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Land Measurement in Thailand – Understanding the Basics

If you’re interested in purchasing or renting a property in Thailand, it’s vital to understand land measurement in Thailand. The country uses unique land measurement units that may differ from other countries around the world. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various land measurement units in Thailand, how they work, and what you need to know before making a property investment.

Thailand Land Measurement Units

In Thailand, there are two primary units used to measure land: Wah (square Wah) and Rai (square Rai).

A Wah is equivalent to four square meters, while a Rai is equivalent to sixteen square Wah. To put it into perspective, a football field is equivalent to approximately five Rai of land in Thailand.

Further units of measurement include Talang Wah, Ngan, and Acre, where:
– 1 Talang Wah = 4 square meters
– 1 Ngan = 100 square Wah or 400 square meters
– 1 Acre = 2.53 Rai or 43,560 square feet

Understanding the Different Types of Ownership

Ownership is another essential factor when it comes to land measurement in Thailand. There are two main types of ownership available in Thailand: Freehold and Leasehold.

Freehold ownership allows the owner complete control and ownership of the property and land forever. However, foreigners are restricted to owning a maximum of 49% of the land in a condominium building.

Leasehold ownership allows the owner ownership rights for a set period (usually 30 years), after which the land and property are transferred back to the owner listed on the title deeds. This type of ownership is common among non-Thai citizens.

Property Taxes and Fees

On top of purchasing the land, there are additional fees associated with property ownership in Thailand, such as transfer fees, taxes, and stamp duties. Property transfer fees are typically paid by the buyer, and the rate is around 2% of the property’s value. Additionally, there is a stamp duty fee of 0.5% of the property value.

In terms of taxes, property owners in Thailand are subject to an annual property tax of 12.5% of the rental income or assessed rental value. Keep in mind this tax only applies to properties being rented out, not those being used solely for personal use.

Land Titles

Lastly, understanding the different types of land titles is vital when investing in property in Thailand. The two main types of land titles are Chanote (Title Deed) and Nor Sor Sam Gor.

Chanote, also known as a Title Deed, is a land title that confirms ownership and is considered the most legitimate type of ownership. Nor Sor Sam Gor, on the other hand, is a land title that confirms the use of the land and is often used in rural areas.

Frequently Asked Questions on Land Measurement in Thailand

The land measurement system in Thailand is different from that used in other countries, and can be confusing for both locals and foreigners. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help clarify some of the common queries related to land measurement in Thailand.

1. What is the unit of land measurement used in Thailand?

The primary unit of land measurement used in Thailand is the “rai,” which is equivalent to 1,600 square meters or 0.395 acres. However, smaller units such as the “tarang wah” (equal to four square meters) and the “ngan” (equivalent to 100 square wah, or 400 square meters) are also used.

2. How is land measurement calculated in Thailand?

Land in Thailand is measured in square meters and then converted into rai, ngan, and tarang wah. For instance, a plot of land measuring 800 square meters would be equivalent to 0.5 rai (800/1600), 2 ngan (800/400), and 200 tarang wah (800/4).

3. What documents are needed to verify land ownership in Thailand?

To verify land ownership in Thailand, you need to obtain a Land Title Deed or “Chanote” from the Land Department. This document confirms that you are the legal owner of the land and that it is free from any encumbrances or claims.

4. Can foreigners own land in Thailand?

Foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand. However, they can own buildings and other structures on leased land for up to 30 years. Alternatively, they can also own land through a Thai limited company, where they own less than 50% of the shares.

5. What are the costs associated with purchasing land in Thailand?

The costs associated with purchasing land in Thailand include the purchase price, transfer fees which are typically around 2%, and other costs like title search fees, attorney fees, and taxes. It is essential to do a thorough investigation and comply with all the legal requirements before purchasing any land.

6. What is the process of transferring land ownership in Thailand?

To transfer land ownership in Thailand, you need to have all the required documents in place. This includes obtaining a new Land Title Deed, paying transfer fees and taxes, and registering the transfer of ownership at the Land Department. An attorney can assist you in completing the transfer process correctly.

7. What are encumbrances on land in Thailand?

Encumbrances are various burdens or claims associated with property, such as mortgages, liens, or judgments. In Thailand, these can be recorded on the Land Title Deed and need to be cleared before the property can be sold or transferred to someone else.

8. Can a land survey company help with land measurement in Thailand?

Yes, it is highly recommended to hire a reputable land surveyor to conduct a survey before purchasing land in Thailand. They can help verify the land size, shape, and boundaries, and ensure that there are no discrepancies or potential issues.

9. What are the penalties for violating land laws in Thailand?

Violating land laws in Thailand can lead to significant fines and even imprisonment. It is essential to follow all legal requirements and obtain proper permits before undertaking any construction or land use.

10. How is land value assessed in Thailand?

The value of land in Thailand is influenced by various factors, such as location, accessibility, quality of infrastructure, and demand. The government assesses land values for tax purposes, but this may not reflect the actual market value.

In conclusion, land measurement in Thailand can be complicated, but knowing the basics can help you make informed decisions when purchasing or owning land in the country. It is always advisable to consult with legal professionals and conduct thorough research before making any significant investments.

How to Measure Land in Thailand: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re interested in buying, selling, or developing land in Thailand, one important aspect you’ll need to get right is land measurement. Thailand has its own unique system for measuring land, and it’s different from what you might be used to in other parts of the world. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about land measurement in Thailand, including the different units of measurement, the tools you’ll need, and the steps to take to accurately measure land.

The Units of Measurement: Rai, Ngan, and Wah

The first thing to understand about land measurement in Thailand is the units of measurement. There are three units used primarily in Thailand: Rai, Ngan, and Wah. Here’s what each unit means:

– Rai: A Rai is the largest traditional unit of land measurement used in Thailand. It is equal to 1,600 square meters, or about 0.395 acres.
– Ngan: A Ngan is one fourth of a Rai, or about 400 square meters.
– Wah: A Wah is a unit of length often used to measure land in Thailand, and is equal to two meters. One square Wah is equal to four square meters.

It’s important to have a good understanding of these units of measurement before getting into the actual process of measuring land.

The Tools You’ll Need

To accurately measure land in Thailand, you’ll need a few tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

– A surveyor’s measuring tape: This is a long tape measure, often around 30 meters, used for measuring long distances of land. It’s best to have a tape measure that includes both metric and imperial measurements.
– A hand-held GPS device: This will help give you a general idea of the size of the land, and is also useful for recording the coordinates of important points on the land.
– A compass: This can help you determine the boundaries of the land and ensure you’re measuring in the right direction.
– A calculator: You’ll need to do some calculations throughout the measuring process.

The Steps to Take

Now that you have your tools and have a basic understanding of the units of measurement used in Thailand, it’s time to start measuring the land. Here are the steps to take:

1. Identify the boundaries of the land: Before you start measuring, it’s important to clearly identify the boundaries of the land. Often, land in Thailand is marked by physical features such as walls or fences. If there are no physical markers, you may need to consult with a local land surveyor to help you determine the boundaries.

2. Determine the direction: Once you’ve identified the boundaries, use a compass to determine the direction you’ll be measuring in. This will help you ensure you’re measuring the correct area of land.

3. Use the surveyor’s measuring tape: Starting at one corner of the land, use the surveyor’s measuring tape to measure the length of one side. Repeat this process for each side of the land, recording the measurements as you go.

4. Record the GPS coordinates: As you’re measuring, it’s a good idea to record the GPS coordinates of important points on the land, such as corners or markers.

5. Calculate the area: Once you have all of the side measurements, you can use a calculator to calculate the total area of the land. Remember to convert the units of measurement as necessary (for example, converting Ngan to Rai).

6. Check your work: After you’ve calculated the area, it’s important to double-check your calculations to ensure they’re accurate. This is especially important if you’re using the measurements for legal purposes.


Measuring land in Thailand can be a complex process, but by following these steps and using the right tools, you can ensure you’re getting an accurate measurement. Remember to consult with a local land surveyor if you have any questions or concerns, as they will be able to provide expert advice and guidance. If you’re buying, selling, or developing land in Thailand, accurate land measurement is key to ensuring a smooth and successful transaction.

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