Bang Saen January 2018. When tourists stroll along the beach walk in Bang Sean they encounter a plethora of signs that remind them to absolutely not smoke. It is “Verboten!” And the penalties and punishments are plentiful, yet weirdly inconsistent… for one and the same violation: Smoking.
This is the beach walk in question. And this is the first sign I photographed.
You smoke and get caught. You pay 5000 Thai Baht. That is about $140 or €125. It is enough to ruin one of your vacation days – agreed? As the tourist still on, they see another reminder,
You smoke, your cigarette will be hit by lightning and likely the offender will be instantly incinerated – I find this one particularly harsh, because it is so final. On the scared tourist walks…cautiously to find the next no smoking reminder.
You smoke and you will pay 100.000Thai Baht for a vacation extension of one year in a Thai prison. That too, can crimp. Tourists style, but at least foreigners and locals are punished the same for the same offense. And we move on.
Title further done the beach walk, the smoking offender’s punishment will depend on his status: English speaking foreigner or Thai native. Natives are punished with a fine of 100.000Thai Baht and one year in prison, while the tourist will need to pay 1.000.000Thai Baht and spend a year in the slammer.a practice that is common in Thai National Parks. Natives by 1/10of what non-natives pay, even when they are tax payers. I wonder what Thai tourists would say if they were taken advantage of like that when they are abroad. It sure would pour funds into the National Park Service in America or would make the Zugspitzbahn in Garmisch, Germany one of the most profitable cable cars in the known universe. But I digress where we should move on, down the beach walk.
And we have encountered our lowest penalty, yet. You smoke and you pay 2000Thai Baht in fines – Done!
Now in case you still wish to light up and you want to do that by the beach, you may. in these designated smokers cabins, which are clearly designated as such.
Here you may burn’em to your weak heart’s delight, but beware, should you dare to get caught outside the smoke house…..well, then you know that the fines are apparently variable and negotiable….try your luck.
Cheers, live adventurously and stay sharp.