For the clapper used in Chinese music, see Paiban.

Muban (Thai: หมู่บ้าน) is the lowest administrative sub-division of Thailand. Usually translated as village and sometimes as hamlet, they are a subdivision of a tambon. As of 2008, there were 74,944 administrative muban in Thailand.[1] As of the 1990 census, the average village consisted of 144 households or 746 persons.


Muban may function as one word, in the sense of a hamlet or village, and as such may be shortened to Ban. Mu ban may also function as two words, i.e., หมู่ group (of) บ้าน homes.

Such village names are not part of a household address, unless Ban is retained as part of the toponym when such a settlement is upgraded—e.g., a household in Ban Dan would be addressed as Ban No.__ Mu No.__, Ban Dan Sub-district, Ban Dan District, Buriram; or #/# T[ambon].Ban Dan A[mphoe].Ban Dan, Buriram 31000.

Note: Usage of the short form number/number for ban/mu is both unofficial and unambiguous in a tambon, but in city districts is restricted to subdivision of an original household registration into additional household registrations.


Each such mu or group is led by a headman, usually called village headman or village chief (ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน Phu Yai Ban),[2] who is elected by the population of the village and then appointed by the Ministry of the Interior. The headman has two assistants, one for governmental affairs and one for security affairs. There also may be a village committee with elected members from the village, serving as an advisory body of a village. Originally the village headman, once elected, was in office until reaching retirement age. They now only serve for a five-year term but can then apply for reelection. The same is true for the office of kamnan (กำนัน) or "sub-district headman" at the next higher tambon (sub-district) level.

Communities (ชุมชน) or neighborhoods that are part of a town or city (thesaban mueang and thesaban nakhon) have no equivalent to village headman, but may be organized into community associations having advisory committees.


  1. "ข้อมูลทางการปกครอง ณ วันที่ 31 ธันวาคม 2552" (PDF). Department of provincial administration (DOPA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2012.
  2. Yudthaphon Vichianin (Aug 5, 2003). "Village Chief Lee". Thai Language Program. University of Hawaii at Manoa. Archived from the original (interactive) on March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
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