The first time I lived in Thailand, I was 16 years old, and an exchange student at a local Thai high school in Bangkok. That was my first experience with getting charged higher prices than others because I am a “falang,” – that is a word Thai people use to classify foreigners, or non-Thais.
Some foreigners become offended when they are constantly being referred to as a “falang,” rather than by their name. Personally, I can understand enough Thai to know what people are saying when they are talking, and hearing the word “falang” everyday doesn’t usually bother me. It depends on the situation, the tone of the person and how it is used. In general, I’d say it’s a bit rude of a word, but I normally feel no anger surrounding it.
Being overcharged for things when you are traveling in a foreign country is pretty normal, and bartering and bargaining is as well. I’d like to know of your opinion about something related to that.
When is overcharging based on race, taken too far? And is it blatant racism?
My good friend visited Thailand a couple of months ago and we traveled to a National Park, Doi Inthanon, it is the highest mountain in Thailand. I was a little surprised when we paid for our entrance. I was given a Thai price because I have a Thai license. Before I got that license I would have been paying the higher amount.
You can view the tickets below:
- THAI PRICE: 40 Baht ($1.25 USD)
- “FALANG” PRICE: 400 Baht ($12.40 USD)
What do you think about it? Is it ok to do, or is it surprising that this happens in this day and age? I just wanted to hear some opinions – and have you ever had any similar experiences. If so, where, when and what happened?