Wow GBP15 to go into St. Paul's. No wonder Christianity is dying on its feet. I just checked the minimum fare to go one stop on the Underground: GBP 4.80. Cheaper to go from Korat to Bangkok on the bus. Generally the cost to enter Thai tourist venues is so small as to be not a problem. Twice not very much is still not very much. A ten times uplift for National Parks is a bit excessive.
I'll chuck my two-penneths worth into this debate...
Firstly, I'm not altogether against a two-tier pricing system as long as it is relatively justifiable. For instance, if the attaction is being paid for by tax revenues and is discounted for all those paying tax - whether Nationals or Work Permit holders - then I can accept the theory. I sometimes think that it is a little too unbalanced, but their country, their rules. Also, I have now entered the last five national park facilities I have visited for Thai price with only a relatively decent ability at the language and (on 2 occasions) a Thai Debit Card. Speaking politely in the native language tends to get you a long way, but I realise that you cannot assume that this will work every time (it didn't in Wat Pho - although this is only 100 Baht)
I do have a far greater issue when it applies to private locations and the premium is justified on the basis of wealth alone, as this seems to be an amazingly short-sighted and xenophobic approach.
For balance, it is worth looking at the UK. However bad I might feel about park prices here, it pales into insignificance against UK attraction prices. My girlfriend and I visited St Pauls Cathedral in November and were changed Â£15 each for entry. To add insult to (very expensive) injury, we were then not allowed to take any photos inside, even in the whispering gallery. To my mind you can either let people in free and set the rules for a large church, or you can charge entrance and accept that it is a tourist attaction (such as Wat Pho), but to do both is taking the p***.
Nowadays, I try to view the foreigner price of National Parks as the actual price, and base my decision to visit on that price. If you imagine that Thais merely receive a discount, rather than us foreigners paying a premium it makes the bitter pill a little easier to swallow.
I guess it all is in how one spins it. But who wants to pay more than the next man.
To me (ten times more) is a p*ss take, although i guess some say Ahh! well were on holiday, some don't even know, the thai wife or girlfriend will say nothing as not to lose face.
on saying that i would not won't to embarrass my thai family as to being kee-ne-el or kee-nok.
Dual price signs should be in thai & english.
Reasons why the Thai dual price system exists. One is that the average foreigner is assumed to have more money than the average Thai and can afford to pay more. Other say that because foreigners donâ€™t pay taxes, itâ€™s a way to cover maintenance costs at government operated facilities.
Some national parks, and entertainment and attraction venues have signs at their entrances advertising a higher price for foreigners than local Thais. Often, this is advertised discretely in Thai numbers instead of Roman numbers. Very Sneaky.