Bangkok axe club strikes back at farang ‘dual pricing’

Ryan Nelson and Siriluk Nelson and family, at left, and foreigners raising one-finger salutes at Golden Axe Throw Club.
Ryan Nelson and Siriluk Nelson and family, at left, and foreigners raising one-finger salutes at Golden Axe Throw Club.

An axe-throwing club has joined the fray over jacked-up prices for foreigners by introducing its own dual-pricing scheme: farangs pay half.

With debate raging anew over foreigners being made to pay much more for some attractions and services, Golden Axe Throw Club announced Sunday that it would charge them less every Tuesday. 

“In light of our unfair promotion to local Thais, we kindly ask our valued Thai guests to avoid us on Tuesdays! Please come back between 4-7pm any other day for our happy hour 50% promotions. This is a social justice experiment,” it wrote on social media.

Groups of at least four foreigners booking in advance will throw for 50% off every Tuesday. That means for the first hour of axe-throwing, usually THB500, they would pay only THB250 per person. Walk-ins won’t get the promotion. 

Owners Ryan Nelson, a Canadian axe-throwing champion, and his wife Siriluk “Aom” Nelson said they got the idea from their own experience as a biracial family frustrated by dual-pricing policies.

As a Thai national, Aom said she had to deal with it herself when she was pregnant in her hometown of Roi Et.

“[At the hospital] there were Thai prices and higher prices for farangs,” Aom said. “I had to pay the farang price, despite being a Thai citizen myself. This is my body, not my husband’s. Why is a Thai woman charged as a foreigner for a medical procedure on herself? It didn’t seem fair.”

Foreigners are asked to pay upward of 10 times as much at everything from national parks and museums to public hospitals, often deceptively with no clear indication of the policy. Longtime residents and work permit holders are not exempt. The policy came under renewed debate last week when travel writer Richard Barrow launched a campaign calling attention to it.

Dual-pricing for foreigners now legal at Thai public hospitals

Ryan Nelson and Siriluk Nelson. Photo: Ryan Nelson / Courtesy
Ryan Nelson and Siriluk Nelson. Photo: Ryan Nelson / Courtesy

“Why does the two-tier policy exist in the first place?” Aom said. “We don’t judge people at our venue based on race, sex or citizenship. We employ a team of powerful women and identifying-LGBTQ to create an inclusive community around the sport of axe-throwing. Everyone is welcome to throw an axe with us! … Now is the time to restart the economy in a fair way for everyone.”

Ryan told Coconuts Bangkok that his venue’s new pricing is only meant to be “sarcastic and humorous” jab at dual-pricing structures. He said that he and his wife never intended to make anyone feel left out. 

“Just a joke to raise eyebrows,” Ryan said. “Because it sucks when our biracial family tries to get in some places and the dual pricing exists. It sours our entire experience and ruins the mood.”

Golden Axe Throw Club is currently located at Art Box, an open-air food market near BTS Nana. It’s open 4pm to midnight daily.

Related

Dual-pricing for foreigners now legal at Thai public hospitals

Dual pricing: What happened when a Thai was charged the ‘farang price’

Racism, anger and why dual pricing makes sense to Thai people

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWS

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