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Is it just me or is the price level absolutely crazy in Bangkok? The prices are more than double of Denmark. And there people make alot more money. Seems like everything is about milking as much as possible. Not so much about training.. Sad.
It depends a bit on what you’re comparing.
If you take the Thai Japanese Olympic Center, then the price is pretty much unbeatable at THB 40 a year. On the other hand, if you go to one of the nice gyms (e.g. Virgin in EmQuartier), you get a brand new place in a super central location, with very up to date facilities and pay accordingly.
I suspect that import duties and shipping for fitness equipment (from Europe/US), rent (a lot of the places are in prime real estate locations), distribution (many gyms use dedicated, commission-based sales staff) and fanciness of facilities drive up prices.
An alternative are the local gyms where it’s just about training. Prices start from as little as THB 100 / day (or THB 800 per month) and are a good deal if you’re just looking to pump some iron with reasonably decent equipment.
Im trying to compare as directly as possible. A very nice big high quality gym in Denmark will cost approx 750thb per month, and in thailand the only place you come close to that level is chiang mai. But not even close to similar quality.
Overall Thailand is very expensive if you want quality. They charge western world prices for lower asian quality.
This goes for everything from food, fitness, bjj, whatever..
Maybe its the culture.. Fill your pockets asap, kind of style/culture ..
One thing I noticed is that the nice gyms here rely much more on licensed classes (which they run throughout the day in multiple rooms). Might also add to the cost.
Customer behavior might be different. Take Starbucks for example. In the US, people go into a Starbucks, buy a drink, then leave. In Thailand, people go to Starbucks and usually stay there for an extended period of time. This means rental costs are much higher because you need to provide much more seating for the same number of customers. A similar effect might be at work for gyms – it may very well be possible that in Denmark lots of people buy a gym membership but stop going after 2 months while in Thailand they are more likely to stick with it (driving up the cost per subscription).
While I agree that Thailand isn’t necessarily cheaper than Europe for a great many things (including fitness options), I doubt it’s for cultural reasons. The reality is that there are a few factors that drive up prices a lot (customs surcharges, limited retail space, oligopolistic markets, …). If there were a cultural reason (e.g. ‘business men in Bangkok are greedy’), then you’d see that disappear as soon as other companies moved into the market and started competing on price.