Thai, Khorat in Thailand

Joshua Project has identified the Thai, Khorat only in Thailand






Largest Religion

Main Language



More than 10,000 Khorat Thai people live in Nakhon Ratchasima Province in central Thailand. They mainly inhabit two large villages, Ban Nung Thap Prang and Ban Nong Samrong, both in the Chok Chai District about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the provincial capital. Approximately 4,000 Khorat Thai people live in each village. A few thousand Khorat Thai live in smaller villages in and around Nakhon Ratchasima City.


A lot of confusion exists surrounding the identity and history of the Khorat Thai. Joachim Schliesinger, in his 2001 book Tai Groups of Thailand: Profile of the Existing Groups, explains: 'Seidenfaden described the Khorat Thai as a group of people who are not of pure Thai stock but the descendants of Siamese (Thai) soldiers and Khmer women in the first half of the fourteenth century. Credner, on the other hand, classified the Khorat Thai with the central Siamese. Linguists from the Mahidol University recently classified their language as a central Thai dialect, and the Khorat Thai as an individual Tai-speaking group.'

The Khorat Thai people themselves believe that they are descended from Thai soldiers sent from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima in 1827 to fight against Lao troops. The Khorat Thai attacked and pushed the Lao back across the Mekong River.


This group does not appear on most ethnographic lists of groups in Thailand because their language is only considered slightly different from standard Central Thai. They do, however, consider themselves a unique ethnic group. Despite being surrounded by Isan (Northeast Thai speakers), the Khorat Thai speak Central Thai. This sets them apart from their neighbours and creates a strong sense of group cohesion.

Elderly Khorat Thai women dress differently from other Thai women. They wear the traditional Khmer-styled chong kaben, 'a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and down to the knees, from where it is pulled back between the legs and tucked in at the waist under a silver belt. Old Khorat Thai women report that their mothers decorated themselves with silver anklets and gold armbands and necklaces.' In the past, Khorat Thai men were skilled hunters of deer, wild pigs and other animals, but these have become all but extinct in the area due to over-hunting. They have been forced to feed their families through agricultural means, and now they only hunt for small animals like birds, snakes and rats.


Almost all Khorat Thai families are Theravada Buddhists. In addition to worshiping Buddha, they 'believe in an array of spirits, including those which reside in villages, houses, forests, trees, water and other objects in the natural surroundings. The most important spirit is the spirit of the village, called jau ban. Once a year in April, the villagers gather at the spirit house to bring offerings of pigs' heads, chickens, whisky and flowers to appease the protector of the village.'


Very few Khorat Thai have believed in Christ, and there has been little gospel witness among this proud and needy people group.

Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-06-01
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-01
People Name General Thai, Khorat
People Name in Country Thai, Khorat
Population in Thailand 541,000
World Population 541,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Khorat, Thai Khorat
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Thai
People Name General Thai, Khorat
Ethnic Code MSY49d
People ID 19258
Country Thailand
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country More than 10,000 Khorat Thai people live in Nakhon Ratchasima Province in central Thailand. They mainly inhabit two large villages, Ban Nung Thap Prang and Ban Nong Samrong, both in the Chok Chai District..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Thai: Khorat Thai (541,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Thai: Khorat Thai 541,000
For Primary Language: Thai

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1834-1967)
New Testament Yes   (1843-1977)
Complete Bible Yes   (1883-2011)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Biblica Thai Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Thai Standard Version Revision Text / Printed Matter
Bible: พระคัมภีร์ภาษาไทยฉบับ KJV Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Central Thai Language Film Film / Video
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Thai Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.