Are National Parks in Thailand good value for money for foreigners?

Many foreign tourists and expats are of the opinion that national parks in Thailand are overpriced. Even more so when they find out that there is dual pricing. For example, when I went to Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani I noted that it was 400 Baht for foreigners and 40 Baht for Thais. In the past, foreigners who worked in Thailand and paid taxes locally could get the Thai price. This is no longer available. Even foreign men married to Thais and with Thai children have to be pay the inflated foreigner’s price. Meanwhile, any foreign tourist that remotely looks Thai can slip in at the cheaper rate. I have a Filipino friend who is always being given the Thai price just because of the way he looks.

Who do national parks charge foreigners an inflated admission price?

The usual argument for foreigners paying more is that they don’t pay tax. Thais do, and so they should get a reduced price. If that was true, then why can’t expats get the Thai price? We used to be able to do that by showing our work permit. But now most national parks insist that we pay the foreigner’s price.

Another argument is that all foreigners are rich. After all, if they were able to afford to fly to Thailand, then they must have a lot of money. This may be true to an extent, but that is a bit of a generalization. When my sister brought her family over a few years back, she had to save up a long time just for the air fare for everyone. She didn’t have so much left for tourist attractions. And then there are quite a few expats living here on low wages at Thai schools. Some foreigners are married to Thai women and others are retired. They are not necessarily rich.

This then leads onto the argument that Thais are poor. Well, as we all know, there are plenty of rich Thais now. Just look at the statistics of how many of them are flying abroad for their holidays. This is breaking records every year. Many of them earn far more than me and drive around in nicer cars. Thailand is hardly a Third World country.

Some people argue that if everyone paid the higher price of 400 Baht then Thais wouldn’t be able to afford to visit their own national parks. But my reply is, why does it have to go that way? Can’t everyone pay the same 40 Baht? After all, it is mainly Thais that visit national parks. Some parks don’t get any foreign visitors. One of the most popular parks is Khao Yai and last Sunday there were 7,665 Thais and 254 foreigners. The low number is partly because many expats working in Bangkok won’t go there for the weekend as it’s not value for money.

Thais also like to argue that national parks abroad are more expensive. Well, that is not always true. All national parks in the UK are free to everyone, including foreign visitors. Quite a few national parks in the USA are also free. Only the big ones charge an admission fee. I checked out The Grand Canyon national park website and I noted that it is 470 Baht. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but it is a major natural site. I don’t think Thailand has anything of that scale. In addition, US national parks have free days four times a years. This is for everyone. They do that in Thailand too. But that is only for Thais.

Thais also like to say that their national parks are very beautiful and they are worth the high admission. With all due respect, that is often not true. I have been to many national parks here and I am rarely impressed. Other countries have far more beautiful national parks in prime condition. I have been to some parks here where they wanted me to pay 200 Baht just for a minor waterfall. Then the other week, there was another one that wanted 200 Baht just for me to walk down a path to the coast to see some pink rocks. That’s not value for money.

Thailand desperately needs repeat tourists. For that to happen, the tourists need to feel that they were warmly welcomed. When tourists find out that they were charged an inflated price, they will naturally feel cheated. Just take a look at any of the travel forums and blogs. There are plenty of people complaining about dual pricing. More and more people know about this now. They also know about all the tricks of hiding the real price by using Thai numbers. Expats also feel cheated. The ones living in Bangkok would love to escape the city and visit national parks like Khao Yai and Erawan. But not if it is going to cost them so much. Once maybe, but they probably won’t go back again. Too expensive.

So, what can be done? Here are some of my suggestions:

  • More foreigners would visit national parks if the prices were more reasonable. This either means reducing the price to something more reasonable or scrapping dual pricing altogether.
  • Re-introduce “Thai price” for expats who work here or are married to Thais.
  • If you don’t want to lower the price, then bring out a monthly or annual pass for all national parks. Make it so that after a certain number of visits that it becomes just as cheap as the Thai price
  • If you insist on keeping the high prices, then make them better value for money. The quality of facilities and trails are of a poor standard here compared to in America.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think the national parks in Thailand are worth the inflated prices? Do you think everyone should pay the same price? If the parks were cheaper, would you visit more often? Please post your comments below.

68 thoughts on “Are National Parks in Thailand good value for money for foreigners?

  • January 28, 2018 at 8:11 pm
    Permalink

    Simply no – I avoid these entry fees since they are in place- leave alone the double standard pricing

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:12 pm
    Permalink

    No. I ride my motorbike to the entrance of Khao Yai then turn left as there is no way I’m paying 400+ baht to enter.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:13 pm
    Permalink

    The national parks in the USA or a completely different category in every possible aspect. They are way more impressive (I am not an American).

    Reply
    • January 28, 2018 at 8:17 pm
      Permalink

      US or Canada, pay for a national park that takes a day to drive through. Thailand, pay 200 baht to go into a ‘park’ the size of a couple of football pitches in places, a joke.

      Reply
      • January 28, 2018 at 10:56 pm
        Permalink

        And than we didn’t even talk about places as Ko Samet, that don’t look like parks at all.

        Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    Permalink

    Definitely not. In fact, with a few notable exceptions, I think most aren’t worth visiting even for free.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:18 pm
    Permalink

    total rip off, and avoid them these days.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:20 pm
    Permalink

    They are great IF you take advantage of renting a forest cabin.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:27 pm
    Permalink

    If a tourist can’t afford 200b, WTF is the tourist doing in Thailand? I just did a tour of the north, paid $0 to view temples. I kept questioning ” Why do they not charge tourists?” It’s foolish. Costs $ to manage traffic & people.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 3:35 am
      Permalink

      It’s not just tourists it’s all expats that don’t look Thai. It’s also 400THB not 200THB. I haven’t set foot in these places for more than 10 years due to the price.

      Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm
    Permalink

    The quality of facilities, especially trails, is what gets me. When I go to a national park I want to be able to get into nature, not just walk 300m to a shitty waterfall, or sit at a campsite and drink beer (that I shouldn’t be drinking, but no one does anything about – but that’s another issue!). There are so many NPs in Thailand, but better park management needs to happen to make it worthwhile to go to many of them.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    Permalink

    I generally didn’t have much of a problem with the dual pricing when working expats could show their work permits and enter for the ‘Thai price’. I believe if they continued doing this under the idea that ‘tax-payers’ can all access the public facilities (which national parks are) at the same price, then that wouldn’t be too bad. However, as you know, that was stopped.

    Secondly, regardless of price, the ‘farang price’ is ridiculously high given the facilities at most national parks. Aside from some of the bigger ones, many are in terrible shape, with ‘nature trails’ neglected and little to be seen or done, and little effort made at policing rubbish.

    That said, I have also had good experiences. This very weekend, my wife and I went to a small NP a few hours from BKK, and because we’d pre-booked a cabin online, neither of us had to pay the entrance fee, and we had a pleasant, cheap stay.

    Reply
    • January 28, 2018 at 9:10 pm
      Permalink

      I agree with Benjamyn Weil. In some ways I don’t have a problem with dual pricing. If someone is visiting the country then they will visit the place once (maybe twice). But if the person is local then potentially they could visit more often (if that is what they enjoy). However with this theory then that should be extended to those of us who stay here as expats – which it no longer does.

      I love the jungle and we go on trips fairly regularly. It’s annoying though when you’re the only one in the group paying sometimes as much as almost 400 baht more than everyone else (and than you are already paying for the camping trip which includes paying for park guides etc).

      That said 200 baht isn’t a bad price for many parks and some do a fantastic job of upkeep in the park. Others, not so much and it is dismaying how much crap and rubbish is around in some, or how little is available.

      Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm
    Permalink

    Some parks of no relevance, such as Phu Hin Rongkla and Thung Salaeng Luang are now at 500 bht for foreigners. Ridiculous. 😂😂

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:40 pm
    Permalink

    Was just in Sai Yok and Erawan. Well kept and no problem supporting the work they do to keep it that way.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:41 pm
    Permalink

    Yep. Paid 200 b. Fine with me

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve been to Doi Inthanon which was well worth the money, and Erawan falls, which was completely dried up, which the locals “conveniently” failed to point out at any point.

    And there’s no use calling them on out on it because you’ll get some ignorant xenophobic rant thrown in your face.

    What is interesting to me is why Doi Inthanon IS in the beautiful state it is in and other parks are a joke.

    I was disappointed and angry at the state of Erawan Falls, but thoroughly impressed by Devil’s Pass which is in the area too, but has some responsible curators instead.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    Permalink

    If they would make it 60baht for everybody, they might get the same budget. And for low income Thais that are registered as so, could have free entry. Everybody happy and it would give Thailand a better much reputation…

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 8:52 pm
    Permalink

    Double pricing is unfair. A person is a person. Everybody should pay the same no matter what their nationality is.

    The argument about tax is not valid. Less than half of all Thai citizens pay income tax but all Thais are allowed to enter for a low price.

    The argument that foreigners are rich and therefore they can afford to pay more is not valid either. Some foreigners are rich but not all. Some Thais are extremely rich but they are allowed to enter for the low Thai price even though they can afford to pay more.

    The basic point is this: Thailand wants foreign visitors. You you want foreigners to visit more than once, you should make sure they feel welcome. They do not feel welcome when they realize that Thais pay less than foreigners.

    Double pricing is not only unfair, it is also bad for business.

    The most difficult question is this: how do we get some action on this issue? How do we get the Thai authorities to even consider this issue?

    I think the initiative must come from a Thai person who is influential and at the same time embarrassed about the double pricing system.

    Who is this person? I do not know. Perhaps someone from the Bangkok Post or The Nation? If anyone has a suggestion, bring forward a name or two.

    As long as expats talk to expats, no change will come. No Thai government wants to take advice from a foreigner. Perhaps they will listen to one of their own.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:01 pm
    Permalink

    I think the dual pricing is a disgrace. I live in Thailand and pay taxes here. I think they should at least allow residents with proper visas to pay Thai prices. I travel a lot and always show ID but have never been allowed to pay Thai prices in a national park. In privately owned attractions I have been allowed to pay Thai prices just by showing my driving license.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:08 pm
    Permalink

    Thais are free to charge as much as they consider necessary. If I find the price unacceptable for me I simply do not go. And yes, many nps in Thailand are way too overpriced.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:11 pm
    Permalink

    If Thais think dual pricing is fair, let them pay ten times the fee to visit the Eiffel tower. See what they say then. Xenophobic, backward pricing has no place in a tourist country.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:11 pm
    Permalink

    I admire the Thai government for looking after their own, if only a lot more countries did that. What’s 200bht? Nothing , if you look at it economically the average 711 worker is lucky to make 10,000 bht a month for working 10/12 hour days. Compared to wages elsewhere it all makes sense. Personally I think Thailand’s National parks are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere, but how can you compare an eco system to another? Thailand is unique in every way. Every country is different in its own way. What do people pay for complete garbage on a daily basis as opposed to getting out into Thailand’s lush nature? It’s a no brainer for me.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:13 pm
    Permalink

    I went to Khao Yai…total dissapointment…super expensive. I think we are done with National Parks.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:15 pm
    Permalink

    If you know what happens with the entrance fee, most of the people change from against it to be happy to pay. For Example: Entrance fee Koh Mu Phi Phi National Park, entrance fee in the last 3 years enforced and under control of the park, no money in the pocket. 14 Speedboats are bought to check the area 24/7. Emergency posts with AED are set up at several islands, swim area’s separated with buoy lines for swimmers, new toilet buildings, One speedboat equipped as Ambulance. And the list is even longer. But if you only tell just pay and the money ends up in the pocket of the ranger, tourist will get angry.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:16 pm
    Permalink

    It’s a scandal they should be embarrassed by dual pricing. It shows a tremendous amount of disrespect to the tourists that come here.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:16 pm
    Permalink

    Totally agree with each of the points you listed!

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:17 pm
    Permalink

    If you do not want to pay, vote with your feet and don’t go. As the Thais say-“Up to you” If a place is overpriced and sufficient people stay away, the price will drop.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 9:31 pm
    Permalink

    The one we were at up north are not worth the money. One Park was basically just a toll road as there was absolutely no other way to where we were headed. There are also no signs in English showing where trails are (if there are any trails at all) and it’s just like walking in some random forest. Nothing special. Quite disappointing

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm
    Permalink

    The biggest problem is the Thai’s think it’s acceptable to charge locals X and foreigners an inflated X amount for almost everything.

    I guess they’re trying to make things affordable for low income Thai’s, but what they’re actually doing is being racist.

    Can you imagine if in the UK (or almost all western countries for that matter), if they started charging Brits X amount and foreigners a hugely inflated X amount? There would be outrage.

    I went to Sam Phan Nam Floating Market today, it cost me 200THB entry, to go to a market where I was going to spend money anyway? 🤔 Whilst the Thai’s walked in for zip.

    It’s worth noting too, I have a Thai drivers license and still had to pay the foreigner charge. So it’s very much a racial thing, making it even worse if you go back to my UK example and they tried to charge asians, blacks etc more than white people.

    The price was only a shade over £4, so it’s not the money it’s the principle. Tourists don’t like being taken advantage of but it’s something that the Thai culture actively encourages and it should be stopped.

    I love Thailand for so many reasons, but at the same time it has a lot of underlying problems that need addressing. Given it’s a member of the UN I’m surprised they can get away with some of their behaviour.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 10:32 pm
    Permalink

    I would be okay with this notion of western folks being charged a premium entry if the Thai Govt would direct these premium funds into waste management awareness and additional garbage bins in order to assist in protecting the environment.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 10:53 pm
    Permalink

    Khao Yai offers some of the worst services of all national parks in Thailand, in many respects. The management is oriented at making money, not conserving wildlife and habitats. Quite shameful to be honest. It is not for nothing that Unesco gave a downgrading warning from the Natural World Heritage list.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 10:54 pm
    Permalink

    Richard Barrow : I have been to all 4 National Parks. There’s no comparison between Khao Yai, Erwan to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    I wouldn’t pay the Thai price for most parks here, as they’re not even worth that. Yet to be in on that was worth an entrance fee, and years ago, many were simply 20 or 40 baht, that I paid.

    There aren’t that many I drive to visit, even if they were free……….LOL that’s sad.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 3:45 am
    Permalink

    I live in Thailand as an expat married to a Thai with mixed raced Thai kids and we have always avoided all NPs now and for the entire lives of our children due to the descriminatry pricing. Highly offensive practice to us that we don’t want to expose our children to.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 5:22 am
    Permalink

    I visit Thailand regularly and I am more than happy to pay a tourist price. I get really pissed of with comments from expats moaning about this and that in Thailand. You should be grateful that you live in such a lovely country with lovely tolerant people. If you don’t like it go back home!

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 5:23 am
    Permalink

    The fact that they write the Thai price in the Thai numerals, which is rather unusual, is a clear sign that they know that what they are doing is wrong.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 8:12 am
      Permalink

      I agree with you.

      Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 5:24 am
    Permalink

    I also think the entrance fee of Koh samed is 200thb and it’s too much. Thai people only pay 40thb, but foreigners have to pay 200thb whether if i just wanna passed the park. And now I live in thailand to work and It means I paid tax everyday as same as thai people, why I have to pay?

    I always feel It is too much.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 8:33 am
    Permalink

    I’ve never known a foreigner with thai citizenship or permanent residency(immigrant visa) to have to pay the foreigner price. I do think that temporary immigrants (non immigrant category workers) that pay local tax should not have to pay the higher price as their taxes contribute to the park upkeep.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 8:47 am
      Permalink

      Sorry to disappoint you Bill, but my PR is accepted everywhere except at National Parks.

      Reply
      • January 29, 2018 at 1:35 pm
        Permalink

        Thats unfortunate. Myself and my dad (both PR) have yet to have an issue.

        Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 9:00 am
      Permalink

      What about Thais who do not pay income tax? What about Thais who are millionaires? Do you think it is fair that they can enter a venue for a low price or sometimes for free while foreigners must pay a high price (or have to stay away)?

      Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 8:40 am
    Permalink

    Actually the practice of dual pricing based on origin or race is not allowed under the 2017 Constitution. In Art 27 of the constitution it is stated as follows:

    “Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of differences in origin, race, language, sex, age, disability, physical or health condition, personal status, economic and social standing, religious belief, education, or political view which is not contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, or on any other grounds shall not be permitted.”

    The Department of National Parks (DNP) is, as far as I have experienced, the only organisation with an entry fee policy that is clearly in breach of the 2017 constitution. It charges foreigners that look like a Thai a thai price, and Thais that look like a foreigner a foreign price, unless proof of thai nationality is shown. There have even been cases where a foreign looking Thai was not considered “Thai enough”.

    I strongly disagree with the policy of the DNP, although forms of dual pricing may exist on other criteria, like age, place of residence, disabilities etc.

    The DNP sets a wrong example for others to follow. If a government agency can charge foreigners 10x as much as thais, Thais will consider this an acceptable practice and follow suit when for instance selling food or other products. The DNP should set 1 entry fee for all, and then provide discounts to certain groups, based on place of residence, age and disability, but clearly not on rac, apperance.

    I won’t go into the question “are national parks value for money”, as that is purely personal. But lets look at some of the arguments (even from foreigners that live in Thailand) that the practice is acceptable.

    1. Thais earn much less than foreigners and can easily pay.
    This generalized view of Thais is wrong. Many thais earn more than the avery foreigner. I often travel with thais that are much better off than me, resulting in an embarrasing situation at the ticket office.

    2. Thais pay taxes, and foreigners don’t
    This argument is complete nonsense. Everyone in Thailand pays at least some form of taxes. Foreign tourists pay at least VAT, and foreign residents pay at least as much personal income tax as thais.

    3. Thailand need the money to maintain the parks.
    That may be the case at some park, but a number of the larger parks are UNESCO World heritage sites, and receive millions of US$ for upkeep. In addition many foreign countries have contributed to the development of parks through various bilateral and multi-lateral aid.

    4. Western countries also have a dual pricing policy.
    This may be the case, but it is for a complete different reason and based on completely different criteria. The main reasons for a dual pricing policy in the west are:
    – Attract repeat visitors. Obviously those residing nearby are more likely to visit often, whereas a tourist from abroad will probably only visit once. Under such a policy a Thai residing in England will pay a resident fee at English sites, whereas an English national residing in Thailand will pay a foreign tourist fee.
    – Age. All persons under or above a certain age may pay a lower fee, regardless of nationality, race etc.
    – Disability. Disabled persons may pay a lower fee, again regardless of nationality, race etc.

    Richard suggested a frequent visitor card for those residing in Thailand. I think that would be an excellent idea. The Muse Card for a number of musea is such a card and a good initiative.

    It may be intersting to note that in almost all countries, the more you earn, the better discounts you can get. Credit and membership cards all offer substantional discounts to the frequent customer, and it is obvious that those with a higher income are more likely to be able to benefit than the poor.
    The thai government even provides “shopping tax” discounts to those paying taxes. The higher the income, the higher the tax, the higher the discount.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 8:43 am
    Permalink

    I avoid every venues that have dual pricing system.
    Not because i can’t afford it, but because everytime i go to places like this and they overcharge me but openly lets my thaifamily in for a fraction of what i paid, i always feel cheated, humiliated, unwanted and even angry, not good for the heart, better stay home.
    Most expats I know around here feel the same.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 8:55 am
    Permalink

    I also like to Comment as follows:

    In Thailand everything depends on who you are, who you know and what your social position in society is. For instance I used to play golf regularly with senior military officers and can state that they pay (almost) nothing. Even a round of golf was almost free.
    Foreigners in Thailand have – in general – not much of a social position, nor do they know the right persons. I’ve worked for many years at an Embassy in this country, and with the Embassy ID I could enter almost always free of charge. The same will apply to senior government officials.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 10:33 am
    Permalink

    I find one good reason for dual pricing not mentioned whenever a complaint on dual pricing is made, that is the locals own the country, the foreigners don’t. So why should anyone complain that dual pricing is not right ? For e.g., you run a business and selling things at a lower price to your own relatives or friends at a lower price,.or give your own family members for free, should any customer complain ?
    As a foreigner, I see it this way on dual pricing: the price I am paying is my fair price(whether I find it expensive, affordable or not is a personal opinion and a different issue), the locals pay a lower price because they are the owner.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 10:37 am
      Permalink

      Lol Stanley, 0,1% of Thais own 80% of the country. Should they perhaps pay no fee and the 20% that don’t own everything the foreigner price?

      Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 10:42 am
      Permalink

      Lol, perhaps the 0,1% of thais that own 80% of the country should get in for free.

      Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 10:50 am
      Permalink

      Double pricing is a clear case of discrimination based on nationality. How can you defend this? If double pricing is so good, why is it not extended to every product and every service in Thailand? Would you like to pay double or triple for a bottle of water just because you are a foreigner?

      As far as I know, the Thai government has never tried to defend, explain or justify its policy. It simply does what it wants to do. We can only speculate as to why they are doing this.

      No Thai minister no Thai government official has ever responded when expats discuss this topic. They just ignore the issue. How can we get them to listen and consider the issue?

      Reply
        • January 29, 2018 at 1:10 pm
          Permalink

          Noticed you didn’t place my longer post. Reason?

          Reply
          • January 30, 2018 at 11:11 am
            Permalink

            Sorry, for some reason it ended up in spam. I have approved it now.

        • January 29, 2018 at 1:49 pm
          Permalink

          I want to believe you are right. But I am afraid you are wrong . Please offer one example to prove your claim.

          Reply
        • January 31, 2018 at 1:24 pm
          Permalink

          Two days have passed, but you have not yet responded to my message. If you have any proof I would like to see it.

          Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm
    Permalink

    There’s a national park near our house in Mukdahan. It’s not worth 400 Baht. Dual pricing leaves a bad taste in the mouth if foreigners. I avoid ANY business that practices dual pricing.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 12:35 pm
    Permalink

    Expat working in Thailand. We avoid Thai NPs. Not worth it and dual pricing embarrasses Thai family members and Thai friends. I find pricing unfair.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 5:59 pm
    Permalink

    There is also dual pricing at ocean world in paragon. I am pretty sure this is an international company (british?) and they charge foreigners more, non Thais that is. They have a lot more foreigners come through than a national park.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2018 at 8:45 pm
      Permalink

      As far as I know, this company Ocean World is an Australian company. They practice double pricing. They try to hide this fact by writing the Thai price with Thai numerals.

      In Australia itself, double pricing is illegal, but the Bangkok branch of this company takes full advantage of the fact that it is based in Thailand where double pricing is a common phenomenon.

      Ocean World is very popular with foreign visitors who must all pay much more than Thais to enter. Most foreigners do not even realize that they are being overcharged, because the Thai price is written with Thai numerals.

      I do not want to recommended this place because of the double pricing.

      Reply
      • February 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm
        Permalink

        No, it’s not Australian but they do have operations in Australia. I believe it is UK based ? They operate various “Eye” observation wheels around the world, many Seaworld aquariums, Madame Tussaud’s, and even have the lease to the Blackpool Tower. Certainly not local owners ! I wonder what would happen if somebody was to buy shares in the company, and ask pointed questions at the AGM about racial discrimination by the company ?

        Reply
  • January 30, 2018 at 6:04 am
    Permalink

    Actually the practice of dual pricing based on origin or race is not allowed under the 2017 Constitution. In Art 27 of the constitution it is stated as follows:

    “Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of differences in origin, race, language, sex, age, disability, physical or health condition, personal status, economic and social standing, religious belief, education, or political view which is not contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, or on any other grounds shall not be permitted.”

    The Department of National Parks (DNP) is, as far as I have experienced, the only organisation with an entry fee policy that is clearly in breach of the 2017 constitution. It charges foreigners that look like a Thai a thai price, and Thais that look like a foreigner a foreign price, unless proof of thai nationality is shown. There have even been cases where a foreign looking Thai was not considered “Thai enough”.

    I strongly disagree with the policy of the DNP, although forms of dual pricing may exist on other criteria, like age, place of residence, disabilities etc.

    The DNP sets a wrong example for others to follow. If a government agency can charge foreigners 10x as much as thais, Thais will consider this an acceptable practice and follow suit when for instance selling food or other products. The DNP should set 1 entry fee for all, and then provide discounts to certain groups, based on place of residence, age and disability, but clearly not on rac, apperance.

    I won’t go into the question “are national parks value for money”, as that is purely personal. But lets look at some of the arguments (even from foreigners that live in Thailand) that the practice is acceptable.

    1. Thais earn much less than foreigners and can easily pay.
    This generalized view of Thais is wrong. Many thais earn more than the avery foreigner. I often travel with thais that are much better off than me, resulting in an embarrasing situation at the ticket office.

    2. Thais pay taxes, and foreigners don’t
    This argument is complete nonsense. Everyone in Thailand pays at least some form of taxes. Foreign tourists pay at least VAT, and foreign residents pay at least as much personal income tax as thais.

    3. Thailand need the money to maintain the parks.
    That may be the case at some park, but a number of the larger parks are UNESCO World heritage sites, and receive millions of US$ for upkeep. In addition many foreign countries have contributed to the development of parks through various bilateral and multi-lateral aid.

    4. Western countries also have a dual pricing policy.
    This may be the case, but it is for a complete different reason and based on completely different criteria. The main reasons for a dual pricing policy in the west are:
    – Attract repeat visitors. Obviously those residing nearby are more likely to visit often, whereas a tourist from abroad will probably only visit once. Under such a policy a Thai residing in England will pay a resident fee at English sites, whereas an English national residing in Thailand will pay a foreign tourist fee.
    – Age. All persons under or above a certain age may pay a lower fee, regardless of nationality, race etc.
    – Disability. Disabled persons may pay a lower fee, again regardless of nationality, race etc.

    Richard suggested a frequent visitor card for those residing in Thailand. I think that would be an excellent idea. The Muse Card for a number of musea is such a card and a good initiative.

    It may be intersting to note that in almost all countries, the more you earn, the better discounts you can get. Credit and membership cards all offer substantional discounts to the frequent customer, and it is obvious that those with a higher income are more likely to be able to benefit than the poor.
    The thai government even provides “shopping tax” discounts to those paying taxes. The higher the income, the higher the tax, the higher the discount.

    Reply
    • January 30, 2018 at 9:50 pm
      Permalink

      You make some good points here. But you do not have to convince me. The problem is this: how do we convince the Thai authorities to listen to our arguments? How do we convince them to change their unfair policy? No one seems to have an answer to this question.

      Reply
  • January 31, 2018 at 9:27 am
    Permalink

    I did have a discussion about this and some other dual price policies with the consumer rights foundation (มูลนิธิเพื่อผู้บริโภค). They agreed that foreign nationals residing in Thailand should enjoy the same consumer rights as Thai nationals. They also mentioned that misleading foreign consumers by using Thai language for Thai entry fees or menu prices and Engligh language for foreign entry fees or menu prices is not legal under Thai law.
    Any practice like that infringes on consumer rights can be forwarded to the foundation for further action at chaladsue@gmail.com.
    Always be correct in your complaints and stick to facts.
    I am planning to draft a complaint on the dual pricing at national parks, which the foundation will be happy to discuss with relevant authorities. An important question that will be asked is for the Department of national parks to clarify the reason that justifies its dual entry fee policy.
    A suggestion from the foundation was to ask the government to issue ID cards to foreigners that live here permanently that will guarantee equal consumer rights.

    Reply
      • January 31, 2018 at 9:44 am
        Permalink

        Thanks Richard, perhaps we should get together to draft a well balanced complaint. Your native English skills will certainly help

        Reply
        • January 31, 2018 at 9:46 am
          Permalink

          I was thinking that the more people that complain, the better our chances of making a difference.

          Reply
          • January 31, 2018 at 9:58 am
            Permalink

            Possibly, but as it is a government department policy, the aim would be to at first explain this policy and to show justification. Justification is essential to determine if its policy is against the constitution (equality article). The foundation will do that based on just 1 complaint, if our argument(s) is/are convincing.
            You know as well as I do that choosing the right language and formulation of a complaint is essential in this case. It will be different if it is just a complaint against a shop.

      • January 31, 2018 at 1:20 pm
        Permalink

        This is interesting, because it shows a way forward – from discussion to action. I wish you good luck.

        Reply

Leave a Reply