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In Thailand you may hear a person who arrives late for an appointment joke about being on Thai time' as punctuality is generally a more fluid concept than some Westerners are used to. But there is a specifically Thai way of telling the time which you'll need to learn if you want to avoid being late yourself.

The day is broken up into four periods. From midnight to six in the morning times begin with the word dee (strike), from six in the morning until midday they end with the word chow (morning), from midday to six in the evening they begin with the word bai (afternoon) and from six in the evening until midnight they end with the word tum (thump).


So 3.00 a.m. is dee sahm (lit: strike three) and 9.0 p.m. is sahm tum (lit: three thumps)

Hok tum  or  tee ang keun


Dee neung


Dee sorng


Dee sahm


Hok mohng chow


Neung mohng chow


Hah mohng chow


Tee ang


Bai mohng


Bai sorng mohng


Bai see mohng


Hok mohng yen


Sahm tum



12 midnight


1 am


2 am


3 am


6 am


7 am


11 am


12 noon


1 pm


2 pm


4 pm


6 pm


9 pm



12 midnight.wav 1 am.wav 2 am.wav 3 am.wav 6 am.wav 7 am.wav 11 am.wav 12 noon.wav 1 pm.wav 2 pm.wav 4 pm.wav 6 pm.wav 9 pm.wav Talk Thai Page 7