Tambon is a local government unit in Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

. Below district
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

An amphoe is the second level administrative subdivision of Thailand. Usually translated as district, amphoe make up the provinces, and are analogous to a county seat...

) and province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 (changwat), they form the third administrative subdivision level. As of the 2009 there are 7255 tambon, not including the 169 khwaeng
Khwaeng is an administrative subdivision used in the 50 districts of Bangkok. As of 2009 there are 169 khwaeng in all. A khwaeng is roughly equivalent to a tambon in other provinces of Thailand. With the creation of the special administrative area of Bangkok in 1972 the tambon within the area of...

 of Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, which are set at the same administrative level, thus every district
An amphoe is the second level administrative subdivision of Thailand. Usually translated as district, amphoe make up the provinces, and are analogous to a county seat...

 contains 8-10 tambon. Tambon is usually translated as "township
The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

" or "subdistrict" in English, the latter is also the recommended translation,
although it is used also often used as the translation for king amphoe. Tambon are further subdivided into 69,307 villages (muban
Muban is the lowest administrative subdivision of Thailand. Usually translated as village, they are the subdivision of tambon. As of 2008, there are 74944 administrative villages in Thailand. As of the 1990 census, the average village consisted of 144 households or 746 persons.A muban does not...

), about 10 per tambon. Tambon within cities or towns have no subdivision into villages, but into communities (chumchon).


The tambon as a subdivision has a long history. It was the second-level subdivision of the area administered by a provincial town in the 19th century. The governor of the province was supposed to appoint a commune elder (kamnan
A kamnan is a Thai governing official at the tambon level. It is usually translated as "subdistrict headman".The position of a kamnan was introduced with the thesaphiban administrative reforms at the end of the 19th century, first enacted in 1892. On of the village elders of the muban...

or phan). Phan also means 1000, which refers to the fact that a tambon was supposed to have about 1000 abled-bodied men. (Phan can also be used as a military title for a tambon governor.)

In the administrative reforms started in 1892 under Prince Damrong Rajanubhab
Damrong Rajanubhab
Ditsawarakuman Damrong Rajanubhab was the founder of the modern Thai education system as well as the modern provincial administration...

, the first Thai minister of Interior, the three levels of subdivision of provinces were continued, i.e. starting from district
An amphoe is the second level administrative subdivision of Thailand. Usually translated as district, amphoe make up the provinces, and are analogous to a county seat...

 to tambon to the lowest level called muban.

Subdistrict Administration Organization (TAO)

With the Tambon Council and Tambon Administrative Authority Act BE 2537 (1994)
and later by the constitution of 1997
1997 Constitution of Thailand
For legal and historical context, see the Constitutions of Thailand articlethumb|275px|Bangkok's [[Democracy Monument, Bangkok|Democracy Monument]]: a representation of the 1932 Constitution sits on top of two golden offering bowls above a turret....

 the tambons were decentralized into local government units with an elected Tambon Council. Depending on the size and tax income a tambon may either be administrated by Subdistrict (Tambon) Administrative Organization (SAO or TAO) or a Tambon Council (TC). However, since 2001 all of the Tambon Councils were upgraded to Tambon Administrative Organizations. The TAO council consist of two representatives from each administrative village in the subdistrict, and one directly elected president. The subdistrict area which belongs to a municipality (thesaban
Thesaban are the municipalities in Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities - city, town and subdistrict municipality. Both Bangkok and Pattaya are special municipal entities outside the thesaban system....

) is administrated by the municipal council. In case only a part is within a municipality, the remaining part is administrated by a TAO. Adjoining subdistricts of a single district can also have a joint TAO.

One Tambon One Product

In 1999, Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin Shinawatra is a Thai businessman and politician, who was Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006, when he was overthrown in a military coup....

started a project in which every tambon should select a typical local product. The project then does the promotion for the product, as well as assists in modernizing the production. Stores selling the OTOP products are located in each provincial capital.

External links

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