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Provinces of Thailand

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Thailand is a unitary state that is subdivided into 76 provinces (Thai: จังหวัด; rtgschangwat) and one special administrative area representing the capital Bangkok.[1] The provinces are part of the provincial government, while Bangkok is part of the local government.


  • The provinces 1
  • Governance 2
  • History 3
    • Before 1892 3.1
    • Administrative reform of 1892 3.2
    • Since 1932 3.3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

The provinces

A clickable map of Thailand exhibiting its provinces.
Name Capital Population Area (km²) Population Density Largest Metropolitan Area Abbr. ISO FIPS
(special administrative area)
Bangkok 5,701,394 1,568.7 3,634.5 Bangkok Metropolitan Area BKK TH-10 TH40
Amnat Charoen Amnat Charoen 372,137 3,161.2 117.7 Amnat Charoen ACR TH-37 TH77
Ang Thong Ang Thong 284,970 968.4 294.3 Ang Thong ATG TH-15 TH35
Bueng Kan Bueng Kan 385,053 4,305 89.4 Bueng Kan BKN TH-38 ---
Buriram Buriram 1,553,765 10,322.9 150.5 Buriram BRM TH-31 TH28
Chachoengsao Chachoengsao 673,933 5,351.0 125.9 Chachoengsao CCO TH-24 TH44
Chainat Chainat 334,934 2,469.7 135.6 Chainat CNT TH-18 TH32
Chaiyaphum Chaiyaphum 1,127,423 12,778.3 88.2 Chaiyaphum CPM TH-36 TH26
Chanthaburi Chanthaburi 514,616 6,338.0 81.2 Chanthaburi CTI TH-22 TH48
Chiang Mai Chiang Mai 1,640,479 20,107.0 81.6 Chiang Mai CMI TH-50 TH02
Chiang Rai Chiang Rai 1,198,218 11,678.4 102.6 Chiang Rai CRI TH-57 TH03
Chonburi Chonburi 1,316,293 4,363.0 301.7 Pattaya CBI TH-20 TH46
Chumphon Chumphon 489,964 6,009.0 81.5 Chumphon CPN TH-86 TH58
Kalasin Kalasin 982,578 6,946.7 141.4 Kalasin KSN TH-46 TH23
Kamphaeng Phet Kamphaeng Phet 727,093 8,607.5 84.5 Kamphaeng Phet KPT TH-62 TH11
Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi 839,776 19,483.2 43.1 Kanchanaburi KRI TH-71 TH50
Khon Kaen Khon Kaen 1,767,601 10,886.0 162.4 Khon Kaen KKN TH-40 TH22
Krabi Krabi 432,704 4,708.5 91.9 Krabi KBI TH-81 TH63
Lampang Lampang 761,949 12,534.0 60.8 Lampang LPG TH-52 TH06
Lamphun Lamphun 404,560 4,505.9 89.8 Lamphun LPN TH-51 TH05
Loei Province Loei 624,066 11,424.6 54.6 Loei LEI TH-42 TH18
Lopburi Province Lopburi 755,854 6,199.8 121.9 Lopburi LRI TH-16 TH34
Mae Hong Son Mae Hong Son 242,742 12,681.3 19.1 Mae Hong Son MSN TH-58 TH01
Maha Sarakham Maha Sarakham 940,911 5,291.7 177.8 Maha Sarakham MKM TH-44 TH24
Mukdahan Mukdahan 339,575 4,339.8 78.2 Mukdahan MDH TH-49 TH78
Nakhon Nayok Nakhon Nayok 252,734 2,122.0 119.1 Nakhon Nayok NYK TH-26 TH43
Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Pathom 860,246 2,168.3 396.7 Nakhon Pathom NPT TH-73 TH53
Nakhon Phanom Nakhon Phanom 703,392 5,512.7 127.6 Nakhon Phanom NPM TH-48 TH73
Nakhon Ratchasima Nakhon Ratchasima 2,582,089 20,494.0 126.0 Nakhon Ratchasima NMA TH-30 TH27
Nakhon Sawan Nakhon Sawan 1,073,495 9,597.7 111.8 Nakhon Sawan NSN TH-60 TH16
Nakhon Si Thammarat Nakhon Si Thammarat 1,522,561 9,942.5 153.1 Nakhon Si Thammarat NRT TH-80 TH64
Nan Nan 476,363 11,472.1 41.5 Nan NAN TH-55 TH04
Narathiwat Narathiwat 737,162 4,475.4 164.7 Su-ngai Kolok NWT TH-96 TH31
Nong Bua Lamphu Nong Bua Lamphu 502,868 3,859.0 130.3 Nong Bua Lamphu NBP TH-39 TH79
Nong Khai Nong Khai City 912,937* 3,027.0 124.5* Nong Khai City NKI TH-43 TH17
Nonthaburi Nonthaburi 1,101,743 622.3 1,770.4 Bangkok Metropolitan Area NBI TH-12 TH38
Pathum Thani Pathum Thani 985,643 1,525.9 645.9 Bangkok Metropolitan Area PTE TH-13 TH39
Pattani Pattani 655,259 1,940.4 337.7 Pattani PTN TH-94 TH69
Phang Nga Phang Nga 253,112 4,170.0 60.7 Thai Mueang PNA TH-82 TH61
Phatthalung Phatthalung 509,534 3,424.5 148.8 Phatthalung PLG TH-93 TH66
Phayao Phayao 486,304 6,335.1 76.8 Phayao PYO TH-56 TH41
Phetchabun Phetchabun 996,031 12,668.4 78.6 Phetchabun PNB TH-67 TH14
Phetchaburi Phetchaburi 464,033 6,225.1 74.5 Phetchaburi PBI TH-76 TH56
Phichit Phichit 552,690 4,531.0 122.0 Phichit PCT TH-66 TH13
Phitsanulok Phitsanulok 849,692 10,815.8 78.6 Phitsanulok PLK TH-65 TH12
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 782,096 2,556.6 305.9 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya AYA TH-14 TH36
Phrae Phrae 460,756 6,538.6 70.5 Phrae PRE TH-54 TH07
Phuket Phuket 345,067 543.0 635.5 Phuket PKT TH-83 TH62
Prachinburi Prachinburi 466,572 4,762.4 98.0 Prachinburi PRI TH-25 TH74
Prachuap Khiri Khan Prachuap Khiri Khan 509,134 6,367.6 80.0 Hua Hin PKN TH-77 TH57
Ranong Ranong 183,079 3,298.0 55.5 Ranong RNG TH-85 TH59
Ratchaburi Ratchaburi 839,075 5,196.5 161.5 Ratchaburi RBR TH-70 TH52
Rayong Rayong 626,402 3,552.0 176.4 Rayong RYG TH-21 TH47
Roi Et Roi Et 1,309,708 8,299.4 157.8 Roi Et RET TH-45 TH25
Sa Kaeo Sa Kaeo 485,632 7,195.1 75.6 Sa Kaeo SKW TH-27 TH80
Sakon Nakhon Sakon Nakhon 1,122,905 9,605.8 116.9 Sakon Nakhon SNK TH-47 TH20
Samut Prakan Samut Prakan 1,185,180 1,004.1 1,180.3 Bangkok Metropolitan Area SPK TH-11 TH42
Samut Sakhon Samut Sakhon 491,887 872.3 563.9 Samut Sakhon SKN TH-74 TH55
Samut Songkhram Samut Songkhram 194,057 416.7 465.7 Samut Songkhram SKM TH-75 TH54
Saraburi Saraburi 617,384 3,576.5 172.6 Saraburi SRI TH-19 TH37
Satun Satun 297,163 2,479.0 119.9 Satun STN TH-91 TH67
Sing Buri Sing Buri 214,661 822.5 261.0 Sing Buri SBR TH-17 TH33
Sisaket Sisaket 1,452,471 8,840.0 164.3 Sisaket SSK TH-33 TH30
Songkhla Songkhla 1,357,023 7,393.9 183.5 Hat Yai SKA TH-90 TH68
Sukhothai Sukhothai 601,778 6,596.1 91.2 Sukhothai STI TH-64 TH09
Suphan Buri Suphan Buri 845,950 5,358.0 157.9 Suphan Buri SPB TH-72 TH51
Surat Thani Surat Thani 1,000,383 12,891.5 77.6 Surat Thani SNI TH-84 TH60
Surin Surin 1,381,761 8,124.1 170.1 Surin SRN TH-32 TH29
Tak Tak 525,684 16,406.6 32.0 Mae Sot TAK TH-63 TH08
Trang Trang 622,659 4,917.5 126.6 Trang TRG TH-92 TH65
Trat Trat 220,921 2,819.0 78.4 Trat TRT TH-23 TH49
Ubon Ratchathani Ubon Ratchathani 1,813,088 15,744.8 115.2 Ubon Ratchathani UBN TH-34 TH75
Udon Thani Udon Thani 1,544,786 11,730.3 131.7 Udon Thani UDN TH-41 TH76
Uthai Thani Uthai Thani 327,959 6,730.3 48.7 Uthai Thani UTI TH-61 TH15
Uttaradit Uttaradit 462,618 7,838.6 59.0 Uttaradit UTD TH-53 TH10
Yala Yala 487,380 4,521.1 107.8 Yala YLA TH-95 TH70
Yasothon Yasothon 539,257 4,161.7 129.6 Yasothon YST TH-35 TH72
*The population and population density figures for Nong Khai Province include those for Bueng Kan Province, which was split off from Nong Khai in 2011.


Administrative divisions
of Thailand
Special governed cities

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 was moved into a new building outside the city.


Before 1892

Many provinces date back to semi-independent local chiefdoms or kingdoms, which made up the Ayutthaya kingdom. As today, 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 local 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 taxes by himself, thus effectively a kleptocracy. 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 recently by splitting them from other provinces. Fourth class were provinces near the capital. Additionally tributary states like the principalities of Lannathai, the Laotian kingdoms of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Cambodia, or the Malay sultanate Kedah were also part of the country, but with an even higher 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 in the founding of the 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. Especially to the areas near the borders commissionaries were sent to have a stronger control on the provinces or tributary states.

Administrative reform of 1892

At the end of the 19th century King 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 commissionarships in some parts of the country were renamed to superintendent commissioner (khaluang thesaphiban), and their area of responsibility was called 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 (subdistrict) and included in a neighboring province, sometimes for administrative reasons, but sometimes also 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, which even though it was at first a messianic doomsday sect, it also attacked government representative in the North-East. The provincial town Khemarat was even burned by the rebels. After a few months the rebellion fought back.

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.[2]

When Prince Damrong resigned in 1915, the whole country was subdivided into 19 monthon (including the area around Bangkok, which was however 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 the administration and reduce the costs.

Since 1932

The monthon were finally 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, which was however 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 to Sukhothai in 1939 (which is why the railway system goes to Sawankhalok city and not Sukhothai city). Also the province Kalasin was reestablished in 1947, after being dissolved in 1932.

In 1972 the two provinces Phra Nakhon and Thonburi 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), Nongbua Lamphu (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 March 23, 2011.

See also


  1. ^ "Provinces of Thailand". Statoids. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  2. ^ ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง ทรงพระกรุณาโปรดเกล้า ฯ ให้เปลี่ยนคำว่าเมืองเรียกว่าจังหวัด (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai) 33 (0 ก): 51–53. 1916-05-28. 

Further reading


External links

  • Department of Provincial Administration
  • Pronunciation of provinces in Thailand at
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