The national parks located near Hua Hin are not included in a new pricing structure that now sees entry fees double for foreigners.
The announcement regarding the new entry fees was posted on the official Facebook page of the Department of National Parks (DNP) on Sept 30.
However, nearby national parks, including Kaeng Krachan, Kuiburi, Huay Yang and Khao Sam Roi Yot were not included in the announcement.
Entry fees to national parks located near Hua Hin remain unchanged.
In its announcement, the DNP said that new entry fees are in effect at Khao Laem Ya, Mu Koh Ang Thong National Marine Park, Hat Nappharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and Mu Koh Lanta National Park.
The new fees see the prices for foreigners double, while entry fees for Thai nationals remain the same.
At the Khao Yai National Park, which was Thailand’s first national park and which covers Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok foreign adults are now required to pay 400 baht and foreign children 200 baht to enter.
The Khao Laem Ya – Mu Koh Samet National Park in Rayong, which also includes Koh Talu, Koh Kudee and Koh Kham – Koh Kruai foreign adults now need to pay 300 baht, while foreign children pay 150 baht.
The Mu Koh Ang Thong National Marine Park in Surat Thani, which includes Koh Wua Ta Lab and Koh Mae Koh, the entry fee for foreign adults is now 300 baht and 150 baht for foreign children.
The Hat Nappharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park in Krabi, which includes Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Lay and Koh Mai Phai the entry fee for foreign adults is now 400 baht and 200 baht for foreign children.
The same entry fees are also now in place at Mu Koh Lanta National Park in Krabi, including Koh Rok, Koh Ngai, Koh Ha, and Koh Hin Daeng – Kong Hin Muang.
Children are defined as being aged between 3 and 14 years of age or less than 140cm tall.
Monks, children under the age of 3 and the disabled can enter national parks in Thailand for free.
The news comes after the DNP announced new national park entry fees in June, which also saw prices for foreigners increase.
Why dual pricing for foreigners at national parks?
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.