Thailand has the name provinces looking like the same pronounced. The most very complicated is Chiang Mai ( chiang-mai ) and Chiang Rai ( chiang-mai ). It’s only one letter different M and R and also pronounce similar when you accent Mai and Rai.
But in Thai language, they write a different letter and accent tone level. They will not confuse. I worry about the foreigner when they use about it. They would go to the wrong destination and missing 3 hours apart.
A letter M and R make a confusion to thought it was the same province. But there are differences that may seem similar. ( The different in similarities. )
A little to know about them
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai has a provincial area connecting. Chiang Rai is the northern-most in Thailand and situated in the north-east Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is a biggest city in the northern Thailand. A major hub of the country and center of civilization being here.
Chiang Rai is the first capital and old ancient city in Lanna Kingdom in the long time ago.
Both of them are popular provinces and destination. They have the iconic and landmark for tourist in different character.
How to avoid a missing
When you writing a note on your planner. Use the airport code is better. Chiang Mai is CNX and Chiang Rai is CRI.
Rayong and Ranong
Another one is Rayong ( ra-yong ) and Ranong ( ra-nong ). This one is the same pronounce and accent tone level. Please be careful when communicating because the two provinces are in different directions.
Rayong ( ra-yong ) is in the east coast next to Pattaya.
Ranong ( ra-nong ) is on the Andaman Coast above Phuket province.
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai we will miss 3 hours but Rayong and Ranong we will miss 12 hours by road.
What else’s province
Other than, I only see some provinces that slightly different and less problem such as Tak, Trat, and Trang. And another group is Lamphun and Lampang.
Tak is under Chiang Mai and close to Myanmar.
Trat has landmark is Ko Chang and close to Cambodia.
Trang on the Andaman coast in south and Emerald Cave is landmark.
Thai always use “ph” for “p” when they write to English. They spell by the Thai-English Dictionary Alphabet, it is not spell by pronounce i.e. Phuket is Pu Ket and Lamphun is Lam Poon.
They also have more accent complicate between “Lam” and “Lum”. And sometime they use L and R to spell in English by different accent tone level.
My name is Kul or Kun by Thai-English Dictionary but the foreigner cannot call my name. That’s why I write “Koon”.
Just only a little to know Thai and English spelling trick.
Thank you for your confusing.