How they trick foreign tourists into paying more
In Thailand, we have our own numbers which are unique to the Thai language. However, you will be happy to know that when you are shopping you will nearly always see the price written using Arabic numbers. This means that you won’t have to learn how the numbers are written if you go shopping. Most shopkeepers at roadside stores have a calculator handy so that they will tap out the price for you. But it is a good idea to try and learn How to Pronounce Thai Numbers.
We are sorry to say that some tourist attractions in Thailand have a two-price system where they charge foreign visitors more than local people. Usually the entrance fee is always written using Arabic numbers. If you spot the prices written in Thai numbers and Arabic numbers then for sure there are two prices. I think they do it this way because they are ashamed to let you know they are charging you double. I can’t think of any other reason to hide the prices like this.
In the picture at the top of the page, the second and third rows are the prices for adults and children respectively. The last row is the price for foreigners and is clearly written as 160 baht.
Use the chart above to work out the price for Thai people (answers at the bottom of this page). You will see that foreigners have to pay double.
Below are two more examples of how some people disguise the fact they are charging more for foreigners. The example below is different from most as the prices are written out in words.
(1) poo-yai chao Thai neung roy baht (Thai adults 100 baht)
(2) dek chao Thai ha-sib baht (Thai children 50 baht)
(3) poo-yai dtang chart song roy ha-sib baht (Foreign adults 250 baht)
(4) dek dtang chart neung roy yee-sib baht (Foreign children 120 baht)
In the above example they thought they were being clever by having only one price list. But, if you can read the last line in Thai you will know it says “lot ha-sib baht“. This means reduce the price by 50 baht. The top line clearly says this is only for “khon Thai” or Thai people.
ANSWERS: The price for adults is 80 baht and children 60 baht.
You might also be interested to see my page on How to Read Numbers.