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Thu 27 Apr 2017
Two Price System
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 17 June 2003 00:00

I think most tourists that come to Thailand know about the two-tiered pricing system. It is the system that charges two different prices for local people and foreign tourists. This is a very controversial subject. What do you think about it? Is it fair or not that foreigners are being charged more money than Thai people while both groups are paying for the same thing?

There was a big discussion on this subject not long ago on my school’s forum at A lot of people have been posting there talking about it. Some people are saying that it is "fair" and they are OK with it, but some people are saying that it is "unfair" and it is a total rip-off.

Let’s read some of the interesting points they said about the two-tiered pricing system! All of these little paragraphs below are things that they don’t like:

  • "If the two tiered pricing system is justifiable, why don’t they make it obvious? Some tourist attractions are making it look like they are trying to hide the price by using Thai numerals for local price."
  • "Some attractions I have visited are in such a mess. It is really not worth the high price that we were charged."
  • "I don’t mind paying extra if someone had gone to the trouble of translating signs on exhibits into English."
  • "If you must double the price for foreign tourists, fine. I am cool about it as long as they don’t make the foreign price so different like 10-20 times more than the Thai price!"
  • "A friend of mine has lived in Thailand all of his life. He works there and speaks Thai fluently. But, because he looks European he has to pay foreigner’s price. That is racist."

Now, let’s read about what people said on the "fair" side. Come with me and take a look at some of the many different reasons they think it’s fair for foreign tourists to pay extra:

  • "For the tourists, visiting temples or parks is really a one-time event. After that they are continuing on their journey. For local people the temples are not the attraction. It is a place of worship. Also, temples and other government buildings are owned by the Thai people so they shouldn’t have to pay to go into something they own and have paid taxes for."
  • "It is definitely fair that we as tourists pay more than Thai people. In my country I am not well off but I do have enough money to travel to the other side of the world every year."
  • "The rate of exchange generally means that paying an extra 10, 50 or 100 baht is not much, but to the people who charge this extra rate to tourists it can mean a lot."
  • "Two-tier pricing happens worldwide and not just in Thailand."
  • "I just think of it this way: foreigners pay the "regular" price, while Thais get a discount!"

For me, if I am a tourist and travelling to Thailand or wherever, I don’t mind paying more than the local people. But if I can’t afford to pay, I am just going to move on to somewhere else because arguing with them isn’t really helping anyone. Someone said this on the forum, "If you are happy with what you pay, what more is there!" I totally agree with them.

If I try to argue I will have a bad experience from my trip. I don’t think I would want to ruin my holiday just because of this. I know that it is a bit annoying but I do understand why it happens. It is the kind of problem that happens worldwide and you can’t really do anything about it.

If you are interested and want to say something about this topic, visit our There are also lots of other topics there you might like to talk about. I will tell you about some of these another time.