You probably heard the many stories about triple pricing in the national parks in Thailand and they are mostly true. Many countries not only Thailand charge more money for foreigners than the nationals living there. Also my city let people in for free but charge money for tourists it is totally normally I think.
The problem get worse when people are charge up to 600 THB in places like Kho Samet that really is the worst national park I seen in Thailand. I do not know even who named it a National Park and then placed bar beers in the middle. According to the new regulations National Parks should not serve or sell alcohol anymore and brining alcohol inside is also forbidden – good luck with that in Samet.
The last month I visited over 10 different National Parks in Thailand all up north east of Thailand and i can say I only get “scammed” one time. In one park that was so new that they had no tickets they asked me I could pay as much as I wanted and they did not have change for a 500 THB. I got some changed and gave them 200 THB since they other parks charged 30 THB since we lived in Thailand.
The magic trick to avoid paying the foreigner price is either to have a Student visa or a working permit either one is good. A driver license do not work in most cases and i did not try to show that I was married.
In no way or form did any of the staff or rangers that was working at the park trying to hassle us for money or take the money in the pocket. From what i understand they have so few visitors that they were happy to see us.
The corruption in the parks that are mentioned in this article is probably the south Thailand parks with loads of tourist not the forest park in the north.
In one national park we even got free books and a DVD for our 30 THB and in some cases I actually thought paying 30 THB for entrance and 30 THB for tent was too low.
But sure we visited one park in the North East near Udon and the boss and staff was so drunk they could hardly stand up and all the 30 THB was just put in a box on the table. I cannot imagine anybody would miss them.