Vol. VI No. 39 - Tuesday
November 20, - November 26, 2007



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


MAILBAG
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thank God it’s THAI-day

Pricing practice at the zoo is fair

Thai business logic

 

Thank God it’s THAI-day

Editor;
Friday in Thailand: So I was reading letters to the editor in a local paper yesterday. Some whiner was complaining about how foreigners were not treated well here. I thought I’d take inventory in how nice the Thai people are to me in just one day alone (yesterday):
Thai waitress stops to talk and take a personal interest in all customers at breakfast.
All cashiers stop and say hello/welcome to everybody who walks in the door at 7-11.
Crazy insane housekeeper who has nothing but smiles and hospitality and even provides room service when she notices me looking at a menu.
A police officer who took about 5 minutes to give friendly directions when asked.
A lady tossed out my lunch order that she spent five minutes on, and started all over when she found out I did not like fish sauce. I never had “corn salad” before, but I am sure that I will never find better.
I ran out of gas out in the countryside on my scooter. Thankfully it was adjacent to a “gas station” which was a table with whiskey bottles full of gas. The half dozen people (family) there insisted that I drink some whiskey with them and begged me to come back again. Strangely the whiskey was the exact same color as the gas! I did not bother to taste the gas, but do have my suspicions...
A helpful siren from the passing police car to keep me from pulling my scooter out in front of a bus at a blind intersection.
I am sure that a lot of other nice things happened yesterday too. These are the first ones that come to mind.
TV

 

Pricing practice at the zoo is fair

While I understand Ron Lister’s complaint about different admission charges for foreigners and Thais at places like the zoo, I disagree with him. Sure, I’d like a cheaper price, but I can afford the higher price and think it’s fair to discriminate so that Thai citizens who otherwise couldn’t afford it can go there. Now there are certainly plenty of Thais who can afford the foreigners’ price (there’s a lot of Thais who have much more money than I do) there are a great many who simply cannot. It’s unfair to deny them the opportunity to see the zoo, and especially for them to take their children.

Foreigners being gouged at the Chiang Mai zoo? Not everyone thinks so. Photo courtesy of Chiang Mai resident Alan Foos.

It would be great if we could easily have a way to have all who could afford a high price pay that while letting those who can’t pay the lower price, but that would be impractical. Doing it by citizenship seems practical and fairly fair. Note that this isn’t discriminating on the basis of ethnicity, as Lister claims; it’s by citizenship. Several American states do this by offering cheaper prices for their residents, and in fact the USA does this for seniors at national parks, offering a special rate for seniors, but only those from the USA.
That said, I do agree that the price differential can be too great, as in his example of Doi Inthanon National Park. 400 baht vs. 40 is unfair, and I think is counterproductive in keeping people away. I know we didn’t go last year and won’t this year because the price difference was so great. I think if they made it lower, say 100 baht, they’d get more revenue due to more visitors.
Regards,
Jim Moore


Thai business logic

Editor;
To all farangs residing in Thailand - please show respect for the country you live in, the people you live with and their government, by not laughing at what follows, because this is not a joke. It has yet again made evident that the so called “more developed nations” still have much to learn from Thai logic, especially when it comes to conducting business.
From a report in the business section of the Bangkok Post dated 14th November 2007: At a meeting to resolve conflicts between retailers and suppliers, brokered by the Thai Government Commerce Ministry, a spokesman for the Ministry said, “Retailers must not offer lower prices in an effort to beat rivals or to benefit consumers. Smaller retailers would be hurt most from discount sales, and while low prices would benefit the consumer in the short run, it could lead to overspending.”
Can anyone think of other more valid reasons for shops not to compete with each other or offer goods at competitive prices?
Apparently the government now intends to pass new laws regulating the retail sector. With this kind of attitude we shall all eagerly look forward to seeing what restrictions and safeguards will be included in these regulations.
No Longer Amazed
Chiang Mai



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