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Thailand is a unitary state that is divided into 76 provinces (Thai: จังหวัด, RTGSchangwat, pronounced [t͡ɕāŋ.wàt]) and two special administrative areas, one representing the capital Bangkok and another the city of Pattaya.[1]:15[2][3] The provinces are part of the provincial government, while Bangkok and Pattaya are part of local government.

Provinces of Thailand
Changwat khong prathet thai
Category Subordinate province
Location Kingdom of Thailand
Number 76 Provinces
2 Special Administrative Divisions
Populations 177,089 Ranong – 2,620,517 Nakhon Ratchasima
Areas 417 km2 (161 sq mi) Samut Songkhram – 20,494 km2 (7,913 sq mi) Nakhon Ratchasima
Government Provincal/Special Administrative Divisional government
Subdivisions Amphoes


The provincesEdit

A clickable map of Thailand exhibiting its provinces.
Chiang Rai ProvinceChiang Mai ProvinceMae Hong Son ProvincePhayao ProvinceLampang ProvincePhrae ProvinceLamphun ProvinceNan ProvinceUttaradit ProvinceBueng Kan ProvinceNong Khai ProvinceUdon Thani ProvinceNakhon Phanom ProvinceSakon Nakhon ProvinceKalasin ProvinceMukdahan ProvinceLoei ProvinceKhon Kaen ProvinceNong Bua Lamphu ProvinceTak ProvinceSukhothai ProvincePhitsanulok ProvincePhichit ProvinceUthai Thani ProvinceKamphaeng Phet ProvinceNakhon Sawan ProvincePhetchabun ProvinceChaiyaphum ProvinceMaha Sarakham ProvinceRoi Et ProvinceYasothon ProvinceAmnat Charoen ProvinceUbon Ratchathani ProvinceSisaket ProvinceSurin ProvinceBuriram ProvinceNakhon Ratchasima ProvinceLopburi ProvinceChainat ProvinceSingburi ProvinceKanchanaburi ProvinceSuphan Buri ProvinceAng Thong ProvinceSaraburi ProvinceAyutthaya ProvinceNakhon Nayok ProvincePrachin Buri ProvincePathum Thani ProvinceNakhon Pathom ProvinceRatchaburi ProvinceSa Kaew ProvinceChachoengsao ProvinceChonburi ProvinceRayong ProvinceChanthaburi ProvinceTrat ProvincePhetchaburi ProvincePrachuap Khiri Khan ProvinceChumphon ProvinceRanong ProvinceSurat Thani ProvincePhang Nga ProvincePhuket ProvinceKrabi ProvinceNakhon Si Thammarat ProvinceTrang ProvincePhatthalung ProvinceSatun ProvinceSongkhla ProvincePattani ProvinceYala ProvinceNarathiwat ProvinceSamut Prakan ProvinceBangkokNonthaburi ProvinceSamut Sakhon ProvinceSamut Songkhram Province 
Name Capital Population Area
Largest Metropolitan Area Abbr.
[citation needed]
(special administrative area)
Bangkok 5,692,284 1,565 3,637.0 Bangkok Metropolitan Area BKK TH-10 TH40
  Amnat Charoen Non Nam Thaeng 375,380 3,161 119.0 Amnat Charoen ACR TH-37 TH77
  Ang Thong Ang Thong 283,568 968 293.0 Ang Thong ATG TH-15 TH35
  Bueng Kan Bueng Kan 418,566 4,306 97.0 Bueng Kan BKN TH-38 TH81
  Buriram Buriram 1,579,248 10,322 153.0 Buriram BRM TH-31 TH28
  Chachoengsao Chachoengsao 695,478 5,351 129.9 Chachoengsao CCO TH-24 TH44
  Chai Nat Chai Nat 332,283 2,470 135.0 Chai Nat CNT TH-18 TH32
  Chaiyaphum Chaiyaphum 1,137,049 12,778 89.0 Chaiyaphum CPM TH-36 TH26
  Chanthaburi Chanthaburi 527,350 6,338 83.2 Chanthaburi CTI TH-22 TH48
  Chiang Mai Chiang Mai 1,678,284 20,107 83.5 Chiang Mai CMI TH-50 TH02
  Chiang Rai Chiang Rai 1,207,699 11,678 103.0 Chiang Rai CRI TH-57 TH03
  Chonburi Chonburi 1,421,425 4,363 326.0 Chonburi CBI TH-20 TH46
  Chumphon Chumphon 500,575 6,009 83.3 Chumphon CPN TH-86 TH58
  Kalasin Kalasin 984,907 6,947 142.0 Kalasin KSN TH-46 TH23
  Kamphaeng Phet Kamphaeng Phet 729,522 8,607 85.0 Kamphaeng Phet KPT TH-62 TH11
  Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi 848,198 19,483 44.0 Kanchanaburi KRI TH-71 TH50
  Khon Kaen Khon Kaen 1,790,049 10,886 164.0 Khon Kaen KKN TH-40 TH22
  Krabi Krabi 456,811 4,709 97.0 Krabi KBI TH-81 TH63
  Lampang Khelang Nakhon 753,013 12,534 60.0 Lampang LPG TH-52 TH06
  Lamphun Lamphun 405,468 4,506 90.0 Lamphun LPN TH-51 TH05
  Loei Loei 634,513 11,425 56.0 Loei LEI TH-42 TH18
  Lopburi Lopburi 754,406 6,200 122.0 Lopburi LRI TH-16 TH34
  Mae Hong Son Mae Hong Son 248,178 12,681 20.0 Mae Hong Son MSN TH-58 TH01
  Maha Sarakham Maha Sarakham 960,588 5,292 182.0 Maha Sarakham MKM TH-44 TH24
  Mukdahan Mukdahan 346,016 4,340 80.0 Mukdahan MDH TH-49 TH78
  Nakhon Nayok Nakhon Nayok 257,300 2,122 121.3 Nakhon Nayok NYK TH-26 TH43
  Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Pathom 891,071 2,168 411.0 Bangkok Metropolitan Area NPT TH-73 TH53
  Nakhon Phanom Nakhon Phanom 713,351 5,513 129.0 Nakhon Phanom NPM TH-48 TH73
  Nakhon Ratchasima Nakhon Ratchasima 2,620,517 20,494 128.0 Nakhon Ratchasima NMA TH-30 TH27
  Nakhon Sawan Nakhon Sawan 1,072,756 9,598 112.0 Nakhon Sawan NSN TH-60 TH16
  Nakhon Si Thammarat Nakhon Si Thammarat 1,544,028 9,943 155.0 Nakhon Si Thammarat NRT TH-80 TH64
  Nan Nan 478,264 11,472 42.0 Nan NAN TH-55 TH04
  Narathiwat Narathiwat 775,799 4,475 173.0 Narathiwat NWT TH-96 TH31
  Nong Bua Lam Phu Nong Bua Lam Phu 508,864 3,859 132.0 Nong Bua Lam Phu NBP TH-39 TH79
  Nong Khai Nong Khai 517,260 3,027 171.0 Nong Khai NKI TH-43 TH17
  Nonthaburi Nonthaburi 1,173,870 622 1,887.0 Bangkok Metropolitan Area NBI TH-12 TH38
  Pathum Thani Pathum Thani 1,075,058 1,526 704.0 Bangkok Metropolitan Area PTE TH-13 TH39
  Pattani Pattani 686,186 1,940 354.0 Pattani PTN TH-94 TH69
  Phang Nga Phang Nga 261,370 4,171 63.0 Thai Mueang PNA TH-82 TH61
  Phatthalung Phatthalung 520,419 3,424 152.0 Phatthalung PLG TH-93 TH66
  Phayao Phayao 484,454 6,335 76.0 Phayao PYO TH-56 TH41
  Phetchabun Phetchabun 995,807 12,668 79.0 Phetchabun PNB TH-67 TH14
  Phetchaburi Phetchaburi 474,192 6,225 76.0 Phetchaburi PBI TH-76 TH56
  Phichit Phichit 547,543 4,531 120.8 Phichit PCT TH-66 TH13
  Phitsanulok Phitsanulok 858,988 10,816 79.0 Phitsanulok PLK TH-65 TH12
  Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 803,599 2,557 314.0 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya AYA TH-14 TH36
  Phrae Phrae 454,083 6,539 69.0 Phrae PRE TH-54 TH07
  Phuket Phuket 378,364 543 697.0 Phuket PKT TH-83 TH62
  Prachinburi Prachinburi 479,314 4,762 101.0 Kabin Buri PRI TH-25 TH74
  Prachuap Khiri Khan Prachuap Khiri Khan 525,107 6,368 82.0 Hua Hin PKN TH-77 TH57
  Ranong Ranong 177,089 3,298 54.0 Ranong RNG TH-85 TH59
  Ratchaburi Ratchaburi 853,217 5,196 164.0 Ratchaburi RBR TH-70 TH52
  Rayong Rayong 674,393 3,552 190.0 Rayong RYG TH-21 TH47
  Roi Et Roi Et 1,308,318 8,299 158.0 Roi Et RET TH-45 TH25
  Sa Kaeo Sa Kaeo 552,187 7,195 77.0 Sa Kaeo SKW TH-27 TH80
  Sakon Nakhon Sakon Nakhon 1,138,609 9,606 119.0 Sakon Nakhon SNK TH-47 TH20
  Samut Prakan Samut Prakan 1,261,530 1,004 1,257.0 Bangkok Metropolitan Area SPK TH-11 TH42
  Samut Sakhon Samut Sakhon 531,887 872 610.0 Bangkok Metropolitan Area SKN TH-74 TH55
  Samut Songkhram Samut Songkhram 194,189 417 466.0 Samut Songkhram SKM TH-75 TH54
  Saraburi Saraburi 633,460 3,576 177.0 Saraburi SRI TH-19 TH37
  Satun Satun 312,673 2,479 126.0 Satun STN TH-91 TH67
  Sing Buri Sing Buri 212,158 822 258.0 Sing Buri SBR TH-17 TH33
  Sisaket Sisaket 1,465,213 8,840 166.0 Sisaket SSK TH-33 TH30
  Songkhla Songkhla 1,401,303 7,394 190.0 Hat Yai SKA TH-90 TH68
  Sukhothai Sukhothai 602,460 6,596 91.0 Sukhothai STI TH-64 TH09
  Suphan Buri Suphan Buri 849,053 5,358 158.0 Suphan Buri SPB TH-72 TH51
  Surat Thani Surat Thani 1,040,230 12,891 81.0 Surat Thani SNI TH-84 TH60
  Surin Surin 1,391,636 8,124 171.0 Surin SRN TH-32 TH29
  Tak Tak 539,553 16,407 33.0 Mae Sot TAK TH-63 TH08
  Trang Trang 638,746 4,918 129.8 Trang TRG TH-92 TH65
  Trat Trat 224,730 2,819 80.0 Trat TRT TH-23 TH49
  Ubon Ratchathani Ubon Ratchathani 1,844,669 15,745 117.0 Ubon Ratchathani UBN TH-34 TH75
  Udon Thani Udon Thani 1,570,300 11,730 134.0 Udon Thani UDN TH-41 TH76
  Uthai Thani Uthai Thani 330,179 6,730 49.0 Uthai Thani UTI TH-61 TH15
  Uttaradit Uttaradit 460,400 7,839 59.0 Uttaradit UTD TH-53 TH10
  Yala Yala 511,911 4,521 113.0 Yala YLA TH-95 TH70
  Yasothon Yasothon 540,211 4,162 130.0 Yasothon YST TH-35 TH72

Total land area of Thailand is 513,114 km².[4] Total population of Thailand is 65,118,726.[5]


Thailand's national government organisation is divided into three types: central government (ministries, bureaus and departments), provincial government (provinces and districts) and local government (Bangkok, Phatthaya City, provincial administrative organisations, etc.).

A province, as part of the provincial government, is administered by a governor (ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด) who is appointed by the Minister of Interior. Bangkok, as part of the local government, is administered by a corporation called Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The corporation is led by the Governor of Bangkok (ผู้ว่าราชการกรุงเทพมหานคร) who is directly elected by the citizens of Bangkok.

The provinces are named by their original main city, which is not necessarily still the most populous city within the province today. Also, in several provinces the administration has been moved into a new building outside the city.


Before 1892Edit

Many provinces date back to semi-independent local chiefdoms or kingdoms, which made up the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The provinces were created around a capital city (mueang), and included surrounding villages or satellite towns. The provinces were administered either by a governor, who was appointed by the king or by a local ruling family, who were descendants of the old kings and princes of that area and had been given this privilege by the central king. De facto the king did not have much choice but to choose someone from the local nobility or an economically strong man, as against these local power groups the administration would have become impossible. The governor was not paid by the king, but instead financed himself and his administration by imposing local taxes himself. Every province was required to send an annual tribute to Bangkok.

The provinces were divided into four different classes. The first-class were the border provinces. The second-class were those that once had their own princely house. Third-class were provinces that were created by splitting them from other provinces. Fourth-class were provinces near the capital. Additionally tributary states like the principalities of Lan Na, the Laotian kingdoms of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Cambodia, or the Malay sultanate Kedah were also part of the country, but with more autonomy than the provinces. In this Mandala system the semi-independent countries sometimes were tributary to more than one country.

New provinces were created when the population of an area outgrew the administration, but also for political reasons. If a governor became too dominant in a region former satellite cities were elevated to provincial status, as was the case with Maha Sarakham Province.

Reforms of the provincial administration started in the 1870s under increased pressure from the colonial states of the United Kingdom and France. Agents were sent, especially to border areas, to impose more control on the provinces or tributary states.

Administrative reform of 1892Edit

At the end of the 19th century King Chulalongkorn reformed the central government. In 1892 the ministry, which previously had many overlapping responsibilities, was reorganized with clear missions as in Western administrations. Prince Damrong Rajanubhab became minister of the Ministry of the North (Mahatthai), originally responsible for the northern administration. When the Ministry of the South (Kalahom) was dissolved in 1894, Prince Damrong became Minister of the Interior, responsible for the provincial administration of the whole country.

Starting in 1893 the already existing commissionaireships in some parts of the country were renamed "superintendent commissioner" (khaluang thesaphiban), and their area of responsibility was called a monthon. In strategically important areas the monthon were created first, while in other areas the provinces kept their independence a bit longer. Several smaller provinces were reduced in status to a amphoe (district) or even lower to a tambon (sub-district) and included in a neighboring province, sometimes for administrative reasons, but sometimes to remove an uncooperative governor.

In some regions rebellions broke out against the new administrative system, usually induced by the local nobility fearing their loss of power. The most notable was the Holy Man Rebellion in 1902 in Isan. It was initially a messianic doomsday sect, but it also attacked government representatives in the northeast. The provincial town Khemarat was even burned by the rebels. After a few months the rebellion was beaten back.[6]

After 1916, the word changwat became common to use for the provinces, partly to distinguish them from the provincial capital city (mueang or amphoe mueang), but also to stress the new administrative structure of the provinces.[7]

When Prince Damrong resigned in 1915, the whole country was divided into 19 monthon (including the area around Bangkok, which was under the responsibility of another ministry until 1922), with 72 provinces.

In December 1915 King Vajiravudh announced the creation of regions (phak), each administered by a viceroy (upparat), to cover several monthon. Until 1922 four regions were established, however in 1925 they were dissolved again. At the same time several monthon were merged, in an attempt to streamline administration and reduce costs.

Since 1932Edit

The monthons were dissolved when Thailand transformed from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy in 1932, making the provinces the top level administrative division again. Several smaller provinces were also abolished at that time. During World War II, several provinces around Bangkok were merged. These changes were undone after the war. Also the occupied area from French Indochina was organized into four provinces: Phra Tabong, Phibunsongkhram, Nakhon Champasak and Lan Chang. The current province of Sukhothai was at first known as Sawankhalok. It was renamed Sukhothai in 1939 (which is why the railway system goes to Sawankhalok city and not Sukhothai city). The province, Kalasin, was reestablished in 1947 after having been dissolved in 1932.

In 1972 Phra Nakhon and Thonburi Provinces were merged to form the special administrative area of Bangkok, which combines the tasks of the provinces with that of a municipality, including having an elected governor.

Starting in the second half of the 20th century some provinces were newly created by splitting them off from bigger provinces. In 1975, Yasothon Province was split off from Ubon Ratchathani. In 1977, Phayao province was created from districts formerly part of Chiang Rai. In 1982, Mukdahan was split off from Nakhon Phanom. In 1993 three provinces were created: Sa Kaeo (split from Prachinburi), Nong Bua Lamphu Province (split from Udon Thani), and Amnat Charoen (split from Ubon Ratchathani). The newest province is Bueng Kan, which was split off from Nong Khai effective 23 March 2011.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Thailand Disaster Management Reference Handbook (PDF). Hawaii: Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  2. ^ "ประกาศสำนักทะเบียนกลาง เรื่อง จำนวนราษฎรทั่วราชอาณาจักร ตามหลักฐานการทะเบียนราษฎร ณ วันที่ 31 ธันวาคม 2558" [Announcement of the Central Registry. The number of people throughout the Kingdom. The evidence of registration as of 31 December 2015]. Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA). Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  3. ^ "The World Factbook: Thailand". U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 13 June 2018. 
  4. ^ Thailand Human Development Report 2014 by UNDP Table 0, Basic Data
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2015-12-18. 
  6. ^ Tej Bunnag (1969). The Provincial Administration of Siam from 1892 to 1915. p. 273ff. 
  7. ^ ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง ทรงพระกรุณาโปรดเกล้า ฯ ให้เปลี่ยนคำว่าเมืองเรียกว่าจังหวัด (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 33 (0 ก): 51–53. 1916-05-28. 

Further readingEdit

  • Tej Bunnag (1977). The Provincial Administration of Siam, 1892–1915: the Ministry of the Interior under Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-580343-4. 

External linksEdit