Poverty, sickness and pure survival - just a few reasons why genuinely needy people beg on the streets for money.
But as these images show, the poor in southeast Asia are increasingly being joined by wealthy Western backpackers who are begging simply to fund their trips.
The trend has caused outrage among locals, who say the tourists are taking money from the truly needy in order to finance lifestyle choices many consider a luxury.
Travellers also appear to be openly flouting strict laws on street begging in many of the countries they visit. For example, in Singapore, only visitors with a work visa are allowed to busk.
Maisarah Abu Samah, who is from Singapore, posted two images of people begging on Twitter - one couple selling postcards and another playing music.
Expressing her fury, she wrote: 'It was the first time I've seen something like that and it stopped me in my tracks.
'First of all, you don't see many people selling knick-knacks or playing music in the street in Singapore because there are strict rules governing these activities.
'And, if you do happen to see street vendors or street performers, they are usually in the town centre and not near a bus stop in a relatively middle class neighbourbood like this. I've also never seen white people doing that.
'We find it extremely strange to ask other people for money to help you travel. Selling things in the street or begging isn't considered respectable.
'People who do so are really in need: they beg in order to buy food, pay their children's school fees or pay off debts.
'But not in order to do something seen as a luxury.'
Part of the outrage comes from a perceived unfairness between locals and tourists.
Louisa, a Malaysian woman who studied political economics, told France 24 that tourists are often feel they can behave however they want while travelling in an 'exotic' place.
She said: 'I want to ask these tourists: what makes you think that this kind of behaviour is normal in Asia? Why don't you do the same thing at home?'
The same trend has also taken hold online, where people use crowdfunding or charitable giving websites to ask for donations for them to go on voyages.
There is even a dedicated website, fundmytravel, which allows people to appeal for donations to 'fund meaningful travel experiences.'
While many projects on the site seem to be linked to worthy causes - such as humanitarian work in impoverished countries - others seem to be less deserving.
One recent appeal, entitled 'David and Bash extreme budget backpackers take on SE Asia!', seeks funding for David and partner Sebastian to enjoy 'outrageous adventure, eating bugs, cliff diving, scuba and jungle trekking.'
Created two days ago, the pair are asking for $2,850 - $1,000 for airfare, $850 for accommodation, and another $1,000 to spend. So far they have received $20.