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Diving at the Similan Islands still means paying 400 baht to enter the marine park.

National Park Prices Drop

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
THE PRICE OF entry for foreigners at some of Thailand's national parks has dropped because of heavy criticism.

Phuket has just one national park with six destinations within it, four along the beaches and two offshore islands, and the price for entry stays at 200 baht.

The high entry price of 400 baht at some of the popular parks in other provinces has fallen. But 400 baht remains the price of entry to the marine parks at the Similan and Surin Islands, off Phang Nga.

Of the national parks, 40 are in southern provinces, with 59 in northern provinces. Isarn, the north east, has 24. Another 25 all told are in East, West and Central districts.

The price of entry is 100 baht at 16 places in the south, including Thai Muang and Khao Lak. Phang Nga Bay and 15 other southern parks are 200 baht.

Some parks are free because of lack of facilities, but 103 involve an entry fee. Parks are rated in 13 categories, depending on what's there and activities, and the likelihood of damage from having too many visitors.

The influence of local communities and facilities also affect pricing policy.

The prices rose in 2005 but were never accepted. As a result, numbers of visitors dropped.

Thais pay between 80 baht and 20 baht. The two-tiered pricing system has come under criticism, too, but is not likely to change.

The new prices began on December 1, 2007.

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