Episode 12: How to tell time in Thai

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Episode 12: Tell Thai time, telling time in pasa Thai. Listen to Mia explain how to tell time in the Thai language. We also have a listener challenge! Explain to Mia what is the Age of Aquarius!

Download MP3 to listen offline here

by Lani

When you think of time, what song do you think of?

Mia taught me a neat trick on how to convert the Western year:

Like 2013 to the Thai year 2556. 2556 (Thai date) – 543 = 2013


2013 (Western date) +543 = 2556

But maybe everybody already knew that, but I didn’t!

Next we tackled telling time in Thai. It’s a hearty and healthy challenge for folks like me who still uses her fingers to tell “military time. But Mia explained, in the past someone stayed up to keep the time. So the little bells or gongs were used, much in the same way the town crier in Medieval England would ring his bell and yell,

“It’s 3 ‘o clock, and all is well!”


Here is how to tell the time in Thai

The words in (….) means it’s ok without


Let’s break it down, shall we?


 ตี /dtii


means to hit, from the podcast, a person on duty will hits the metal to tell time.

Hit Phonetic Thai script 24 hour time
 1 time  dtii nèung  ตีหนึ่ง 1:00
 2 times  dtii sŏng ตีสอง 2:00
 3 times  dtii săam ตีสาม 3:00
 4 times  dtii sìi ตีสี่ 4:00
 5 times  dtii hâa ตีห้า 5:00




โมง/mong is the sound when you hit the gong.

Hit Phonetic  Thai script  24 hour time
 6 times  hòk mong (cháo)  หกโมง (เช้า)  6:00
7 times  jèt mong (cháo)  เจ็ดโมง (เช้า) 7:00
8 times  pàat mong (cháo)  แปดโมง (เช้า)  8:00
9 times  gâao mong (cháo) เก้าโมง (เช้า) 9:00
10 times sìp mong (cháo) สิบโมง (เช้า) 10:00
 11 times  sìp-èt mong (cháo)  สิบเอ็ดโมง(เช้า)  11:00
12 times  tiâng-wan เที่ยงวัน 12:00
 The words in (….) means it’s ok without

 The words in (….) means it’s ok without



บ่าย/bàai : (verb) means to turn, step to one side, off the center.

At noon the sun is directly above and move away from vertical line into the afternoon.

Hit Phonetic  Thai script  24 hour time
 1 time  bàai  (mong)  บ่าย(โมง)  13:00
 2 times  bàai sŏng (mong)  บ่ายสอง(โมง)  14:00
 3 times  bàai săam (mong)  บ่ายสาม(โมง)  15:00
 4 times  bàai sìi (mong)* บ่ายสี่(โมง)*  16:00
 5  times  bàai hâa (mong)**  บ่ายห้า(โมง)**  17:00
6 times hòk mong (yen) หกโมง(เย็น) 18:00
 The words in (….) means it’s ok without

*16:00 can also call  สี่โมงเย็น/ sìi mong yen
 **17:00 can also call  ห้าโมงเย็น/ hâa mong yen

เย็น/yen means/(noun) late afternoon ; early evening ; dusk





ทุ่ม/tûm is the sound when you hit the drum.



Hit Phonetic Thai script 24 hour time
1 time tûm*  ทุ่ม 19:00
 2 times
 sŏng tûm   
สองทุ่ม  20:00
 3 times  sâam tûm   สามทุ่ม  21:00
 4 times  sìi tûm   สี่ทุ่ม  22:00
 5 times  hâa tûm  ห้าทุ่ม  23:00
 6 times


เที่ยงคืน 24:00
* 19:00 can also call หนึ่งทุ่ม/nèung tûm 

Now don’t forget Thais do like to be on time for auspicious events like a wedding ceremony, so be careful when running on “Thai time”! Most Thais consult a mor doo, astrologist or monk so they know when is the perfect time to tie the knot. So don’t be late!

9 thoughts on “Episode 12: How to tell time in Thai

  1. Ahhh! The Sound of Silence – that takes me back nearly 50 yrs to 2510 when I was a young lad! Challenge for Lanni – when was 2510 ? :-)

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