How they trick foreign tourists into paying more

In Thailand, we have our own numbers which are unique to the Thai language. However, you will be happy to know that when you are shopping you will nearly always see the price written using Arabic numbers. This means that you won’t have to learn how the numbers are written if you go shopping. Most shopkeepers at roadside stores have a calculator handy so that they will tap out the price for you. But it is a good idea to try and learn How to Pronounce Thai Numbers.

We are sorry to say that some tourist attractions in Thailand have a two-price system where they charge foreign visitors more than local people. Usually the entrance fee is always written using Arabic numbers. If you spot the prices written in Thai numbers and Arabic numbers then for sure there are two prices. I think they do it this way because they are ashamed to let you know they are charging you double. I can’t think of any other reason to hide the prices like this.

In the picture at the top of the page, the second and third rows are the prices for adults and children respectively. The last row is the price for foreigners and is clearly written as 160 baht.

Use the chart above to work out the price for Thai people (answers at the bottom of this page). You will see that foreigners have to pay double.

Below are two more examples of how some people disguise the fact they are charging more for foreigners. The example below is different from most as the prices are written out in words.

(1) poo-yai chao Thai neung roy baht (Thai adults 100 baht)
(2) dek chao Thai ha-sib baht (Thai children 50 baht)
(3) poo-yai dtang chart song roy ha-sib baht (Foreign adults 250 baht)
(4) dek dtang chart neung roy yee-sib baht (Foreign children 120 baht)

In the above example they thought they were being clever by having only one price list. But, if you can read the last line in Thai you will know it says “lot ha-sib baht“. This means reduce the price by 50 baht. The top line clearly says this is only for “khon Thai” or Thai people.
ANSWERS: The price for adults is 80 baht and children 60 baht.

You might also be interested to see my page on How to Read Numbers.

– Panrit Daoruang, webmaster of LearningThai.com

79 responses to “How they trick foreign tourists into paying more

  1. Let me know the reason why Thai government and authorities charge more extortionate fees from foreign nationals. Please let us know if anyone knows the reason why.

  2. Do you know any examples of “civilised” countries, for example in Europe, where they have dual prices? As far as I can remember from my own vacations, I have never seen this…

  3. If you have a Thai driving licence( that means you must have a valid work permit and visa) , just show that and you pay the Thai price. Worked all the time. Of course not for tourists…

    • Doesn’t work for all places as some people have noted.

      • I have a Work Permit and was refused Thai price at Pala-u Waterfalls even though I produced my permit. What they don’t realise is that they miss future business doing this. Another 5 friends arriving next week will NOT be going there now.

    • I have a Thai driving license (5 year) but no work permit. Work permit is NOT a condition to get DL.

  4. Maybe the discount price is for people who paid tax in this country.
    There were foreigners asked about this difference price,the officer said because the government want thai people to travel in thailand so they made the discount price.

    • Not really true. Take Siam Ocean World as an example. When it first opened it was 450 Baht for everyone. Did they then discount it for Thais? No. A year later they doubled the price for foreigners.

  5. thank you for is good article and no need to apologize.

    the best thing to do is to not support those business and attractions with dual pricing systems – in effect boycotting them.

    this is a good example of how greedy (some) thai businesses are. it used to be like this in the neighbouring countries, but all should know now that in cambodia and vietnam double pricing hardly exist anymore. what you see is what you pay.

    i am amazed how the buddhist thais can be so greedy, opposite of what the lord buddha teaches about material and earthly attachment.

  6. I can understand why dual prices exist but at the end of the day, the dual prices are discriminatory.. I’m sure when tourism declines in the future the dual price businesses won’t understand why !! Countries that rely on tourism are foolish to treat tourists like that.

  7. Well done on raising the issue of pricing in Thailand. The issue of overcharging and associated tricks really needs to be addressed because it is doing real harm to the tourist industry here. It is such a big problem in fact that it is probably making independent travel impossible or deeply frustrating. I think you are very right to highlight that people have choices. You can walk away and spend your money somewhere else. I’ve lived here for 4 years and for National Parks I can usually get in at the local rate on production of a drivers license and work ID card: recently I paid 40 THB to enter Khao Yai National Park and 20 THB to enter the historic temple at Prasat Hin Phimai. Kaeng Krachan NP has always charged me the full rate and I have always been ok about paying 200 THB but I won’t pay 500 THB. However overcharging “white” tourists is the norm here. I say “white” because my wife is a foreigner but a Filipino and she never gets asked to pay a higher rate. I bought two cans of soda in the shop at a campsite in Khao Yai recently and was charged 25 THB per can; a few hours later my wife bought some more cans and she was charged 15 THB a can! I am not going to loose sleep over such a small thing! But the problem is that when people see that the Thai government and its institutions, like the Department of National Parks, are double charging, then they will do exactly the same. Why not? In view of this I ask how much everything costs everywhere before I order food or anything else. Why? Because people will try to charge 75 THB for a bowl of noodle soup that usually costs 25 THB ! If they say 75THB when I ask, I walk away. I don’t attempt to negotiate. Recently I had a terrible time in a restaurant in Korat: my wife and I went out to a nice restaurant to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We ordered some crab curry, some somtam, some yum woon saen. We expected to pay 700 THB or thereabouts. Next thing the food comes out – extra large portions, in the end we had enough food for about 8 people; the crab curry consisted of two whole crabs where we thought we had just ordered crab meat. The other dishes were also huge. I didn’t get angry – I just asked the waiter why we were being served such large portions and whether it was because I was a “faraing”. I then asked what the bill was going to be. The manager came over. I told him I had lived in Thailand for 4 years and had never experienced anything like this before. I asked why we were being served so much food when there were only two of us. I then asked how much the crab curry would be and he said 800 THB. I told him this would be the most expensive meal I had ever ordered in Thailand. I said I had a meal costing about 500 -700 THB in mind when I ordered the food. I also asked to see the menu and showed him that each dish had a small medium and large price and asked why we were automatically given large and most expensive option. I was really pissed off but I didn’t shout or swear.I just asked him to give me the bill. It came to 700 THB and we paid it and legged it. We won’t be going back there but in view of the fact that the manager gave us a reasonable price after I raised my concern I won’t name and shame it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Thailand, love living here, love the people and attitude to life, love travelling around and do so regularily. But I am wary about every transaction involving money and I never hesitate to say no and walk away. Most of the time it works.

  8. I have had good success showing my Thai driver’s license and getting the Thai price for all the attractions (ancient khmer ruins, museums) in Lopburi (city).

    In Sukhothai, it never worked. Also, at Phanom Rung in Buriram, I’ve never been able to get the Thai price.

    As other posters have noted, it is about seeing a “white face”. I have gone to some of these places, taking visiting tourists (who happened to be Asian) with me . Although I had to jump hoops to get the Thai price (or maybe not even get in the end after the hoops), the “Asian face” of my foreign tourist guests always got the Thai price, without even having to request it.

    As for shops and restaurants, I also agree with the posters who say: “walk away, don’t attempt to negotiate”. Of course, ask/check the price first. Then, if there is “a problem” with the amount, just walk away. If only that were possible at national parks and monuments, but there you can’t just go to the next soi and find the same thing. Sigh.

    Under Thai culture and laws, whenever you are purchasing anything or paying an entrance fee, you are entering an agreement between buyer and seller. That agreement is seen as distinct from the person before you and after you. It is unconnected, and there is no sensitization towards equability. So, the seller has the option to try to charge what they think “the market can bear” (for lack of a better phrase). At the extreme criminal end of this, Thai police are often powerless to help tourists who have been suckered into a “gem shop” scam…. if the tourists were just unwary of overpaying for fake glass gems (of course if the tourist has documentation of the gems quality which differs from the items in hand, that is a different story).

  9. i live here too and generally speaking i had little to no problems (i rarely visit tourist places though). occasionally people try to “cheat” on me but then i don’t buy, i smile, and walk away (oftenly a few meters only to find an honest seller). rule number one: don’t get upset. it’s useless anyway. the thai who chose to cheat don’t give a #### about farang, whether u work here or not, they don’t care. note too that quite often rude (ignorant) backpackers would try to bargain a price lower than the price your average thai is willing to pay.

    one thing i like to point out with an example = misperception of cheating. let’s say 1 pineapple costs 10 baht at this shop and 30 baht at the other shop. before jumping to conclusions about a ripoff make sure it’s the SAME type of pineapple. there are many misunderstandings in thailand between non-thai and locals because non-thai have no idea and don’t understand the language. take it easy, with a smile and enjoy your stay.

  10. The Government started this policy with admissions to National Parks and museums using this dual-pricing model. Most if not all other tourist attractions, some tuk-tuks, a few taxis and multiple restaurants have also implemented the same discriminatory policies. It is not true that a driver license or a work permit will grant you the Thai price, it depends on the location and the mood of the attendant at the gate. I have lived in this country for 23 years, speak fluently (reading as well) the language, married a Thai and established my permanent residency here, and I am still charged the foreigner price almost everywhere. The solution is more WEB sites like this one, more publicity and NEVER to visit a dual-pricing establishment.

  11. Many years ago when i worked as a teacher,i took it upon myself to pay for a trip for my class to the crocodile farm near Nakon Patom.When we arrived i was told i had to pay extra for being white.I cancelled the trip and we all returned to school.Lesson learnt!

    • Well done. I hope your students understood why the trip got cancelled.

    • Maybe the answer is to dye your hair black, put some darkening cream (boot polish ?) on your face for an anti Michael Jackson look that is popular in Thailand.
      Stay in the back of the car and wey and smile and appear mute and sneak in unnoticed if you can,
      Because of this dual pricing scam, particularly at government owned sites,
      I would gain as much pleasure from defeating the system as from the attraction itself

  12. Ezequiel Martinez

    I might be tempted to think that it is fair for big-bucks earning foreigner to pay more than the Thai, but I guess no one likes to be taken as stupid.
    I will be moving down to Bangkok with my Japanese wife next month. Now, I am completely broke… how should I take this double-pricing policy? Should I dress raggy? I don’t speak a word of Thai, any suggestions?

  13. Let Tourism Authority of Thailand know what you think about double pricing

    http://inter.tourismthailand.org/ae/complaint-form/

    • I tried that link and this is what I got (no surprise at all)

      Not Found

      The requested URL /ae/complaint-form/ was not found on this server.

      Apache Server at inter.tourismthailand.org Port 80

  14. The question no one here’s answered yet: Why *are* foreigners charged more? There are some possible answers:
    A: they’re tourists, so they have money (in other words, they *can* pay more, therefore they *should* pay more).
    B: they’re not Thai, so they’re not paying tax (in other words, if they *are* paying tax, then that’s a different story)
    C: because, FTW, foreigners should pay more no matter what!

    This entire website seems an unusual way to call for change to a national policy that, like so many other things, is at best only selectively applied. Walking away? After having reached the destination and spending several times the admission amount? Just to make an impression on who, an underpaid local who doesn’t care either way and doesn’t have the power to change things?

    Do your research before, then make the informed choice. Don’t show up ready for a battle when your goal (hopefully) is to see something intriguing.

  15. Something that very few commentators on this topic make is that virtually every tourist attraction in Thailand is made with middle class Thai visitors and foreigners in mind. These attractions do NOT target your average lower class laborers or farmers etc. earning minimum wage that everyone seems to feel sorry for. Even with reduced prices, they could never afford to pay 300 Baht or 450 Baht or whatever it is to enter Siam Ocean World even if foreigners are charged 900 Baht (because 300 Baht may represent a full day’s wages or perhaps even 2 days wages for some people) – and thus these people would never have time to visit such places for leisure anyway – farmers and other blue collar workers have to work almost every waking hour just to put food on the table.

    It is therefore even more disgusting to be charged more than Thais at these places, because those Thais that visit invariably own smartphones, laptop computers and cars, even if their customs department gouges them on the prices of their cars which are almost always cheaper in the west (and even in neighboring countries such as Laos and Cambodia). So a scruffy backpacker on a meager $500 for a whole month budget or two sets of expats – one quite rich executive and the other just getting by on a teacher’s wage will all get charged the higher “foreigner” price (although the expats will probably be able to get a discount after some negotiation and presentation of a driver’s license) whilst the BMW driving Thais will still get the local price, even without presentation of any ID.

    • Well said Thomas,

      The points that you make about poor farmers being the last people you expect to see at any attractions and the wealth of the BMW drivers who qualify for the smallest fee are well put.
      I would suggest lobbying our governments to make a special price for Thai nationals, unless the have a native spouse.
      This couldn’t be construed as soaking poor foreigners as any Thai individual or family that can afford the airfare is going to be rich by Thai standards

  16. The way I see it heritage sites such national parks and museums have every right to offer a discounted price for Thai nationals. I have seen this done in the UK.
    General tourist attractions are a bit more of a grey area. On the one hand I understand the tax argument and that Thais generally earn less, on the other hand charging someone on the assumption of how much they earn is just stereotyping. Also if the prices are disguised then i think that’s unacceptable.
    For the likes of restaurants and what not I would refuse to pay a penny more, that is way to far for me. I would tell the owner what he is doing is just going to damage his business and walk away.

    • WHERE, just WHERE, have you ever seen a national park or museum charge more for foreigners to the UK? That is complete and utter BS and you know it.
      Well done for adding to the perception Thais have that it’s OK to fleece foreigners. Idiot.

      • Well said, Mr. Moisure.
        National Park entrance fee UK – FREE for everybody.
        Natural History Museum, Science Museum etc. London – FREE for everybody
        World-Class art galleries – FREE for everybody.
        National Trust properties – SAME PRICE for everybody.
        I know this absolutely 100% because my wife (Thai) has paid exactly the same entrance fee as myself – English – at all these locations when we’ve come to UK for a holiday.

        Don’t bring up differential pricing for Universities & similar – that’s a completely different situation.

    • There are NO discount prices for Thai nationals in Thai National Parks. These are the regular prices. These up to ten times higher Foreigner prices are just simple overcharges and actually a sanctioned rip-off by Thai government.

      Foreigners who are willing to pay these prices actively support this dual-price system and it will not disappear in the future either 🙁

  17. I am not shocked when prices are different for state run cultural attractions. I find it’s normal that nationals get easier access to their own culture, especially when taxes are used to maintain and run them in addition to entrance fees.

    It happens in Europe too where some local cultural exhibitions will be free if you can prove you live in the area (seen that in my French home town of Nimes for example).

    Now, commercial tourist attractions? That’s another story…

    • The operative phrase is ” … FREE IF YOU … LIVE IN THE AREA …”. If I could prove I lived in the area, I WOULD get the locals’ price, whatever my nationality, skin colour, face shape etc. & without having a long discussion about it. In Thailand, I could present any number of documents to prove I lived locally but, in the end, whether or not I get the locals’ price depends on the mood or whim of the ticket seller on the day.

  18. It’s sad to see and read about dual pricing actually becoming MORE prolific in some places around Thailand than less, in this day and age. It’s absolutely outrageous. For the first time ever, there was an article published in the Nation newspaper and on Thaivisa.com for posters to comment on and of course the reaction was unanimous (apart from a few misinformed posters) that dual pricing is outrageous and needs to end. However, there definitely needs to be more noise made about this issue by foreigners, by writing to the appropriate authorities concerned and making this issue more public.

    The only previous similar article that made some headway was about how the ferris wheel at Asiatique was found to charge foreigners at least 50 Baht more than Thais.

    I don’t think any types of heritage sites should entitle locals to enter for free, especially if they are not from the local area. If they are they should be asked to show ID (for example, a Mae Sot local can visit a certain local temple for free but not a Chiang Mai local). But in Thailand the discriminatory practice of charging foreigners more than locals invariably is always a case of Thai vs. foreigner, which really changes the stakes and makes the country look bad.

    Despite the fact that so many Thais can afford cars, decent homes, the latest smartphones and even overseas holidays and yet there remains a general assumption that “Thais are poor” and “foreigners are rich”, which really doesn’t go down anymore and is often no longer true.

    I don’t understand how dual pricing, of the government mandated type anyway, can continue to operate in 2014 after all the struggles for equality, anti-racism legislation in many countries and all that. Thailand, despite not having a similar history to the nations I am referring to is now part of the international community whether it likes it or not. As a major inbound tourism market where a reported 10% or so of the economy comes from tourism, it’s about time the country stopped these discriminatory practices and followed the lead of such countries as China, where dual pricing was eliminated back in 1996.

  19. Simple. Just don’t go to any of these so called attractions. I never do.

    • Agreed. Neither do I and I discourage any of my family or other foreigners doing the same. It’s a disgrace.
      Did you know that the train fare from Bangkok Noi to Kanchanaburi is 25 baht for Thais but 100 baht for foreigners? Not a lot of money,. but this is a REGULATION of the State Railway of Thailand – state approved racism.

      • It is presently free for Thais to travelon any third class trains, including the Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Nam Tok route. If the railway company put one of their steam engines on from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok, I would happily pay double the current price.

        • Not when I went by train 2009 it wasn’t free for Thais. It was 25 baht and I stood in the queue with them. It was 125 baht – 100 baht for me and 25 baht for my wife.
          That normal schedule train to Kanchanaburi from Thonburi is only 3rd class anyway.
          But yes, if they put a steam train on as a one-off then I would happily pay more.

  20. It is one thing to apply higher prices for foreign tourist at tourist places, in Thailand, India, Sri-Lanka…as you have a choice, but why do hospitals charge higher fees for foreigners? Bangkok hospital is very open about: ‘over seas’ patients pay more for treatment and drugs. It is not fair at all.

    In Taiwan and Hong Kong discounts for seniors apply to all, foreign tourist included. It makes you feel welcome and well treated. The smile of a Thai is not for free.

    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Yes it’s just not fair is it…
      Guess its not fair also that UK Universities charge foreign students up to 8 times more than the £9k max that home students pay? Probably not fair too that in plenty of Western countries the locals get discount tickets for tourist attractions etc delivered to their houses meaning they pay less than foreigners do. Not fair that foreigners have to pay fees to NHS for non-emergency treatment too I suppose.. I could go on, but life simply isn’t fair. Stop crying in your milk like a big baby, put your high minded principles to one side and you might actually enjoy your life a bit more. In most cases here the sums in question are no more than 500baht anyway- it’s just small change to us.

      • Apples and oranges. And off-topic too.

        It’s already been mentioned that this thread is NOT about differential pricing at UK educational establishments.

        • The Central Scrutinizer

          True, but extortionate pricing at Universities for foreign students was just a small part of my post. It seems that those arguing the case against 2 tier pricing in Thailand are quite happy to use examples of ‘free entrance’ to NP’s and some museums in the UK which by your logic could also be said to be off topic… The points in my post merely serve to illustrate that 2 tier pricing is not unique to Thailand, is not wrong, and there are examples to be found everywhere. Sites such as this merely serve to give an opportunity for the Thai bashers to engage in their favourite pastime, whilst conveniently ignoring the fact that this is not just a ‘Thai thing’
          The only thing wrong with 2 tier pricing in Thailand is the irregular way in which it is enforced by staff at these locations. Some will accept Thai DL or WP as eligibility for local price whilst others will want to see a PR certicate or red book, and others will not accept any proof of residency if they see a white face. Equally it seems in some cases other Asian nationalities are offered local prices in some cases but not in others. This is more an issue with staff training and the implementation of the policy than it is the policy itself. I agree that the use of Thai numerals for resident prices is questionable given that all Thais are familiar with Arabic numerals, and could be interpreted as being sneaky, but on the other hand I expect they find it saves a lot of arguements with those who like nothing better than to moan and complain at every opportunity…

          • Yes, but we’re living in Thailand, so AFAIAC, it IS Aa ‘Thai thing’, and see nothing wrong about oaning about it.

            Back in the UK, we moan and bitch about the weather, buses, trafic, just about everything. My brother lived in Spain and moaned about the Spanish, my cousin splits her time between the UK and France and moans about whatever country she is in at the time – AND the other one too!

            It’s usually healthy, (but some take it to excess) and everyone needs to complain about the trivia which builds up in a life and which sometimes becomes too much…
            Unless you’re a Thaiophile, of course. It’s obviously not just Thais who think Thais can do no wrong.

          • Now I remember when I was student studied in Melbourne my school fee is more expensive than the local, and I also don’t get the discount on the student conssesion fare when I travel on public transport, just because I am not local ? but I worked there and paid taxes as well. This is not fair as well!
            PS: I came from a country that 3 bucks to exchange one AUD so everything is expensive for me and yet I didn’t get the discount but have to paid more than local or full price on public transport !

  21. You’re right mango man, nor do I. In very rare circumstances where I have been “forced” to visit such places because a member of or multiple persons in my traveling party want to visit and I reluctantly go along, I generally try to find out in advance if the attraction will have dual pricing or not. If it does, in the end I try to get the local price upon presentation of my Thai driver’s licence but it doesn’t work in all cases. Generally it will work at any private attraction (which I haven’t visited for years) and some smaller temples and perhaps the odd smaller national park, but rarely at the larger more well known places such as Sukhothai or the Grand Palace. Overall, I’ve only visited 3 attractions that attract dual pricing since 2008 and only because I reluctantly visited along with my family and/or friends.

    However, I still think that while we as informed individuals can make the choice NOT to visit, there needs to be some sort of action taken to slowly rid Thailand of this practice – because not everyone is as informed as we are on this website.

    My proposal would be as follows: no more dual pricing at private attractions effective immediately. Any business caught doing so will have heavy fines and sanctions, including withdrawal of their business license.

    For national parks, some museums and temples: immediately implement a policy of asking for ID from every visitor to ascertain their nationality, to make sure no Thai looking Asian foreigners “slip through the cracks”, thus ensuring a greater level of fairness and no accusations of racial profiling, as is currently the case. Secondly, all expats get the “local” price, which they can qualify for by showing a Thai driver’s licence or work permit or non-imm visa, or some other acceptable form of ID. No more ambiguity.

    Lastly, eventually move towards a non-dual pricing policy throughout the country for all attractions, public and private. Also implement a reasonable and fair pricing policy and don’t rely on extra income from foreign visitors – make attractions with local visitors in mind but happily accept foreigners too for the same entrance fee.

    Implement it fairly and without racism…think like China as an example (which eliminated dual pricing for foreigners in 1996):

    For example, no more free entry for Thais to the Grand Palace, everyone has to pay but only 100-200 Baht each for adults (or whatever). Make discounts available for students, the disabled, groups (tickets bought by a travel agent), seniors, those in the army, etc. NOT just children. Thailand has a terrible reputation not just for racist dual pricing, but even towards its own citizens it very rarely gives discounts to seniors, which I find highly offensive as seniors really deserve these discounts but neither foreign nor local seniors get discounts anywhere in Thailand except for Thai seniors for certain skytrain tickets. Neither do students or the disabled get discounts either, which is just as despicable so it’s not just us foreigners that suffer but even Thais are unfairly discriminated against.

  22. just walked away from a travelling thai music and dance show that tried to charge me extra 30 baht. NEVER pay even 1 baht extra. nothing in thailand is worth being made a sucker for. I can live happily without seeing the dance show rather than let the promoters think I am just another falang buffalow they can fleece and laugh at

  23. when i see double pricing i just refuse and spend my bht eslewhere
    there to much to see in thailand that i refuse to get ripped off…

  24. Here’s a good one – the venerable School of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, run by Mahidol University.

    The Medical Museum web page here http://www.si.mahidol.ac.th/museums/en/index.html
    says ‘Entrance only 200 baht’, but if you look at the scrolling news section in the top left of the page you will eventually see ‘Foreigners 200 baht Adults 80 baht, children 25 baht’
    On the Thai language page it actually says it it plainly, not hidden away in a scrolling easy-to-miss section.

    The Combination ticket for 2 museums is ‘Foreigners 300 baht, Adults 150 baht now discont (sic) 100 baht, children 50 baht now discont (sic) 30 baht.

    Check for yourself

  25. Hit Enter too soon – so NO ‘discont’ for foreigners on the combination tickets, then

  26. The Central Scrutinizer

    @ Mr Moisture

    No – it is not a Thai thing – examples of 2 tier pricing can be found all over the world. Inferring or stating that two tier pricing is unique to Thailand is disingenuous and probably racist.

    Presumably by ‘we’, and references to your brother and cousin you refer to just your family. Well hello, sorry to burst your family bubble of misery but there are plenty that go through life with a rather sunnier disposition and are not only happy when they are finding something to be unhappy about.

    “but some take it to excess” – yup you certainly nailed it\yourself there chap – seems like you need to take some lessons in stress management if you find that trivia gets on top of you…..

    What if anything has that last sentence got to do with anything? Nobody has said they think ‘Thais can do no wrong’ except yourself – who it seems just cant resist the opportunity to have another go at Thais by claiming they are incapable of admitting themselves when they are wrong.
    You don’t just have a chip on your shoulder – you got the whole damn tree growing there!!

    • Well, well, well, don’t we have a foot-stamping hissy-fit on our hands? I assume you are a Buddha wearing, temple-going Thaiophile then?

      You try to make yourself seem very superior to other people, yet you attack my family and me without knowing me. That seems to me to be a very convoluted way of demonstrating a considerable mental challenge for you. A mental health professional may be able to help you better than anonymous keyboard pounding

      A long look in the mirror would also do you the world of good. I bet you’re the family favourite at Christmas.

  27. And YOU talk of ME being miserable? The irony! It seems to me you are the miserable misanthrope – ‘scrutinizing’ all posts that you don;t agree with and moaning about them.
    And if you genuinely believe that Thais take personal responsibility, and will admit to, their mistakes, you must be in Thailand, Planet Zog.
    I suggest you go and find yourself another life. This one is plainly too much for you.

  28. How about Laguna Phuket Triathlon. Non-Thai price, 6,000 Baht +5% + 3% ( http://www.goadventureasia.com/CTF/ctfreg.htm ). Thai price 3,000 Baht + 5% + 3.7% ( http://www.goadventureasia.com/CTF/ctfreg_th.htm ). Which is a shame as I would have done this event if they weren’t indulging in this shameful practice.

  29. I’m a traveller and have spent quite a few years in Thailand collectively. The duel pricing is annoying. I can read Thai numbers and speak Thai so i just ask for the Thai price. Usually they say OK but sometimes they say no and other times they let me in for the price of a foreign child. If they say no, i either pay or walk away. I have already made the decision prior, wether the attraction is worth the full price or not. In the case of national parks, some are worth 200B, though it’s still annoying when you know locals are paying 40B. But some are un-maintained and nothing more than an over grown nature trail.

    Cambodian/Khmer numbers are the same as Thai (or rather Thai are the same as Khmer) and there’s a lot of over charging there too, especially at food stalls. India is the same. 10Rupees for locals. 250 for foreigners. If we did this in the UK, it’d be classed as racist. Another thing in Thailand is, you’re expected to know how much everything is. From fruit stalls to buses/sawngthaew. As soon as you ask “how much”? you’ll be over charged. Wait in line and see what others are paying. Then just give them the money without asking how much. Though this is foreign capitalism and happens all over the world, it’s not strictly dual pricing, which is the issue here.

    I love Thailand and having been all over the world, it’s my favorite place, but the dual pricing is one of its few negatives.

  30. Hi there
    I have lived in Thailand for over three and a half years now and have from time to time seen this dual pricing that operates here, most recently at a swimming hole called the “Emerald Pool” not far from Krabi – price for Thai locals 10 baht for children, 20 baht for adults and price to falangs 100 and 200 respectively. That my friends is ten times the locals price and is grossly unfair. The amounts of money involved in other cases might not be significantly greater for foreigners than for Thais but that is not the point. Any difference in cost is discriminatory and is clearly based on race, or at least nationality.
    In what I like to call the “civilized” world (I am Australian but have travelled widely) this kind of blatant racial discrimination is illegal and not tolerated at all. That is as it should be. Certainly, some can point to the odd instance of pricing difference in the West but I would suggest that those instances are very rare these days and probably illegal where they occur.
    I find it difficult to imagine that Thailand does not have laws prohibiting racial discrimination (I haven’t been able to confirm whether ir does or does not) as it does in fact have laws again most other forms of discrimation and mistreatment of people (ignoring for a moment the fact that Thai Police cannot be relied upon to do their duty in any circumstances at all).
    That is the real question here. Not whether dual pricing is reasonable or not but whether it is in fact legal. Only a poster way back named Phil made this point before.
    Let’s assume that there are enacted laws that prevent this kind of discrimination which can only be considered racial, and reinfoced by the admission of “Thai-looking” people for Thai price, it seems to me that what is necessary is for someone like we folk (who are offended by it) take the matter to a court. If I am right in my assumption, the court could probably only rule that dual pricing is racially discriminatory and that the practice has no justification. That should see an end to it. I am not up to that fight; I can only hope that some other individual or group might be. Not good for Thailand to follow China in most things I’m sure we all agree but, in this case, legislate against racial discrimination if there aren’t laws against it already. JMV

  31. I had a bad experienced back few years ago when I travel from Hat Yai to KL on train, I bought a ticket from the station ticket booth and the staff overcharged me in the price but on the ticket it written in Thai was half of the price! The ticket was issued manually by hand writing, not like the print ticket that given in any other station found in Thailand, I thought this was international train so the ticket may difference from other so didnt asked much about it but later someone help me to read the ticket and we found out what wrong with it, this very obviously the staff had charge me more than the price show on ticket and put the extra money into his own pocket! I went back to argue with them but they just pretended they not understand English and ignored me then I went to the police station and I experienced the same situation they just ignore what I am said, no one come to speak with u in English! This is truly Thailand! Suck!

  32. i hate there doubel faces realy its shamed

  33. Part 2, Section 30 of the Thai Constitution

    Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of the difference in origin, race, language, sex, age, disability, physical or health condition, personal status, economic or social standing, religious belief, education or constitutionally political view, shall not be permitted.

    • Thanks for digging that out. I’ve checked and it appears to be the case although it’s difficult to find the actual Thai Constitution that’s in effect right now (September 2015 – BTW, why can’t the Thais get with the bloody program and use 2015 rather than bloody Thai 2558?) Perhaps it’s like the Yanks who just have to be different?
      However, assuming that the Thai Constitution now provides for no discrimination at all on the basis of race, ethnicity, language, origin (I assume that that refers to my being Australian by birth) it is evident that dual pricing is absolutely contrary to the Constitution. But, the problem for we falangs is that the Thai people are, as we all know, remarkably uneducated and ignorant and are most unlikely to acknowledge that dual pricing is against the Constitution, even if we could be bothered pointing out that they actually have a Constitution, which of course they won’t know.
      We all know that Thai society is ALL ABOUT money. This means that any Thais who have this pointed out to them with simply feign ignorance (it’s not really feigning anything) and charge what they bloody well like anyway.
      TIT (This Is Thailand).
      JMV

  34. really, this 2 price bull crap really piss me off!! i really need to vent here and i do it everytime i took a trip anywhere in the Kingdom. If there is a 2 price system posted, I would just walk up to buy a ticket and if they charge me Foreign price….i raise hell and make a scene so that everyone could hear what i was saying. Even my girlfriend keep her mouth shut and keep a distance. And i do this in Thai language!

    Nothing personal and i do understand that the man/ women behind the counter is just do his/her job. But i do it because i wanted to make thai people aware that this is wrong!!!! Maybe these people will get a message thru their thick skull that its wrong to overcharge tourist. This does not stop here at tourist attraction; this also apply to hotel/ bar/ restarunt and even service provider such as taxi service, ect.

    Actually, you can call Tourist Police file a complain; most vender would dont want any problem and would sell you the ticket at Thai price.

    you know, i’m thinking about sending a petition to the current Thai militay – National Peach and Order let them make change to this practice. you guys should voice your opinion and make it heard!

    a little about me…..

    I am a son of an expat and i was born and raise in Thailand. I have dual citizenship; so i do have Thai ID Card and i speak, read and write Thai.

    Since i was little, when ever my father took me anywhere, he would boycott the place and he simply said, ” you go on ahead, i’ll wait here”. i might be a kid, but i’m not so stupid not to know what was happening….I guess his principle stuck with me and will remain so until the day i die.

    • I like National Peach and Order. I don’t remember ever seeing a peach in Thailand. I know that it’s a typo, but it did make me laugh.

  35. oh BTW, i am not 37 and will be 38 in a couple of month. if you expat who choose to settle down in the Kingdom, besure to teach your sons and daughter about this 2 price system. ( they speak better thai than you do) so it would be to their advantage and not let other take advantage them.

    we all need to pitch in to make this change. every little bit help

  36. I live in Thailand.I adopted a child ,abandoned by her mother and have taken care for 8 years.Her mother can go to a national park and get a cheaper rate than me.I don’t see the fairness in this .

  37. I was at a Chaweng Beach restaurant , Koh Samui, last month. and ordered something for 40 baht. My thai girlfriend had something for 50 baht.. After I paid I looked at the receipt and the guy overcharged me 20 baht (50 and 60), I then said, in thai, why? to the waiter/cook. I then pointed to the menu and sign at the door.The guy didnt care, he just walked away. I then went to the tourist office and complained, they said I could go to the police.. I give up. I guess it is ok to overcharge the farang because you can get away with it but it just makes question everything and be defensive.

  38. I’m not happy with dual pricing either. I paid and at one special temple I said to the cashier “You are not a good man, you don’t deserve to wear those buddist amulets. Lord Buddha will not be Happy!”
    I felt better after that but my thai girlfriend and her family were shocked!
    They warned me not to point at a person and make him loose his face.
    If they want farang price they will get farang treatment.

  39. My girlfriend is a NZ born Thai with dual citizenship. Despite carrying her Thai passport, she’s regularly refused local prices at tourist attractions. Quite ridiculous.

  40. Anonymous under fear of Thai law

    Thai law has very strict rules about saying anything bad, whether or not true about the Thai government, politicians, police, and wealthy Thai citizens. Having said that, I’m posting anonymously from another country.

    I see that some posters here suspect that dual pricing is to encourage Thai people to travel locally. I’m not sure whether that’s true or not, but the result for me is that as a regular traveller, I no longer tour Thailand attractions.

    As an expat who’s been living in Thailand for a year and a half now, I’ve stopped going go temples and national parks and any dual pricing establishment. I’ve stopped paying for visas too, as I do alot of foreign travel now. I go where I’m treated best, and that isn’t in Thailand.

    That’s the key. Go where you’re treated best. If a government doesn’t value your patronage, maybe you’re not their customer. Maybe white tourists aren’t their thing? I’ve also noticed the crack downs by police on white people not carrying the proper papers with them everywhere they go. You know that sounds alot to me like Nazi Germany. I don’t think Nazi Germany is the kinda place I want to be, or spend my time and money.

    I’ll be moving to where I’m treated best in a few months.

  41. Cambodia does it too

    Cambodia still practices it too. Two Americans are moving next week out of the building where I live because of it. We are tourists to these places and they’re not respecting us. That’s problematic. We owe them nothing for having been born in the first world. Dual pricing is racist and retaliatory. We need to start doing the same. America and other western countries should cut SEA off from all aid for about 40 years as retaliation. I dislike that these people are so fine with cheating me with a substantial amount of my US taxes goes to feeding their whores and growing their rice paddies.

    Cut ’em off. No more tourism. Europe, Oz and Canada would love our US dollars – and they all speak our language.

    Cut ’em off. No more western tourism to SEA.

  42. Much as I dislike the dual pricing system in Thailand, I think that you are suggesting to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut. If you really feel so strongly about the matter, I think that you would be better off staying in the USA, where your sensibilities will not be offended. What are your thoughts on the USA backing the Khymer Rouge for their membership of the United Nations, during the Pol Pot holocaust ?

  43. Double pricing happens everywhere – universities in UK, Australia etc. apply higher tuition fees to non-citizens. Even within the same country, a Scottish pays lower tuition than an English to attend a Scottish university. Similarly, different fee structure applies at state universities in the United States. Perhaps Thailand should get inspiration from Malaysia – official entrance fee is RM20 and holder of Malaysian Identity Card gets RM15 discount!

  44. The only disagreement I have with your comment is that if you told a Scotsman that he was from the same country as England, you would likely get your head stoved in, in some Glasgow pubs

  45. Interesting discussion! It happens in America too, at least in occupied Hawai’i where non residents are often charged a higher price at attractions than kama’aina (residents.)
    Also reminds me of my salad days when I first traveled to Thailand in the 80s. Most Thais would assume I was Thai until I opened my mouth. I would go places with a Thai friend and instruct him to speak to me in Thai then pay admissions at the Thai price. Worked every time!

  46. Philip S Bodenh.....

    Long story short. I have Super A.D.D. (Inattentive type). I consider myself lucky to be a bit sociable as well as being a genius. My downfall is that I lose stuff. I deal with it and getting better at that too. I am also honest enough to believe in justice. That is why I am writing here, to do a bit of justice for Thailand. I am here to say that out of 19 countries to which I have travelled and over 5 which I have lived in long term, Thailand holds the record for percent of dropped money returned to me, hands down. I am not really interested in explaining that away in a pessimistic way. Whatever the reason behind that fact, I find it very honorable indeed. I also kinda owe it to the people of Thailand to write this.

  47. Thanks for the website. I just visited Wat Chedi Luang (วัดเจดีย์หลวง) in Chiang Mai. In the past this was free for all. Today I was informed it is free for Thais and 40THB for foreigners.

    It did not matter that I produced my drivers license or that I am fluent in Thai. I really don’t appreciate this kind of treatment and I simply refused to enter rather than support such an insulting price structure.

    Fun trick if you don’t want to be specifically targeted by police while driving your motorbike: Cover your face/body. The police “checks” in Chiang Mai have the strange habit of ignoring Thai drivers but pulling over every Farrang possible. What an incredible coincidence.

  48. you request a transparent pricing system in Thailand. but Transparency is not the same price for all.
    The farangs are not only ripped off here. They are ripped off everywhere, whether married, with children, etc. here my view:
    Farangs are in this country the paid and probably not more welcome. Germany as a comparison for a travel insurance for thai. ridiculous! My thai wife has all rights in Germany like a German. She can buy land, buy houses, with the husband insured, same entry rates as for German, can take loans, can easily open account, 3 year visa, does not have every 3 months to immigration and is not ripped off at every corner because she is thai etc. etc.. What rights do we have in thailand? : No equal rights as the thai, no land buy, no house buy – limited possible, not insured with thai, no equal entrance fees which are opposite thai up to 10 times as high, no finance, no loans, account open only over abock It is possible to buy a thai 300 baht at account opening and the farang has to deposit 10000 baht to the account opening, visum maximum for 1 year and show up to 800000 baht cash in bank but every 3 months with immigration report or every 3 months leave, when shopping increased price by sight of farang . Ripp off farangs is a popular sport here. Now the farangs also pay 400 baht when they enter the jungle or national park. reason. Is polluted. The farangs with garbage are very carefully. But the thai throw their garbage everywhere. Behind every temple you can find large garbage, at each corner empty cups, bags, bottles etc .. it is damn unfair what is done here with the farangs without rut on family and children. No visa, not enough money, out, no matter if you are married and have children! Probably the main reasons why many farangs are now out of thailand and went to cambotscha, laos or vietnam. The country is broke, the baht artificially held high in the exchange rate, the next crash as 2008 is also imminent, and without farangs the country would still be at least 40 years back. Of course, then also at each airport to ask the farang to buy a travel insurance, offered a totally overpriced travel insurance, which nothing help the hospitals aske each farang for cash or credit card. Everything just another way to get the money of the farangs.

    Please give me your opinion

    • I agree with just about everything the last user posted. It’s all racial discrimination, pure and simple. We can bitch about it but nothing will change in my view because the Thais just don’t understand that all this stuff is discriminatory. And, what’s more, they wouldn’t care if they did.
      When someone asks me the time difference between Thailand and my country (Australia) I always say three hours and fifty years.
      I have a very good life in Thailand with my Thai wife and everything that we need to be comfortable but wouldn’t it be nice if we falangs were treated with respect rather than as the aliens that Thais call us.
      I hope the last correspondent is right about the future for the Thai economy. It’s long been my view that the Thai baht is way over valued at only 25 to the $AUD right now. Wouldn’t I be happy to see the dollar back to 32.5 where it was when I moved here five and a half years ago.

      • And wouldn’t it be nice if the baht was back at 75 to the UK£, as it was when I arrived in 2004, instead of the 43 or so it is now?

        But I agree with you. It’s all down to the innate, casual racism and lazy stereotypical thinking of poorly educated Thais. Even the higher status Thais that I have taught a lot of still think like that

        • This is another matter which, while slightly off topic of the dual pricing matter, is nonetheless related.
          How many others have noticed in Thailand that increased pricing (which is in my view tailored to Falangs) is common elsewhere in Thailand. I am talking here about some things being priced more expensively because they are seen to be primarily for Falang buyers.
          Question – what do most Thais drink by way of alcohol?
          Clear answer – beer and cheap Thai or ASEAN bottled whiskey.
          We Falangs come from countries where a lot of us enjoy wine as much as, or more, than beer. But, because wine is so friggin’ expensive in Thailand, we tend to drink beer instead of wine.
          I maintain that a large tax is applied to wine BECAUSE it would mostly be consumed by Falangs. I know NO Thais at all who drink wine – ever!
          And what about cheese? It’s also terribly expensive in Thailand precisely because I believe the Thais see it as something predominantly for Falangs and it’s priced accordingly.
          It’s a matter of taxes of course. Taxes are higher in Thailand for things that are primarily used by, or desired by, Falangs. Wine and cheese are two things that fall into this category and I believe they are very highly taxed and priced as they are for that reason.
          And what about motor vehicles? Jesus, when I came to live in Thailand I was astonished by how expensive motor cars are. Motorcycles are cheap to buy and cheap to run here because they are the only form of transport that most Thais can afford.
          But, for foreigners who fancy a VW, Peugeot, BMW etc, you step into the mouth of the dragon if you want to buy one here. There is a 280 per cent tax on any motor car brought into Thailand where there’s no local content. Is this discriminatory? No. Because the ridiculous prices of foreign made cars in Thailand apply to everyone, whether Thai or Falang.
          But even cars that are made here such as Toyotas (yuk!!!) and Hondas (YAY!!!) are way overpriced because of taxes. This is quite understandable though because clearly the Thai Government doesn’t want cars and pickups to be within the financial reach of say 10 million more Thais. Imagine BKK with twice as many cars, pickups, trucks and even more motorcycles. Traffic wouldn’t move at all and I’d never drive there again as I do sometimes now.
          Again, this is slightly off topic but relevant nonetheless.
          JMV

  49. PS to my comment a short time ago.
    A few years ago, a friend back in Australia bought a new VW Golf 1.4 litre supercharged Customline Golf. He paid $AUD25,000 for it. I looked up the cost of a similar car in Thailand. The bog standard 1.6 litre petrol Golf in Thailand was 2.6 million baht (over $AUD100,000).
    $100,000 for a bloody Golf. Christ!!
    Compare that to a Mercedes C200 Blue Efficiency for 2.25 million baht Or $AUD90,000.
    I know which I’d rather have.

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