2 Price System at Madame Tussauds Bangkok

One of the latest tourist attractions to open in Thailand is Madame Tussauds Bangkok. This is a world-class attraction in the heart of Bangkok’s shopping district on the 6th floor of Siam Discovery. I went to visit this place back in December 2010 shortly after its grand opening. I have already written my review of Madame Tussauds Bangkok. I found many of the 70 wax figures very lifelike and thought it was great that the exhibits were very interactive. This means you were able to stand with and even touch many of the wax figures while having your picture taken.

The full price at the opening was 700 baht, the same for Thai and foreigner. I remember thinking at the time that this was a little high for an attraction inside a shopping mall. However, they do have special promotions at times which gives you better value for your money. For example, last month they had a buy one get one free offer.  Today I just spotted on the Amazing Thailand Facebook page that they have a coupon which gives you a 25% discount. All you need to do is print out this coupon and take it with you when you visit Madame Tussauds. At the moment I am not sure when this offer closes. Now I am not sure if the offer is for foreigners. Keep reading….

The original title for this blog was going to be “25% Coupon for Madame Tussauds Bangkok”. However, while researching this article I spotted that the prices of Madame Tussauds Bangkok have already increased after only one month. As already noted, they were originally 700/500 Baht. The price has now gone up to 800/600 Baht, though you apparently  get a “free” guidebook and photo. However, what is a shame is that they are now operating a two price system. According to the Thai version of their website, admission prices for Madame Tussauds Bangkok is only 350 Baht for adults and 250 Baht for children. It doesn’t actually say that this price is only for Thai people but they use Thai numerals so that foreigners cannot see the conflicting prices. I called their Bangkok office and they confirm that 350/250 Baht is only for Thai people. In addition, Thai people get a further 25% discount if they pay with their Bangkok Bank credit card.

My policy on dual pricing has always been that tourist attractions are welcome to have two prices as long as they give us the right to choose. This means clearly stating the admission prices in Arabic numbers. You only see Thai numerals when they are ashamed to show that they have two prices. Everywhere else uses the more common Arabic system. What is even more of a shame here is that Paul Williams, the General Manager for Madame Tussauds Bangkok clearly said in an interview with AsiaTraveltips.com that there wouldn’t be two prices: “We won’t be operating a dual pricing policy”, he said. “We found that was rather strange and decided not to go down that road.”  I bet he is regretting saying that now. Anyway, now that I have revealed the two sets of prices, it is up to you whether you think that the admission price is worth it.

22 responses to “2 Price System at Madame Tussauds Bangkok

  1. Time for a boycott I think

  2. Shame on them indeed. If you check their website, you will see that out of the ten branches of Madame Tussauds around the world, only Thailand has a two price system. Even China has same price for locals and foreigners. Obviously Thailand still sees itself as a Third World country.

  3. Why is dual pricing such a big issue for farangs like you ka? Thailand is a developing country and foreigners do not pay Thai taxes to keep/maintain surroundings of the tourist attractions. Furthermore, foreigners make more more money than Thai so they are very OK to pay more, 800 bath is like change money for a lot of farangs. you are a farang and you make lots of money, is it such a problem for you to contribute to the country that you have lived for 17 years?

  4. Chuttamart, why do you think I make lots of money? Very racist to think that just because I am “white” then I must be rich. In fact, I work for a normal Thai school which cannot afford to pay me much. I know many Thai people who get paid a lot more than me. But I don’t care. I have stayed with them because I enjoy my job.

    However, I do pay taxes and have been doing so for the last 17 years. As you are in Singapore, then maybe I have paid more tax than you. If you pay tax at all.

    Secondly, places like Madame Tussauds don’t get anything from tax payers! It is a private organization. However, my tax money does go to help maintain national parks.

    Thirdly, I have never said that I object to the two price system. On the contrary, as I speak Thai I often get Thai price if I ask politely. If you read my blog carefully, you will see that I just asked for them to show both prices in the normal Arabic script. Give foreign tourists the right to choose.

    Finally, China used to have the two priced system as well for foreign tourists. But they have now outlawed it. Maybe Thailand should think about doing that too. After all, the Thai Constitution said that everyone, regardless of race and religion, should be treated the same.

  5. Reply to Chuttamart: First of all 800 THB is definitely no change money for me, and i am from germany. What annoys me is that people like you assume that we can throw our money out with full hands and just keep smiling. Sure, i earn good money here, but we have very high taxes and prices are very high as well.
    Last time i had been in Thailand we skipped the Siam Ocean World because for us as a family it was way too expensive to enter. There are also very rich Thai people but still they pay Thai rate…

    Chris

  6. I think dual price should be used in London. Rich Hi-So Thai can pay more than poor britts with no job.

  7. I’m not good at writing but listen, a reason why only Thailand got 2 standard price is because at first thier thought that thai people are going to pay for even it’s 700 baht but their’re defintely wrong. Most thai people even a upper-middle class still see that 700 is too expensive for them, also that it’s locate in siam, where teenage are about 70% there, even going to movie at 140 baht is a big decision for us. I can see without using eyes that thai customer in percent would be less than 50% ( which is also primary customer ). At last you were right, we ashamed when taking friend from another country here 🙂

  8. theDocOfficial

    Let’s contact London, see what they think, maybe they can do a special price for Thais

  9. Not all that surprising is it? Sad, but not surprising…

  10. I was in the Wax Cabinette in late Dec and its such creepy how real some of theese dolls looking, the funny thing to me is it looks like they are all smaler than in real to give thais a chance for graping a picture.

    nice blog by the way !
    best wish from bkk
    Oliver

    PS i added your blog now !

  11. Yes Richard.

    Why don’t you contribute anything to this country? 😉
    I’d be interested to hear what Chuttamart contributes to Singapore.

  12. Chuttamart is extreme but I agree with some of the issues that she brought up na. First of all, Richard barrow has no right to do an expose on a touristy place like this and try to make them agree to his terms. It is just wrong, especially for someone who claims to be a blogger and an online ambassador of Thailand. Terrible of you Richard.
    You keep saying that you don’t make lots of money. Statistic has shown that on the average, farangs in Thailand earn 3-5 times more than regular Thais. This is a fact and not about racism. Do you think you would still want to live in Thailand making the minimum wage? Of course you must be making lots of money in order for you to sustain your above-average lifestyle here. You know your salary at your school is higher than a lot of the thai locals, I dare to say at least 3-4 times of the other teachers. Ok, I wonder if this would be posted?

  13. Thank you for your comments Komkanok. I don’t agree with everything you say, but the world would be such a boring place if we all thought and did the same. Most people write blogs about their personal experiences. It is a kind of online diary. For me it is much the same. I write about things that interest me and things that I see and do at the weekends.

    The foreign teachers at my school have a starting wage of 18,000 Baht. They can get extra by teaching after school and on Saturdays. Like I said before, I know a lot of Thai people who earn more than me. But, I don’t really care. I cannot take wealth with me if I am run over by a bus tomorrow. I live for today. Most of my money is spent on travel and visiting tourist attractions.

    I am really happy to be able to share photos and stories from my travels with visitors to this blog. . Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.

  14. If it’s not a scam why do they hide that fact of dual pricing? All Richard is asking is the visitors be given the facts before they buy a ticket. It’s not even a Thai owned company you Thais are defending, even the Manger said dual pricing was “strange”. They could do promos for Thais in local papers ect ie. 2 for 1 but they dont because they are dishonest and couldn’t resist ripping people off because they can. They went native some might say. Think of it this way how would you like to be charged more by a Thai company in a forgien country simply because you are Thai and to have this fact hidden from you?

  15. Richard. You are quite wrong. They are not using Thai numerals because they are ashamed. They do it because it makes it easier to scam foreigners. Shame doesn’t come into it.

  16. I understand the fact that the normal thai people earn less money than the normal foreigner in Thailand. But thailand should realize that there is many kind of farang here; Not only people on 2 weeks holiday staying on sukhumvit and wealthy business man.

    But it seems that these people are their targeted customers.

  17. LOL, ALL my Thai friends make more than I do. Thais are foolish if they think that, just because of our skin color, we automatically make more money than them. For most western teachers in Thailand (and I’m no longer one), we make far less money than the average middle-class Thai.

    I went to Madame Tussauds when they opened, with a Thai friend who got a special deal. No way would I pay 800 baht to go of my own accord and I tell all my foreign friends to stay away too.

    But….considering how quiet Madame Tussauds is every time I go past their ticket desk, I’m guessing most westerners have already gotten the message. Madame Tussauds for farangs IS TOO EXPENSIVE 🙂

  18. I think the solution to the 2 price system is to learn a little Thai, see what Thai pay, and decide if you want the higher price. I never will pay higher. My choice, no need to get upset. It is just another cloud floating by so let it be and find something fun to do.

  19. david whelan

    I can buy aook of tickets for attractions in london. yet londeners cant buy these tickets they must be bought abroad. so in effect opposite to thai dual pricing. 800 baht is a lot of money to see some models. i dont think I paid that in london. management would want to get wake and see that most tourists to thailand are repeat visitors.

  20. This habit of double (or even 10 times)pricing for tourists is very galling. Many people I know will refuse to enter anywhere where it exists.
    I am not that extreme but I am very selective and at times I know I miss out on some things. This ripoff is not restricted to Thailand and is common throughout asia. I used to think it was kind of acceptable, based on the rich first world, poor third world principle. I don’t think this holds much water these days as generally the locals you meet at many attractions are earning close to western salaries in relative terms.
    When I travelled in the US a few years back I purchased a years season ticket(about $50 I think) which gave me entry to all national parks. It would be great if Thailand could be persuaded of the wisdom of this idea, at least for government run attractions.

  21. I think people who have the attitude ‘because we’re from wealthier coutries’ it’s OK are misguided. The money they make goes to a private company and lines the pockets of people who are far richer than almost everyone reading this website will ever be. I don’t really see how that’s justified.

    But talking of Siam paragon, there’s kind of dual pricing in the ‘gourmet supermarket’ there. I bought something once, and the price at checkout was higher than on the shelf, which turns out is a ‘member only’ price, and to be a member you have to be resident.

    It took a bit of arguing, but in the end, I got a special ‘expatriate card’, based on a non-o visa, but it’s only in Thailand where the prices displayed in supermarkets are only for some (generally local) people.

    Disgusting really. I’m here for the sun, and cheaper daily rents (until they dual price it). I rarely even bother with the locals now.

  22. Low-salary foreigners in Thailand can be considered like Thais, so they should pay the lower rate. Rich Thais should pay the higher rate. MT should ask for your tax returns or salary slip.

    If a Thai or foreigner pays 400 at MT instead of 800, then s/he is likely to spend the other 400 somewhere in Thailand, and thus benefit the country. Mathematically, it makes no sense for foreigners or richer people to pay more. It gives places a bad name, and thus they attract fewer people and lake less money in the end.

    Private orgs, such as MT, should not consider that they can stand in for the taxman.

    One atrocious example of foreigner discrimination is in UK universities, where they make foreigners pay a lot more, and thus subsidize, UK students. I always tell students to go and study elsewhere, such as in my country, France. Didn’t Madam Tussaud come from there:? 🙂