The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

my HK: Monky business


Mr. NewChinaHand and I were out having a few cold ones in Tsim Sha Tsui the other night. I don’t go to T.S.T. too often because I find the tour groups a bit overwhelming.

But last night we noticed other things passing by our pub again and again…fake monks.

This growing problem in Hong Kong has really started to get under my skin. I hate seeing people trying to deceive others in the name of religion. Especially for money.

No real monk would take to the streets in bar areas at night looking for cash donations.

This guys loving life outside the Hard Rock Cafe!


There are two types of Buddhist monks; Theravada monks and Mahayana monks.

Theravada monks, mainly from Thailand only collect food in metal bowls and Mahayana monks don’t collect anything at all.

This clever scam has made these con artists a lot of cash.

Here’s super monk chilling in a private jet.


Last night I saw a foreigner give a ‘monk’ some money and bow to him while saying, “Namaste!”.

I called out, “He’s not a real monk!”

The tourist stared at me as if I had just thrown a cat out the window.

Hopefully, the word will continue to spread that these fake monks are out there and that the police can put an end to this sad scam.


Personally, I like giving some change to street musicians who make my commute a touch better.

However, Mr.NewChinaHand busted me giving a donation to a violinist and then passing by a singer moments later… In my defense, he was total rubbish…

Hope you’re having a great hump day and wish you smooth sailing to the weekend.


4 comments on “my HK: Monky business

  1. myhongkonghusband
    February 26, 2014

    police should do something with those people – that is 100% sure scam!

  2. theguestroom
    February 26, 2014

    Hey there MyHKHusband!!

    I would also like to see a stop to this ridiculousness. But after thinking more on this issue, should it be illegal for people to beg? I don’t think so. And should it be illegal to dress up as Superman or a monk while begging? Again, I don’t think so.

    If these ‘monks’ can trick people into giving them money, more power to them I guess. But I do think the media and government should take notice of this growing problem and take steps towards educating the public and making sure these monks are here legally.

    It’s a tricky situation ….

    Thanks for your support of the Guestroom !;)

    • NewChinaHand
      February 27, 2014

      Yeah, but isn’t it a type of fraud? Give to beggars because they need the money, but ppl give to these monks because of their perceived religion, no?

  3. theguestroom
    February 27, 2014

    Hey NCH,

    I don’t think these ‘monks’ even say anything. The wear that shit-eating grin and put their hands out. People just give them the cash. I’m no lawyer, but I’m having a tough time seeing that as fraud.
    If someone dressed as Ironman was out begging and people gave him cash, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it. But that would be legal surely…
    So is there a different law for religious figures… Doubtful.
    Now, if the money they are collecting is said to be for a cause, and it isnt, that is definitely illegal.

    Any lawyers out there??!!


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This entry was posted on February 26, 2014 by in myHK.

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