The province names in Thailand are all pronounced the same way. Chiang Mai (chiang-mai) and Chiang Rai (chiang-mai) are the most complicated. It’s only one letter difference between M and R, and they’re both pronounced the same when Mai and Rai are accented.
However, they write a different letter and have a different accent tone level in Thai. They aren’t going to be confused. When they use it, I’m concerned about the foreigners. They would arrive at the wrong location and be 3 hours apart.
The letters M and R cause confusion, leading people to believe they were from the same province. But there are differences that may seem similar. (The differences are in similarities.)
A little bit about them
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have a provincial area connecting them. Chiang Rai is Thailand’s northernmost province, located in the north-east of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s largest city in the north. Being here, the country’s major hub and the center of civilization.
Chiang Rai was the first capital and oldest ancient city in the Lanna Kingdom.
Both are well-known provinces and tourist destinations. They have tourist attractions that are iconic and landmarks in various characters.
How to avoid missing out:
If you’re making a note in your planner. It’s preferable to use the airport code. Chiang Mai is CNX and Chiang Rai is CRI.
Rayong and Ranong
Another one is Rayong (ra-yong) and Ranong (ra-nong). This one has the same pronunciation and accent tone level as the previous one. Please be careful when communicating because the two provinces are going in different directions.
Rayong (ra-yong) is on the east coast next to Pattaya.
Ranong (ra-nong) is on the Andaman Coast above Phuket province.
By road, we will miss 3 hours in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, but 12 hours in Rayong and Ranong.
What else was found out?
Apart from that, I only see some provinces, such as Tak, Trat, and Trang, that are slightly different and have fewer problems. Lamphun (lam-poon) and Lampang are another group.
Tak is under Chiang Mai and close to Myanmar.
Trat’s most famous landmark is Ko Chang, which is close to Cambodia.
Trang is a landmark on the Andaman coast in the south, and Emerald Cave is a must-see.
When writing in English, Thais always substitute “ph” for “p.” They spell using the Thai-English Dictionary Alphabet rather than by pronunciation, i.e. Lamphun is Lam Poon, and Phuket is Pu Ket.
They also have a more complicated accent between “Lam” and “Lum”. Because they spell English with L and R depending on the level of accent tone.
My name is still spelled confused.
According to the Thai-English Dictionary, my name is Kul, but foreigners are not permitted to call me by that name. That’s why I write “Koon” or “Kun.” Sometimes I misspell “Goon.”
Only a few Thai and English spelling tricks are required.
Thank you for your confusion.