I'm sure most of you will have experienced this before, when going to different countries there are some people who'll want to rip you off, Taxi drivers, market stall traders etc... Or even if they don't they'll charge you more than what locals pay.
I'd just like to know what people's thoughts are on this...?
My thoughts are go to banks and use your debit card. You can often get some of the best rates then.
For me that is one of the most infuriating things about travelling. An incidence of this was in Hue in Vietnam. At the Citadel they had one entrance for the Vietnamese and one for foreigners. The foreigners price was 10 times that which the locals were expected to pay. I understand that they are relatively poor but they should also understand that we have paid a fuck of a lot of money to visit their country in the first place and often have to pay a departure fee equiv to half a months local wages to get back out again.. It sours the experience when you know you are getting shafted all the time. In the end I didn't go in and probably missed out...
If I had very little money and there were people coming from other countries to just visit from the other side of the word then I would charge the raes they do. I think it is fair enough they try to get a little extra and you surely must incorporate it into your budget because many poor people work harder than we do for much less money.
I'm promise I am not some dodgy person, but if I saw some tourist in my local town and I was in the 3rd world or extremely poor, and they were flaunting thier money i'd probably have it off them if they were stupid enough to show it about. I'm not trying to say it is right at all but I can understand it.
Am currently in Goa and certainly the daily challenge of trying to get a good price for whatever you're buying can be trying, though I've had a bit of laugh bantering with the stall owners and whenever I think I've got a good price it turns out that I haven't!!
North India was much more aggressive in this regard and I have to admit that I got a bit pissed off in places like Delhi and Agra, knowing that I was seen by many as a walking wallet with an inexhaustable supply of money. I have simply accepted that this is part and parcel of visiting such countries and try to exercise caution and control over my spending.
I'm not sure where I stand regarding the 2-tier entry fees - can see the reasoning that Kingwindle mentions but when in the Indian national parks, I did start to get a bit cheesed at paying 6 - 7 times more than Indian tourists....
Most places seem to have 2 tier systems - western European countries included. EU membership or local citizenship can make a big difference in museum prices for example..
I quite understand it too in those circumstances. Particularly for cultural institutions that have been paid for by the tax payers, it only makes sense that they can get in cheaper than some tourist that comes along. And in third world countries I can understand how tourists get charged more as well.
Mind you, I find it pretty frustrating also. Particularly when you're fresh in town and have no other option but to catch one of the rip-off taxis that are waiting like vultures. What can you do though? I think you just have to cop it and try to keep a good attitude. The amount of bargains that tourists get in developing countries far outweighs the rip-offs in my opinion. Just think of all those cheap beers!