Thailand adopted the metric system on 17 December 1923. However, old Thai units are still in common use, especially for measurements of land.
Before metrication, the traditional system of measurement used in Thailand employed anthropic units. Some of these units are still in use, albeit standardised to SI/metric measurements. When the Royal Thai Survey Department began cadastral survey in 1896, Director R. W. Giblin, F.R.G.S., noted, "It so happens that 40 metres or 4,000 centimetres are equal to one sen," so all cadastral plans are plotted, drawn, and printed to a scale of 1:4,000. The square wa, ngan and rai are still used in measurements of land area.
The baht is still used as a unit of measurement in gold trading. However, one baht of 96.5% gold bullion is defined as 15.16 grams rather than the generic standard of 15 grams. The baht has also become the name of the currency of Thailand, which was originally fixed to the corresponding mass of silver.
|Unit||Thai spelling||Pronunciation (IPA)||Meaning equivalent||Relative equivalent||Metric equivalent|
|Krabiat||กระเบียด||[krā.bìat]||Quarter of a finger||0.5208 cm|
Cf. Digit (unit)
|4 krabiat||2.083 cm |
|Khuep||คืบ||[kʰɯ̂ːp]||Span||12 nio||25 cm|
|Sok||ศอก||[sɔ̀ːk]||Cubit||2 khuep||50 cm|
|4 sok||2 m|
|Sen||เส้น||[sên]||Cf. Rope (unit)
line of rope
|20 wa||40 m|
|Yot||โยชน์||[jôːt]||Yojana||400 sen||16 km|
|Tarang wa||ตารางวา||[tāː.rāːŋ wāː]||Square wa||4 m2|
|Ngan||งาน||[ŋāːn]||100 tarang wa||400 m2|
|Rai||ไร่||[râj]||4 ngan||1,600 m2 (16 a)|
|Yip mue||หยิบมือ||[jìp mɯ̄ː]||Pinch||7.8125 mL|
|Kam mue||กำมือ||[kām mɯ̄ː]||Grain held in an enclosed hand||4 yip mue||31.25 mL|
|Fai mue||ฟายมือ||[fāːj mɯ̄ː]||Grain held in the palm||4 kam mue||125 mL|
|Thanan||ทะนาน||[tʰā.nāːn]||Coconut shell used for measuring||8 fai mue||1 L|
|Thang||ถัง||[tʰǎŋ]||Bucket||20 thanan||20 L|
|Sat||สัด||[sàt]||Measuring basket||25 thanan||25 L|
|Kwian||เกวียน||[kwīan]||Cartload||100 thang||2 m3|
|บาท||[bàːt]||4 salueng||15 g|
|Tamlueng||ตำลึง||[tām.lɯ̄ŋ]||Tael||4 baht||60 g|
|Chang||ชั่ง||[t͡ɕʰâŋ]||Catty||20 tamlueng||1,200 g|
|Hap||หาบ||[hàːp]||Picul||50 chang||60 kg|
All cadastral plans are plotted, drawn, and printed to a scale of 1 to 4,000....
...said fathom being computed to contain 78 English or American inches, corresponding to 96 Siamese inches....