A picture of a buddha with the text saying what year is it in thailand?

It’s 2023, right?

Nope, it’s actually the year 2566 in Thailand!

That’s a full 543 years ahead of the rest of the world!

Why does Thailand use a different calendar?

Well it’s because Thailand is a Buddhist country. So the start of the calendar is at a significant moment in the history of Buddhism.

In this case, the Thai Buddhist calendar starts at the death of Buddha (when he supposedly reached nirvana).

Contrast that with the traditional western (Gregorian) calendar which has a starting point related to Christianity (at the birth of Jesus Christ).

A cross on a hill because Christians use a gregorian calendar

Although you will often see the “western year” in Thailand too, the Thai Buddhist calendar is the one generally used by the Thai people. 

So to summarize:

What year is it in Thailand?

It is 2566 (BE) in the Thai Buddhist calendar (in the current year of 2023). BE stands for the Buddhist Era.

How do I calculate the year in Thailand?

Simply take the current year + 543 to get the year in Thailand. 

So in this case 2023 + 543 = 2566.

Why does Thailand have a different calendar?

Because Thailand is a Buddhist country, they start their calendar at a significant moment in Buddhism’s history: the death of the Buddha. 

Is the Thai Buddhist Calendar used all over Thailand?

Yes, the year in Thailand is 2566 all over Thailand, although most people will also keep up with the western calendar and know that it is 2023. 

Do other countries follow the Buddhist Year System?

Yes, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka also follow a Buddhist year system. 

For more interesting things about Thailand, check out the series on culture shock moments in Thailand: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Sign up to be notified straight away about new blog posts and new jobs in Thailand.


If you want to learn Thai, ThaiPod101 is a great resource to get you started. They give you a bunch of free resources to level up your Thai language skills in the shortest time possible. If you are interested, please click the link below:

ThaiPod101.com - The Fastest Way to Learn Thai Guaranteed
Learn Thai with ThaiPod101.com


Leave a Reply

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.


An active membership is required for this action, please click on the button below to view the available plans.