× The park is the third largest in Thailand. It covers an area of 300 square kilometers, including tropical seasonal forests and grasslands. Its altitude mostly ranges from 400–1,000 m above sea level. There are 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds, and 67 species of mammals, recording in this, Thailand's most famous National Park.

Foreigners in Thailand; Entrance fees Khao Yai np

24 Feb 2015 12:21 - 03 Mar 2015 09:36 #2705 by onflipflops
Received a message from park staff in Khao Yai, that they have changed/ plan to change (?) the following.
Foreigners with a Thai Work Permit or Thai driving license can no longer enter the park for the Thai resident entrance fee, unless they show a Thai ID card or Thai Passport, which I guess most of the foreigners living in Thailand do not have.
So it seems like the situation will be like it is in Kaeng Krachan national park.
I believe that on paper this has always been the official rule, however they have not fully enforced it in Khao Yai ( and many other parks).

As mentioned this is based on a message we received, I can not confirm yet if it is true. I will ask one of these days with the people at the park entrance.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Paul T

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24 Feb 2015 12:55 #2706 by Paul T
The "ThaiVisa" curmudgeons will be going ballistic about that ;+)

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24 Feb 2015 17:58 #2707 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Foreigners in Thailand; Entrance fees Khao Yai np
hahaha :P

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25 Feb 2015 10:55 - 25 Feb 2015 11:06 #2708 by rushenb
I got a business idea, I will create my own 40km trail from a guesthouse, straight into one of campsites! I will charge 40B per person.

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13 Mar 2015 15:35 #2750 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Foreigners in Thailand; Entrance fees Khao Yai np
Today, 13 March 2015, I was at the Khao Yai national park entrance, and can now confirm the 'new' regulations are enforced. Since this week.
The woman at the gate knows me well, and was kind of embarrassed to charge me the full rate of 400 baht, but of course she just has to do whatever her boss tells her to. Otherwise risking it will be deducted from her salary which is only 6500 baht, she mentioned.
Only Thai ID card or Thai passport holders can enter for the 40 baht Thai resident fee. So no longer reduced entrance fees for foreigners with work permits or Thai driving licenses.
I guess for most of you this is not a major problem (apart from the principle, maybe), unless you live very near to the park and like to go in every free hour you have. Of course still possible, but 400 + 50 baht (for the car) is rather steep for a short-time visit.

I also wonder if this applies to all national parks in the country from now on. Please share your experience.
So far I only know of:
Kaeng Krachan national park
Khao Yai national park

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14 Mar 2015 10:58 - 14 Mar 2015 10:59 #2751 by Paul T
I sympathize with you big time on this and it shows an area were the current pricing methodology falls down. I do wish that they would recognize that its a large amount of money, comparatively, for those living here and visiting regularly.

I wont get into into the whole issue if dual charging as I am fully against that like everyone, but I do wish they would consider something like a Supporters of the National Parks Club - I would join in a heartbeat.

On the other hand, like all of us, I understand that one of the greatest issues Thailand currently faces is the non application of laws/rules and the corruption opportunities that feeds. I agree it will be interesting to see if this is applied across the board.

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14 Mar 2015 13:07 - 14 Mar 2015 13:11 #2752 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Foreigners in Thailand; Entrance fees Khao Yai np
In South Africa they offer - what they call - a Wild Card. I do not remember the exact pricing, but I'm quite sure it was less than 4000 baht. When I was there a few years ago I did the maths and if visiting for more than 7-10 times it was cheaper to buy the card and it offered a year 'free' entry to all the parks under this scheme, which includes the famous parks like Kruger, Kgalagadi, etc. I spend 10 days in Kruger and for that alone it was worth buying this Wild Card. I guess for 99% of the tourists it is of no use to buy the card, but it offers those that live in the country the opportunity to travel to their parks unlimitedly for a reasonable rate.

I do not totally understand the new enforcement of this rule not allowing the foreigners living in Thailand to enter at reduced rates. Honestly I don't think it will cause a major increase of the park's income.
I believe they would make a lot more money by increasing the Thai resident fee instead like they did in Kaeng Krachan. 100 baht per person.
It would possibly bring down the number of visitors a little, but I think not much. And the profits will be much higher, even if they would just count the foreigners living in Thailand as Thai residents.
Or if they would truly want to get the visitor numbers down, the entrance fees for Thais should be increased to at least 200 baht. Though actually in my opinion nature should be affordable for everyone. Nobody will care about nature conservation if they can not even visit the areas due to the high costs.

Honestly I have my doubts if this change in policy is about the money. I wonder if it is actually about the fact that the foreigners living in this country that visit these parks regularly have a strong, and most importantly different opinion from the Park Authorities about wildlife and nature conservation.
In Khao Yai they are putting a lot of effort and money in making it look even more like a city park. The new Lumpini park of Isaan.
It hurts my eyes, and now I will be charged 400 baht I will probably be even a bigger contributor to the policies I actually do not support, haha.
Nothing is done against the speeding or noise polution, but instead several local tour businesses have been fined for stopping on the road to enjoy the wildlife. It's holding up the rangers that are for some reason always in a hurry. One tour operator was fined for using indicator lights to notify upcoming traffic about the elephant that was out on the road. That was not park policy apparently, so they got a 1000 baht fine.
In the meanwhile two elephants were poached for their tusks last rain season and nothing was done until last month... Apparently the news leaked, so now they had to do something...
Sorry, I'm off topic, haha. It just frustrates me a lot.

All in all it is just a shame that the Thai government is giving the bad example of overcharging foreigners by 10 times. In restaurants in tourist areas they might charge you double, but the government takes it to another level, haha :S .

And the funny thing is that the large majority of the foreign visitors wants proper jungle. Muddy trails not elevated board walks, views of untouched jungles not neatly cut lawns dotted with shelters and planted trees in straight lines, dirt roads instead of paved roads. So the costs to maintain the park are much lower then for the large majority of the Thais that seem to prefer these elevated boardwalks, cut lawns with shelters and planted trees, all easily accessible by tarmac roads that help them getting to their destination faster. Still the foreigners need to pay more. Because they can.

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19 Mar 2015 10:43 #2768 by Alex
I recently visited Thung Salaeng Luang national park near Phitsanulok. We stayed in NP accommodation at one site and there they didn't even want to charge us for entry to the park. We then went to visit Kaeng Sopha waterfall at another location within the same NP and the charge for entry was 500 baht. I showed ID to prove i lived and worked in Thailand but it made no difference. In the end we didn't bother going to the waterfall as the price was so steep and instead went 1km down the road to another free one that was outside the NP!
Going back about a year i found that most of the time national parks would allow me entrance at Thai prices. Now i find that this is never the case and national parks will always make me pay the full fees. I work at a school in Bangkok where we frequently take students on trips to Sam Roi Yot, Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. Not only do they charge all our western students the full price now, but they won't even let our Thai students in at Thai prices because they are part of an International school trip! Last year i got our school manager (Thai) to check out what the actual rules were for residents and she contacted the department of national parks. We were told that we were lucky if we ever paid local prices as the official rules were that non-Thai residents pay foreigner rates. It is very frustrating to see park fees increase as well though and be charged 500 baht to enter a national park. Particularly as we were only going there for an hour to see a waterfall. In the end it might stop a few people visiting the NP's, but it's not going to make a big difference to the money that is generated, and i can't imagine it is ever going to go back down.

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19 Mar 2015 12:41 #2769 by Paul T
I have always found it strange that in the southern entrance to Thung Salaeng Luang National Park the payment booth is after the Offices, visitor centre, bungalows and accommodation. The price is even stranger - why they costed it at 500 baht totally befuddles me. Kaeng Sopha used to be free, I think you made a wise choice, paying 500 baht per person to see it would have been a disappointment.

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19 Mar 2015 18:20 #2774 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Foreigners in Thailand; Entrance fees Khao Yai np
I was actually wondering about how it would work for international school students, so thanks for clearing that up Alex.
That's really ridiculous. Nature eduction is so incredibly important. If kids learn to appreciate the nature in these parks it means they will more likely support conservation of these reserves in the future. Charging them too much will likely mean that those school trips will happen less in the future. Less people connected with nature means less interest in nature in the future, because people will hardly know it is there! So why would they even bother to protect it?
Thailand is clearly missing the point about ecotourism. Surely ecotourism has its impact but if operated wisely it will increase awareness and get the people to love it and willing to protect it. Why do so few people even know that there are any animals to be seen in Thailand apart from some temple tigers, and elephants with seats tied on their backs? Especially for a country with such a rich biodiversity and a large range of charismatic species.

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