Thailand University Teacher Extraordinaire

The trials and tribulations of a young English teacher

Farang Pay More at Madame Tussauds Bangkok

on Thu,Feb,2011

After a lengthy ad campaign that lasted several months, Madame Tussauds finally opened in downtown Bangkok. Madame Tussauds is something of an institution in England, and despite my never having been to the long standing London attraction, I decided a trip to the Bangkok gallery would make an interesting day out for my girlfriend and I.

A few weeks passed as I waited out the rush, however at work I heard murmuring between colleagues about a dual price system. This is hardly a new concept for Thailand. At every national park that I’ve been to, there has always been a Thai price and a foreigner price. It’s not something that is worth getting upset about. National parks are maintained using the money of Thai taxpayers, and as the majority of non Thais here are tourists, they don’t have to pay tax. Even though I work here and pay tax, I grudgingly pay the farang price with nothing more than a shake of the head.

My problem with paying more at Madame Tussauds stems from it being a private company. A private company that has decided to arbitrarily set prices based on nationality.

Tut tut.

I think putting the Thai price in symbols, which most unsuspecting foreigners can’t read, is a nice touch.


It’s interesting that even though Madame Tussauds has attractions in Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai, dual pricing now exists only in Thailand. Apparently dual prices were charged for a while in Shanghai, but it has since been outlawed. General Manager Paul Williams will be hoping that no-one sees this video where he explicitly states that a dual pricing policy is strange and would not be implemented. Jump to 6 minutes and 50 seconds to hear the incriminating comment.

So Madame Tussauds for four hundred and fifty baht more than Thai citizens. Not for me thanks.


3 responses to “Farang Pay More at Madame Tussauds Bangkok

  1. Choco lover says:

    That isn’t a smart way to earn money from customers. I am the one who will never pay that unreasonable price! And I think Gerrard doesn’t look that old in real life!

    Thanks a lot for sharing T.Eric 🙂

  2. Rachel says:

    We tell all our friends not to go there. They’re SO proud of their dual pricing they hide it by putting the Thai numerals. They’ll end up with a bad reputation, just like all the other places in Thailand ripping off foreign tourists.

  3. Khao Yai says:

    You have thicker skin that me, ‘cuz I’ve lived here for 10 years and still won’t pay at a place that practices dual pricing. You mentioned a rationale for doing it a national parks – I don’t think so. If you look at how little taxes most Thais pay and compare to how much in taxes a typical tourist pays on just a short holiday I think it argues for free entry for foreigners.

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