker often clutches a handwritten sign appealing for help. “I am travelling around Asia without money. Please support my trip,” they might entreat passers-by, blissfully unaware that the cost of their round-the-region journey probably exceeds the annual earnings of the local residents they purblindly petition for help. In Bali, begpackers have become such an issue that authorities have had enough. “We have seen many cases of problematic tourists, lately they are either Australian, British or Russian,” Setyo Budiwardoyo, who works at the Immigration Office of Ngurah Rai, in Bali, told Indonesian-language news portal Detik on June 25. “Foreign tourists who run out of money or are pretending to be beggars, we will send them to their respective embassies,” he said. The idea of touching down in a country knowing you don’t have the financial means to support yourself is surely unimaginable to all but the most self-indulgent traveller. Particularly in a place where the tourist dollar (or rupiah) means such a lot to the local community. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kapaw (@kapawoffiziell) on Jan 13, 2019 at 12:57am PST <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Tourism accounts for up to 80 per cent of Bali’s economy, according to a 2018 Vice magazine article, and has helped lift people out of poverty through an increase in employment opportunities and a rise in regional income. While there are environmental arguments against the impact of the industry , Bali’s residents are at least financially better off than they were a decade ago. But only if visitors are willing to spend. Those who aren’t – whether Chinese tourists on zero-dollar tours, on which sightseers are wheedled into shopping at stores where all profits are siphoned back to China, or Western begpackers, who would rather sponge off the kindness of strangers than pay their way – are a financial drain on the island. And a misplaced passport or a stolen wallet are no excuse, either. Consulates and embassies exist to, among other things, help travellers in genuine need of assistance; although it should be noted that having made the “lifestyle choice” to travel off others’ handouts probably doesn’t fall under the category of “genuine need”. As far as Destinations Known is concerned, there is no romance to poverty and nor is there virtue in travelling the world for free. Someone has to pay for it, somehow, so it might as well be you. And don’t even get us started on those who attempt to crowdfund their round-the-world adventures … Bagan, in Myanmar, recognised as Unesco World Heritage Site The ancient city of Bagan, an assemblage of more than 2,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and stupas spread across dusty plains to the east of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River, was first nominated as a World Heritage Site in 1995, when its application was rejected because restoration efforts were not considered up to scratch. Now, almost 25 years later, Unesco, the UN’s heritage body, has recognised the destination as a cultural locale worth a gander. The designation is likely to be a boon to the country’s budding tourism industry, which has been shaken by the Rohingya refugee crisis and calls from certain corners to boycott the Southeast Asian nation amid accusations of ethnic cleansing. Train from Bangkok to Thailand-Cambodia border back on track On July 1, the State Railway of Thailand reopened a rail link between Bangkok and the Thailand-Cambodia border that had been out of operation since the Vietnam war. Four trains per day, two in each direction, will ply the route, which runs from the Thai capital to Ban Klong Luk Border Station, and will facilitate cross-border transit for “tourists, gamblers, traders and others”, according to online news platform the Asia Times. The journey, which takes just over five hours, can be continued from Poipet, which is 6km from the border, to the Cambodian capital in another 12 hours. Thai daily the Bangkok Post points out that this is five hours more than it would take by bus. Cambodia’s English-language newspaper The Phnom Penh Post reported that a total of 10 Thais bought tickets for the first journey from the border, suggesting that the new connection might take some time to gather steam.