Sneaky Two Prices at Asiatique’s Big Wheel

November 17, 2013
By

IMG_7704

You may remember a few months ago an incident where Asiatique The Riverfront in Bangkok banned me from their Facebook page. This was all because I translated one of their posts into English about the Big Wheel having two prices. I also asked why there was a need to do this in this day and age when most people who live and work in Bangkok are well off Thais. Indeed, Asiatique only attracts the wealthy Thais. But, instead of answering my question, they deleted it and then banned me from their Facebook page. This then led to an online campaign of hate against Asiatique by expats living in Bangkok. As a direct consequence, the dual price was abandoned. Or was it?

IMG_7705

I’m not sure how long it lasted, but after all the fuss died down, Asiatique then quietly put the price up again for foreigners. I was there last night and as you see from this picture the price is 250 Baht. It doesn’t say if it is for foreigners or Thais and so you might be forgiven into thinking it is the same price for everyone. While I was taking a picture of the big wheel, one of the officials came up to me to say that the price was only 250 Baht for the wheel. Thirty seconds later I heard the same person tell a couple in Thai that the price was only 200 Baht. I confronted her in Thai about this and asked if she had made a mistake in telling me it was 250 Baht. She said it was 200 Baht for Thais and if I asked at the ticket office then maybe they will give me Thai price.

I replied to her “No, thank you”, and walked away. Can you do me a favour. If you go to Asiatique can you please boycott the Big Wheel. And tell your friends also about the sneaky way they have two prices at Asiatique.

27 Responses to Sneaky Two Prices at Asiatique’s Big Wheel

  1. Kanya
    November 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I paid 250Bht and I am Thai. Not fair for the ones who don’t bargain.

  2. November 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I will go here tonight and boycott the wheel. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Robert
    November 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I pad 450 baht as a farang with my Thai girlfriend.

  4. ins
    November 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    This is Thailand in a nutshell. Farangs always pays more everywhere. But you can always deal about the price.

  5. Chris Wotton
    November 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    There’s a reason I’ve still not been to Asiatique at all since it open, and it’s because I’ve no desire to patronise somewhere that thinks this – dual pricing aside, the constant lying to their customers – is an acceptable way of doing business.

  6. Jim
    November 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Richard thank you for following up on this situation. I agree that only well off Thais are going there anyway but the bigger issue is the blatant GREED and outright RACISM.

    Oh how I would love to see reciprocity between the U.S. and Thailand! Dual pricing at our national parks, cannot buy real estate, etc.

    • Allison
      November 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      As an American, I think it’s something we should all be lobbying the American government to bring into effect.

      Thais should not be allowed to buy land or houses in America (or anywhere in Europe, Australia, Canada etc for that matter), and should be charged five times the price of an American for every tourist site they visit. See how much they complain about ‘dual pricing’ and racism then.

      Thailand is one of the most racist countries in the world, and will continue to be so as long as tourists and expats continue to buy property in Thailand and continue to pay outrageous prices for tourist spots.

      I just bought an apartment in Spain, where I get the same rights as a Spaniard, instead of buying one in Bangkok. Refuse to spend my money in a racist country.

      • Allison is a twat
        December 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        Racism is when farang get paid 100% OVER the Thais for doing the SAME job. This goes on every day, every week, 365 days a year. I personally make 25,000B a month more than a Thai that comes to work before me, works harder, and stays later.

        So the occasional time (very rare) when I have to pay 50B over a Thai is meaningless.

        Your logic is ignorant. We are talking ONE ride, not every tourist site. What does buying land have anything to do with it? In many 1st world countries, no one can buy land unless they are citizens.

        I’m glad you live in Spain. No one needs a stupid cunt like you living here.

        • Patrick
          December 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

          Thais getting paid less than farangs, or anywhere in the world, especially in the Middle East, where your nationality determines your wage should be eliminated as well. Keep in mind the extra 25k you earn isn’t going to the Thai people who make less, but the gov’t,…. being charged 10x for something should also be eliminated. Both make the world a worse place.

  7. stephen beagley
    November 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Yes my thoughts exactly,i went to ancient siam and snake and crocodile farm and was angry i had to pay much more than my thai friend,i told them and her i wish we did the same to thais in the uk to all the frre sights and museums and galleries,not tourist or working farang friendly

  8. Scott Kim
    November 19, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Tried to attend the Muay Thai fights at Lumpini Stadium. Thai price $4, farang price $40.

    This practice is impossible to justify for a country that wants tourists to visit. If I discover two tier pricing I simply leave.

  9. John S
    November 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Isn’t this wheel owned by foreigners?

    • Richard Barrow
      November 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

      That’s what they say. Asiatique told me it is nothing to do with them. Which is why I suggested only boycotting the big wheel and not Asiatique.

  10. John S
    November 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I think I’m more concerned because it’s foreigners who believe it’s acceptable to introduce dual pricing, no attempt to claim it’s anything about the fact that some Thais pay tax, it’s pure and simple price gouging.

    I will certainly boycott though I suspect it will not bother them.

  11. Allison
    November 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    One big reason I’m leaving Thailand. Sick to death of the Third World mentality when it comes to tourists and other foreigners being charged more than Thais. Used to love Thailand. Now, can’t wait to leave.

    And, no, I will not be riding the Big Wheel at Asiatique and will be making sure I tell all my friends and family to avoid it as well.

  12. Ash19640
    December 11, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I love hyperbolic comments like ‘sick to death’. Why single out Thailand? The Spanish hate the Brits but hate Americans even more, so, be careful what you wish for Alison. I wonder why you’re not buying in Mexico or Salvador…

  13. John S
    December 11, 2013 at 7:54 am

    “Why single out Thailand?” because we are in Thailand and the issue is regarding dual pricing in an attraction in Thailand?

    I’m sure that if the same sort of thing happens in Mexico, Latvia or wherever, it will be talked about there, but this is Thailand.

    • Patrick
      December 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      It is frustrating and is seen all over SEA (the Philippines aside – surprisingly Filipinos are very fair). It is a cultural difference coming – locals know foreigners have more money, and most foreigners are willing to pay it. Because of this, they will keep raising prices until foreigners are no longer willing to pay. Right now, most still do, and prob. will for a long time. Go to Koh San and 90% of the people will pay 200 baht for a tuk tuk, or 2000 baht for a day trip to the floating market. Also note that while an expat sees it as a ripoff, the locals don’t. In Burma I especially got that feeling – the guys didn’t at all realize or see that it as ripping us off, they just saw it as business and completely normal, without considering the western view (which I don’t think they can even imagine). It is the unfortunate truth.

      I try to avoid this stuff, but I hate avoiding the amazing national parks, where we’re forced to pay 10x of a Thai. 1 recommendation: learn the language – then negotiate in it. It shows some respect and also shows that you’ve likely been there awhile. I’ve found that Thais often get embarrassed if you just overheard their conversation about you, and will become very honest once they know you speak their language.

  14. Gary Sibley
    December 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Like many others who have posted, I am disgusted with the way we are expected to pay much more than Thai’s when visiting a tourist location. My simple rule of thumb is this, show your work permit to prove you pay taxes in this country and if they still insist on charging you the tourist rate…..WALK AWAY and tell your friends. U refuse to pay inflated prices because I am a foreigner. It makes my girlfriend angry at times but I tell her that I refuse to be ripped off by greedy money grabbing Thai’s. In my country the only people that get reductions are OAP’s, children and the disabled.

  15. Ash19640
    December 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Gary, Patrick, John and Allison

    re “inflated” prices

    What, fifty cents for Thais and $1.50 for us? So what?! Your dollar stretches so incredibly far in Thailand the whole lot of you should be ashamed of yourselves. And really, if you must save five cents you can always barter.

    What a fractious and parsimonious lot you are. You all take advantage of the baht/dollar disparity and when it doesn’t go your way for once, suddenly it’s a first world problem. Shame on you.

    • Patrick
      December 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Since you didn’t realize this already – it has little to do with the fact it is $1, but it is the principle. I’ll gladly tip $10 to a little boy who makes amazing food, but won’t give anything to people wanting to rip me for $0.50. I support no one who tries to rip you off because the color of your skin.

      • Ash19640
        December 13, 2013 at 8:20 am

        No, I realize exactly what you’re saying and what I’m saying is, fifty cents (to a well-heeled farang) is NOT being ripped off. Rise above it. I might add, I’ve NEVER had this problem in BKK or anywhere else in Thailand because I don’t have your superior attitude.

        • John S
          December 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

          All the time we have people with the attitude of I’m a rich foreigner and as such am pleased with concept of pricing based on skin colour, then this debacle will continue.

          For the benefit of the patronising posters in our midst, we are not all rich foreigners, prices here are in Baht not US Dollars, many of us receive our income in Baht not overseas currencies.

          My wife is Thai and actually earns more than me, if we go to the foreign owned “attractions” that charge according to skin colour then she would pay less, the fact is that it annoys her more than it annoys me, she sees what it is doing to Thailand as a tourist destination, so refuses to go out of principal.

          It’s not about affordability, she was quite content to pay £20 to go on the London Eye when we visited London this summer, as admission there isn’t based on skin colour.

          Earlier this year there was a debate on Trip Advisor about a certain restaurant in Bangkok that openly charged foreigners, tourist and expats, a higher rate than Asians, an Australian tourist defended this policy saying that Thai people don’t earn very much and she didn’t mind paying extra to allow Thai people to go to a decent restaurant. My wife responded that she found the posting both patronising and offensive.

        • Patrick
          December 13, 2013 at 9:26 am

          How is it NOT being ripped off? They are blatantly raising the price because we’re white. That is textbook definition of racism.

          Where did the “superior attitude” come from?

  16. Ash19640
    December 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    PS

    200 baht is way too much to pay for a ferris wheel ride in any case. I’m amazed the locals could be bothered!

  17. Anthony
    December 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    First I want to single out this to Patrick as you mention all SEA less the Phil has impose double pricing Standard, Singapore & Malaysia are part of SEA, but they are any dual pricing there.
    As for the dual pricing, I am neither strongly oppose nor support it in Thailand. I guess Thailand authority like to take care of the lower income group which unfortunately still belong to the majority of them. They will like their people to enjoy some of the tourist spot while giving them a discount being a local Thai. They may not able to afford the price.
    If we look thing in another perspective, local Thai are given a discount on entrance or ride fee, while Foreign or Tourist pay the original full price. Will this make us feel better that we are actually not being charge higher than the local Thai.
    And yes, having a work permit will grant you the local price in some places, being able to speak Thai add another advantage. I visit Ancient City and the work permit is officially being recognize for local Thai price.

    • Patrick
      December 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      ” but they are any dual pricing there.”
      I assume you mean they are part of it, and don’t have dual pricing. Singapore is definitely an exception as well. Malaysian I’ve definitely experienced it. Was living in Johor Bahru with a small family for awhile, went to a waterfall and they rang up like $2 for the 5 of us in the car. As we were paying, the women glanced down into the car and saw me, and upped the price to $10, $8+ just for me. You tell me that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.

      I am all for supporting people with less money, but don’t judge by the color of your skin. It makes the world a worse place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Richard Barrow on Instagram