Man travels 5,000 km using just beer as currency

Seasoned traveller Justin Bratton successfully travelled 5,000km using only beer as his currency. (Screengrab from …

Without a single cent in his pocket, an American managed to travel 5,200 km from Shangdu, Inner Mongolia to Bangkok, Thailand over a two-week journey using just beer.

As part of a social experiment, seasoned traveller Justin Bratton was tasked with the challenge of getting to dance and music festival, Sensation Thailand, with no money at all.

Following 12th century explorer Marco Polo's Spice Route, the 30-year-old model travelled through Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Hanoi, using only bottles of Heineken beer to exchange for rides and meals from locals.

Born and raised in Texas, Bratton moved to Bangkok after graduating from the University of Texas, because he wanted to "travel the world".

"You learn so much by travelling. You learn just how incredible absolute strangers can be. You learn how friendly and engaging people can be. These are things that you can't learn in university or school," said Bratton.

"When you're sort of developing this rhythm of coming into contact with certain individuals and interesting people, inevitably you find yourself in really interesting situations," he said.

In one such instance, a local from Mongolia decided to bring him to "hang out" with what Bratton described as "hardcore" wrestlers.

After much deliberation, Bratton finally plucked up the courage to challenge the wrestlers to a showdown.

"I told them that if I win, they give me a ride and if they win, I'll give them some beer. In my mind, when I said that, I thought that there was a chance that I wouldn't win… and yeah, the match was sort of quick," chuckled the adventurous traveller.

"But they're super friendly guys and they ended up giving me a ride anyway," he said.

Catch more episodes of Justin Bratton's adventures on Heineken - The Passport at

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