Loei (Thai: เลย, pronounced [lɤ̄ːj]), is one of the more sparsely populated provinces (changwat) of Thailand. It lies in the Isan region of upper northeastern Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from east clockwise) Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Phetchabun, and Phitsanulok. In the north it borders Xaignabouli and Vientiane province of Laos.

Flag of Loei
Official seal of Loei
เมืองแห่งทะเลภูเขา สุดหนาวในสยาม ดอกไม้งามสามฤดู ถิ่นที่อยู่อริยสงฆ์ มั่นคงความสะอาด
("City of the sea of mountains. Coldest place in Siam. Beautiful flowers in three seasons. Home of noble monks. Secure in cleanliness.")
Map of Thailand highlighting Loei province
Map of Thailand highlighting Loei province
Coordinates: 17°29′12″N 101°43′10″E / 17.48667°N 101.71944°E / 17.48667; 101.71944
 • GovernorChaitawat Niemsiri
 • Total10,500 km2 (4,100 sq mi)
 • RankRanked 16th
 • Total642,950
 • RankRanked 42nd
 • Density61/km2 (160/sq mi)
  • RankRanked 68th
Human Achievement Index
 • HAI (2022)0.6407 "average"
Ranked 39th
 • Totalbaht 53 billion
(US$1.8 billion) (2019)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code
Calling code042
ISO 3166 codeTH-42
Vehicle registrationเลย

As of 2020, the provincial governor is Chaiwat Chuenkosum.[5] The province was allocated 225.6 million baht in the FY2019 Thailand budget.[6]

History edit

Loei was founded by a Thai tribe from the Kingdom of Yonok Chiang Saen. Khun Pha Muang founded the village of Dan-kwa, and Bang Klang Hao founded Dan Sai. Drought and disease later led to the villagers move to the site of present-day Loei.[7]

In 1907, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) created Loei province. The Loei Cultural Centre (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมจังหวัดเลย) displays Loei's history, religions, and traditions.[8] The province is home to many Lao people who fled the Communist take-over of the Kingdom of Laos. The area of the province along the Lao border is used by the Laotians to buy and sell goods with the locals on the Thai side.[9]

Geography edit

Phra That Si Song Rak, Dan Sai district

The province is mountainous. The seat of provincial government, Loei, is in a fertile basin surrounded by mountains whose summits are covered by fog and abundant varied flora. The best known mountains in the province are Phu Kradueng, Phu Luang, and Phu Ruea. The Loei River, which flows through the province, is a tributary of the Mekong, which forms part of the northern boundary of the province with neighboring Laos. Phu Thap Buek, the highest mountain of the Phetchabun Range, is in the province.[10] The mountain Phu Kradueng is in Phu Kradueng National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติภูกระดึง).[11] The western part of the province reaches the southern end of the Luang Prabang Range of the Thai highlands.[12] The total forested area is 3,382 km2 (1,306 sq mi) or 32.2 percent of the province.[1]

National parks edit

There are four national parks, along with two other national parks, make up region 8 (Khon Kaen), and Na Yung–Nam Som in region 10 (Udon Thani) and Phu Hin Rong Kla region 11 (Phitsanulok) of Thailand's protected areas.

Wildlife sanctuaries edit

There are three wildlife sanctuaries, two of which are in region 8 (Khon Kaen), and Phu Khat in region 11 (Phitsanulok) of Thailand's protected areas.

Demographics edit

Loei province is home to several Tai peoples. The indigenous people are the Tai Lue, while the Phuan, Tai Dam, Thai, and Chinese people make up the rest of the population. The Tai Phuan people came to the province after migrating from Luang Prabang in Laos.[7]

Symbols edit

The seal of the province shows the stupa at Phra That Si Song Rak, which was built in 1560 by King Maha Chakrapat of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and King Saysettha of Lan Xang as a symbol of friendship between the two kingdoms.[15] The provincial tree is the Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya). Altigena lippa is a provincial aquatic animal.

The provincial slogan is "city of the sea of mountains, coldest place in Siam, with beautiful flowers of three seasons."[16]

Local festivals edit

Loei is known as "land of three ghosts". Apart from Phi Ta Khon, the tradition of wearing ghost masks is well known around the world in Dan Sai district. Loei also has two traditions related to the wearing of ghost masks, namely Phi Khon Nam,[17] ancient tradition of Ban Na Sao, Chiang Khan district, and Phi Bung Tao, a new tradition of Phu Ruea district. Phi Bung Tao is ghost or demon mask made from calabush (locally known as Bung Tao) and hung on top a flage or Thung as an offering to Phra Phuttha Nawa Banphot, the Buddha image on the mountain top of Phu Ruea National Park on 15 April during the Songkran festival.[17]

In terms of tourism they are promoted as "Mask Festival".[17]

Economy edit

Agriculture drives Loei's economy. Macadamia nuts, passion fruit, and Arabica coffee are grown in the highlands; bananas, sesame, and rubber on the plains. Loei is an ecotourism destination due to its natural environment and amalgam of northern and northeastern cultures.[18]

Wang Saphung District is the site of a large open pit gold mine that employs many locals. The locality has been the site of a long-standing dispute as well as physical conflict between the villagers of Ban Na Nong Bong and its environs and Tungkum Limited, a subsidiary of Tongkah Harbour PCL. Tungkum's gold mining operation has been accused in the courts of environmental destruction.[19]

Administrative divisions edit

Provincial government edit

The province is divided into 14 districts (amphoe). The districts are further divided into 89 subdistricts (tambons) and 839 villages (mubans).

  1. Mueang Loei
  2. Na Duang
  3. Chiang Khan
  4. Pak Chom
  5. Dan Sai
  6. Na Haeo
  7. Phu Ruea
  1. Tha Li
  2. Wang Saphung
  3. Phu Kradueng
  4. Phu Luang
  5. Pha Khao
  6. Erawan
  7. Nong Hin

Local government edit

As of 26 November 2019 there are:[20] one Loei Provincial Administration Organisation (ongkan borihan suan changwat) and 29 municipal (thesaban) areas in the province. Loei with Wang Saphung have town (thesaban mueang) status. There are a further 27 subdistrict municipalities (thesaban tambon). The non-municipal areas are administered by 71 Subdistrict Administrative Organisations, SAO (ongkan borihan suan tambon).[2]

Transport edit

Route 201 leads from Chiang Khan in the north on the border with Laos, through Loei, to Non Sa-at near Chum Phae. Route 203 leads west to the vicinity of Phu Ruea, and then turns south to Lom Sak.

Loei is served by Loei Airport.[21]

Human achievement index 2022 edit

Health Education Employment Income
72 54 30 5
Housing Family Transport Participation
26 32 55 37
Loei province, with a 2022 HAI value of 0.6407, is "average", occupies place 39 in the ranking.

Since 2003, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand has tracked progress on human development at the provincial level using the Human achievement index (HAI), a composite index measuring eight key areas of human development. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has taken over this task since 2017.[3]

Rank Classification
  1 - 13 "high"
14 - 29 "somewhat high"
30 - 45 "average"
46 - 61 "somewhat low"
62 - 77 "low"

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "ตารางที่ 2 พี้นที่ป่าไม้ แยกรายจังหวัด พ.ศ.2562" [Table 2 Forest area Separate province year 2019]. Royal Forest Department (in Thai). 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021, information, Forest statistics Year 2019, Thailand boundary from Department of Provincial Administration in 2013{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  2. ^ a b รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ส.2562 [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2019]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior. stat.bora.dopa.go.th (in Thai). 31 December 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "ข้อมูลสถิติดัชนีความก้าวหน้าของคน ปี 2565 (PDF)" [Human Achievement Index Databook year 2022 (PDF)]. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) (in Thai). Retrieved 12 March 2024, page 68{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  4. ^ "Gross Regional and Provincial Product, 2019 Edition". <>. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). July 2019. ISSN 1686-0799. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Loei governor rises as 'savior' in Covid-19 struggle". Thai PBS World. 2 May 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  6. ^ Thailand's Budget in Brief Fiscal Year 2019. Bureau of the Budget. 20 December 2018. p. 95. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b "เกี่ยวกับจังหวัด | สำนักงานธนารักษ์พื้นที่เลย". ระบบจัดการเว็บไซต์ย่อยภาครัฐ (in Thai). Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Loei Cultural Center". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  9. ^ Patchsuti, Warapol. ""จังหวัดเลย" เริ่มแล้วสงกรานต์ไทย-ลาว อ.นาแห้ว". เดลินิวส์ (in Thai). Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Ban Thap Boek". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Phu Kradueng National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP). Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  12. ^ ดร.กระมล ทองธรรมชาติ และคณะ, สังคมศึกษา ศาสนาและวัฒนธรรม ม.1, สำนักพิมพ์ อักษรเจริญทัศน์ อจท. จำกัด, 2548, หน้า 24-25
  13. ^ a b c d "ตาราง 5 พื้นที่เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า พ.ศ. 2562" [Table 5 Wildlife Sanctuary Areas in 2019] (PDF). Department of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Plant Conservation (in Thai). 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d e "ข้อมูลพื้นที่อุทยานแห่งชาติ ที่ประกาศในราชกิจจานุบกษา 133 แห่ง" [National Park Area Information published in the 133 Government Gazettes]. Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (in Thai). December 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Loei". THAILEX Travel Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  16. ^ "About Loei". Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "จัดยิ่งใหญ่! วัฒนธรรม 3 ผี "Mask Festival 2023" เทศกาลสีสันเมืองเลย และการแสดงหน้ากากนานาชาติ". ASTV Manager (in Thai). 6 March 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2024.
  18. ^ "Loei: General Info". Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  19. ^ Wannasiri, Sutharee; Abbott, Kingsley (5 June 2016). "Struggle against mining violations leaves activists exposed". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Number of local government organizations by province". dla.go.th. Department of Local Administration (DLA). 26 November 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. 54 Loei: 1 PAO, 2 Town mun., 27 Subdistrict mun., 71 SAO.
  21. ^ "Loei Airport". OurAirports. Retrieved 3 February 2013.

External links edit