Thailand Addresss Formats
Thai Postcodes are 5 digit numbers, each of which covers a wide area comprising 1 or more districts
The first 2 digits identify the Province of the address
Provinces จังหวัด (changwat)
Thailand has 76 provinces, plus the Sppecial administrative area of Bangkok
Each Province contains multiple districts, with 878 districts currently represented in Thailand
Sub Districts (Tambon)
Tambons are located in each Amphoe representing a smaller geographic zone.
Mubans are the smallest zones within the Thai addressing structure
Understanding Thai Addresses
Since the late 19th century Thailand has been using a very specific method of putting addresses on properties. This system is similar to other countries, but has a few specific differences.
The pattern used is as follows:
Plot / House number, Village,
Postal Code District Province,
Let’s begin with the plot number assigned to each property within a village (Moo Baan).
This is the first set of usually 2 or 3 numbers and signifies the actual building plot within the development. So if a village was numbered plot 66, then all addresses would begin with 66. For example 66/223 or 66/225 etc.
Moving onto the actual number of the property within the development or village. This is the second set of numbers. In our example it would be 66/223, or 66/225.
It’s worth knowing that when an architect designs the construction of a village, he/she will typically pre-number each of the plots and individual house numbers for the developer. However, the house numbers almost always change due to the order in which the properties are sold to customers. So, unlike in most countries in the world where the houses will be 1, 3, 5, 7 etc or 2, 4, 6, 8 etc, it is quite common to see two properties next to each other with completely different property numbers.
Once we have the plot and house number established, we can then add the name of the village to the address details. For example, 66/223 Tippawan 3 (signifying the 3rd Tippawan village to be built). Also be aware that if a number of properties were built, but not put within a village development, one would typically just see the plot/house number followed by the road or street name, for example 66/223 Soi 74 (Soi in Thai means street).
It’s also important to know that if a house was built “off” of one of the main roads, the address could be written as 66/223 Sukhumvit Soi 10 (meaning off Sukhumvit Road, on Street 10).
In the west we use “state or county” to represent a large area, but in Thailand these are called “Provinces” and within each province we have smaller areas called “Amphur” and these are divided into even smaller sub-district areas called “Tambons”.
So a typical address could read:
66/223 Tippawan 3,
Sukhumvit Road, Soi 10,
This signifies that the property on Sukhumvit Soi 10 is within the Tambon of Banglamung, in the Amphur of Nongprue and within the province of Chonburi.
The final detail of the address is the post code or in Thailand called “zip code”. This typically 5 digit code can be broken down into 3 distinct details. The first two numbers signify the province, the next digit is the location of the district, then the final two digits are the location of the sub district.
In the 21st century it is unusual to have properties identified by use of the Thai numerical system, however properties built a long time ago could still have Thai numerals on the gate posts.
The postal system in Thailand is very advanced and well organised, therefore, it recognises mail which is labelled in both English and Thai. However, it is important to enter the full address details when posting items either from overseas or within Thailand.
The Thai postal system was originally via the nationally run Thai Postal Service and to this day they are still the largest processor of mail within the country, although over recent years there have sprung up a number of independently owned post companies (Flash, Lex, DHL, Kerrys) amongst others. These companies are competing for business across Thailand for both letters and larger packages, although prices tend to be fairly similar among the leaders in the field.
There are several types of postal methods including Standard Mail, EMS (usually signed for and within different levels of arrival speed) and Registered. It is important to specify what level of postage you want at the time of posting, dependent on the urgency and value of the package being posted.
For anyone posting to Thailand from abroad it is important to ensure the address is clearly written or printed and it may be wise to register from despatch to be able to track the package online. Within Thailand when posting items proof of identification is now required. This can be either a Thai I.D. Card, a Passport, a Driving Licence (Thai or Foreign) and its usual to add a telephone number to the label just in case the package is misplaced or there is some issue with postage.
Overall the Thai Postal System is very effective, reliable and trustworthy and due to its inexpensive pricing is the ideal way to send items across the country.