Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

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Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by buksida » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:17 am

Government must review two-tiered pricing policy, writes James Austin Farrell

It is, arguably, taken for granted by most Western visitors, and even expatriates in Thailand, that they will be overcharged at various points of their trip or stay. Thailand has this reputation, and this is why you might see some foreigners arguing over 10 baht (30 cents) for a tuk-tuk journey, or shamefully bargaining at times on fixed-price goods such as eggs. The seasoned tourist fears he’s being made a fool of, while the expat may feel he is already contributing enough to the Thai economy and shouldn’t be taken advantage of. Foreigners are mostly all well aware of the skullduggery that sometimes exists in Thai pricing strategies. Some people accept it, others resent it. It exists, arguably, because when Westerners started visiting Thailand in droves they were seen as rich, and perhaps because of that were deemed eligible for a little extra taxation.

A story this week brought the issue of dual pricing up again after an American-born, Thailand raised (without citizenship) man was charged 200 baht to visit the Emerald Pool in Krabi, while his Thai friends were charged 20 baht. The Bangkok Post followed up with an opinion piece stating that two-tiered pricing is bad for the image of the country, which is probably true, if not now a platitude we hear too frequently.

We often hear about the ‘image of the country’, relating to high profile criminal cases (the Koh Tao murders for instance); when husbands get cheated out of their life’s savings (the BBC’s Jonathan Head recently covered this topic), or when nasty videos go viral such as the latest beat-down of foreigners in Phuket. Thailand’s image, we are told numerous times, has taken another beating itself. A beating shared and Liked thousands and thousands of times. Bad for the image of Thailand seems like a lame apology, a kind of insincere schoolboy ‘sorry’ by the government, the press, and countless Thai apologizers using social media.

Perhaps it’s time, given how Thailand’s image is now viral, that some of these outdated modes of the darker side of hospitality are rigorously scrutinized – by the government, the press, the users of social media. As parents often tell their kids after a wrongdoing, “Well, ‘sorry’ is too late now, isn’t it?” How many investigative stories have we seen in the Thai press about island mafias or a rather delinquent police force? What about corrupt lawyers embedded in schemes to take a foreign man’s life’s savings? British journalist Andrew Drummond investigated such things, and his life, as well as his children’s lives, was threatened. Drummond was forced to leave Thailand after years of investigations, and his website has been blocked by the government.

http://asiancorrespondent.com/136070/du ... arang-tax/
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Post by JamesWest » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:20 pm

Blocking Andrew's website tells you all you need to know. But this is a two edged sword. The more Thailand grows up, the more expensive it will become, and the more of a REAL nanny state it will become. And it takes generations to overcome racism.

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by Pleng » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:14 pm

Does that mean I'll have to give up my 'tourist card', entitling me to 5% off Boots own-brand products?

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by bert91157 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:56 am

Does that mean I'll have to give up my 'tourist card', entitling me to 5% off Boots own-brand products?
Looks like it :D

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by PeteC » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:05 am

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by crispernator » Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:01 pm

Hi all when i was there in june s/o wanted to show me lots of things in bangkok as well as the grand temple {along with the 3 million chinese tourists} anyway we wandered about a bit and decided to go in and have a look ,now even she was unaware that for her it was free and for me it was 500 baht take the farang lane please.Anyway when she asked me why not go in i said i have to get ticket as pointed out by the cashier . I told her it will cost 500 baht for me to go in at this point she turned and said TO MUCH we not go in and with that proceeded to leave saying not worth that much to see old monk and a few paintings .Well that was my trip to the grand temple in bangkok although i did get a couple of good photos .

Now we visited a couple who s/o was friends with and the wife decided to take us to see temple in chongchensou {i think thats right} it was enourmous and i was truly amazed at the inside with marble inlays in the floor and just the whole place itself ,it didnt cost me a cent/baht and i could even film inside . had it not been raining heavily i could have walked through the grounds and had a really great video of the place .Now this doesnt just pertain to temples you have to be on gaurd all the time ,when we visited the death railway musem in konchanaburi as a momento i bought a pack of keyrings for i think 60 baht ,we then proceeded to the bridge and while walking along the rail line past some stalls i saw the same packet of keyrings for 25 baht .Before anyone jumps up and says dont be a cheap charlie the point i am trying to make is not so much the price but the feeling of being taken for a mug .

As someone said before farang are percieved as being rich ,well compared to thai standards we most likely are judging on a post in another section ,no one likes to feel as if because they look a bit different they shouldbe discriminated against if we did that in the west we would be convicted of a crime , if say you went to a street vendor and got a meal that was advertised for 50 baht and your thai friend paid 50 baht but vendor says oh farang price 100 baht what would you do ? this is just an example as we all know it would not happen in real life but you get my point .I cant ever see it changing as the way people see westerners is oh they can afford it ,and i admit the two examples i have given are tourist places but it still grinds my gears when you pay to get there put money into there economy with rental,food ,ect and you still get charged more in some instances . What is the answer? suck it up princess cos it aint gonna change !

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by Spitfire » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:39 am

The dual-pricing system leaves a bad taste in your mouth as it's carried out by leeching cheesy pricks that are basically thieves right up to official policy at entrance to national parks and the like. Long time since I've been to a national park here but did get in for 20 baht last time as I've got a work permit but had to take it with me and show it.

I, however, am no longer exposed to this piss-take as have given up all forms of public transport (more so because it's so dangerous) and do all my shopping at places where everyone pays the same regardless of who you are (like Tesco, The Mall etc).

When it comes to wider scams in general on tourists then I must admit that I'm amazed that people rent anything here like a jet-ski or a big bike due to the ridiculously public examples of people getting so blatantly scammed.
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Dual pricing

Post by bsdk1960 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:32 pm

Heres and artcle about dual pricing, and I tempted to say that off course its defends the dual pricing

http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2017/01/13/r ... i-people-0

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Post by handdrummer » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:58 pm

JamesWest wrote:Blocking Andrew's website tells you all you need to know. But this is a two edged sword. The more Thailand grows up, the more expensive it will become, and the more of a REAL nanny state it will become. And it takes generations to overcome racism.

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racism has never been given up anywhere. it's not really racism it's otherism. everyone wants someone to look down upon, be it older, younger, different color, religion, nationality, etc.

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by T.I.G.R. » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:19 am

A good post handdrummer; I think "otherism" is a lot more accurate than simple "racism" and should be identified a lot more often than it is.

Back to the topic, though, let's be fair. I would guess most people visiting or living in Thailand do so partially because of the low costs. I live here because I can afford to have a nice home and play golf regularly without being in the poor house. One sees people everyday who are here on a budget.....you won't see that in Hawaii, Paris, London etc will you?

If you can afford to travel here and live here, you are far better off than nearly every Thai you will come across. Quit bitching about paying a little more.....no-one forced you to come here and no-one will force you to pay dual pricing.....walk away if you don't agree with it, and do something else.

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by bsdk1960 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:39 am

T.I.G.R. wrote:A good post handdrummer; I think "otherism" is a lot more accurate than simple "racism" and should be identified a lot more often than it is.

Back to the topic, though, let's be fair. I would guess most people visiting or living in Thailand do so partially because of the low costs. I live here because I can afford to have a nice home and play golf regularly without being in the poor house. One sees people everyday who are here on a budget.....you won't see that in Hawaii, Paris, London etc will you?

If you can afford to travel here and live here, you are far better off than nearly every Thai you will come across. Quit bitching about paying a little more.....no-one forced you to come here and no-one will force you to pay dual pricing.....walk away if you don't agree with it, and do something else.
So now its bitching if you dont want to pay more for a meal than the person sits beside you

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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by Takiap » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:53 am

Well, I mostly agree with the above comment. I absolutely hate dual pricing, but rather than letting it get to me, I simply avoid it by staying away from places where it happens. As for street vendors and so on, including Thai shops, I must say I have never really encountered dual pricing. Sure, a vendor may try to rip you off, but they will try to rip a fellow Thai off as well if they think they can get away with it.


What bothers me more is when Thai children are discriminated against because one of their parents is a Farang, and yes it does happen, but thankfully not very often.

One Example:

On Friday evening at a Kids Day do in town, children could get a number, and stand a chance of winning a free bicycle. Unfortunately for my kids, they were there with their Dad, and because Dad is not Thai and has no Thai ID card, my kids were sent on their way.

Anyway, :offtopic:
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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by Big Boy » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:16 am

Takiap wrote:On Friday evening at a Kids Day do in town, children could get a number, and stand a chance of winning a free bicycle. Unfortunately for my kids, they were there with their Dad, and because Dad is not Thai and has no Thai ID card, my kids were sent on their way.
Well, I find that as unpalatable as the entrance to Nation Parks. In fact this is even worse as your kids are Thai (I've seen one of their ID Cards). They were discriminated against, not because of their nationality, but the colour of their skin.

What next, segregation on buses?

Shame on you Hua Hin Rotary Club. :cuss: :cuss:

[Edit] I've been reading their website, and this does seem out of character for them. They do a lot of good work in the area. Probably a jobsworth on duty Friday evening. However, the event is commonly known as Happy For Kids Day. Whatever their reason, they made a couple of young Thai kiddies unhappy because they look a little different. What sort of example does this set?
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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by StevePIraq » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:12 pm

Takiap, I really feel for you and your children, this is shocking but in Thailand remember Thai Rak Thai and in Thai eyes your children are not full Thai
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Re: Dual-pricing in Thailand: Is it time to do away with the 'farang tax'?

Post by Nereus » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:25 pm

Big Boy wrote:Well, I find that as unpalatable as the entrance to Nation Parks. In fact this is even worse as your kids are Thai (I've seen one of their ID Cards). They were discriminated against, not because of their nationality, but the colour of their skin. What next, segregation on buses?
It just fits in with the Xenophobia that many Thais carry around, especially if one gets put in a position to lord it over others. It was more than like directed at Takiap, rather than the kids

But I will tell you what: whoever it was would now have a story to tell to their grand kids about how a nasty Farang very neatly burst their eardrums abusing them, if it was my kid. :guns:
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