Provinces of Thailand

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Thailand is a unitary state which consists of seventy-six provinces (Thai: จังหวัด; RTGS: changwat) and one special administrative area representing the capital Bangkok. The provinces are part of the provincial government, whilst Bangkok is part of the local government.

The provinces[edit]


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

Governance[edit]

Administrative divisions
of Thailand
Central
Provincial
Local
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 not necessarily is still the most populous city within the province today. Also, in several provinces the administration was moved into a new building outside the city.

History[edit]

Before 1892[edit]

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[edit]

At the end of the 19th century King Chulalongkorn reformed the central government drastically. In 1892 the ministry, which previously had many overlapping responsibilities, was reorganized with clear areas 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 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.[1]

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[edit]

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 fron Nong Khai effective March 23, 2011.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]