Entrance fees for national parks near Hua Hin – foreigners charged five times more

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The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Conservation has announced that the entrance fees to national parks in Thailand will be subject to a new pricing structure from June 7, 2022.

The new pricing structure sees national parks categorised into one of four groups, with fees charged according to the group.

Group 1 charges Thai children 10 baht/person, Thai adults 20 baht/person, foreign children 50 baht/person, foreign adults 100 baht/person

Group 2 charges Thai children 20 baht/person, Thai adults 40 baht/person, foreign children 100 baht/person, foreign adults 200 baht/person.

Group 3 charges Thai children 30 baht/person, Thai adults 60 baht/person, foreign children 150 baht/person, foreign adults 300 baht/person.

Group 4 charges Thai children 50 baht/person, Thai adults 100 baht/person, foreign children 250 baht/person, foreign adults 500 baht/person.

The national parks near Hua Hin, such as Kaeng Krachan and Khao Sam Roi Yot are listed in Group 2.

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It means that the fees for Thai nationals to enter the local national parks range from 20 Baht to 60 Baht.

There are even exemptions to the entrance fees for Thai children under 3 years of age, Thais aged over 60 and monks.

For foreign nationals, the entrance fees remain the same.

However, the fees for foreigners to enter the national parks near Hua Hin are still five times higher than those charged to Thai nationals.

The entrance fees for foreigners range from between 100 Baht and 300 Baht for adults and 50 Baht to 150 Baht for children.

In addition, for both Thais and foreigners, anyone aged 14 and above will be charged as an adult.

There are separate charges for children aged between 3 and 14 years old.

There are also additional fees in place for vehicles, with a 30 Baht fee being charged for cars and 20 Baht for motorcycles. Bicycles are free of charge.

Why dual pricing?

The issue of dual pricing in Thailand is a controversial one.

Dual pricing is in place at many different attractions and sites across the country.

In the case of state owned attractions such as national parks or museums, the dual pricing is institutional and is in place because, according to the authorities, Thai nationals pay tax, some of which goes towards the upkeep of the parks and are therefore charged lower entrance fees.

In the case of foreigners, especially tourists, they do not pay tax and therefore are charged a higher entrance fee.

For tax paying foreigners who live and work in Thailand and for expats who have chosen to make Thailand their home, the practice of dual pricing is even more frustrating.

Expats who do not consider themselves to be tourists but who are still charged higher prices to visit national parks and other attractions.

Sometimes a foreigner showing their work permit, driver’s license, pink ID card or some other form of documentation that proves they are a resident in Thailand enables them to be charged the same rate as Thai nationals.

But it is not always the case and despite showing a work permit, for example, expats are often still charged the rate for foreigners.

There is a movement online which publicizes places in Thailand where dual pricing is enforced.

Created by popular travel blogger Richard Barrow, 2PriceThailand is on Facebook and Twitter and now has over 14,000 members and 3,000 followers, respectively.

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