Monday, January 18, 2010

Ko Samet district to be created - or not?

Already on December 15, the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) had an announcement on their website titled "จังหวัดระยองจัดตั้งอำเภอส่วนหน้าเกาะเสม็ด" - Rayong province establishs district Suan Na Ko Samet. So I thought, yet another new district to be created, this time on the small island near the coast at Rayong. It wouldn't be the only small district - the smallest district by population is Ko Kut, an island off Trat province.

However, when trying to find more details I noticed that - unlike the other island districts - Ko Samet does not even form a subdistrict, it just is one administrative village of Phe subdistrict. Starting to doubt my assumption, I looked into the name of this district, and noticed that อำเภอส่วนหน้า can also be translated as "Front part district". And there were more Google hits for this word than just those on Ko Samet, there also seem to be such districts for
  • Ko Tao (เกาะเต่า), Ko Pha Ngan district, Surat Thani
  • Ko Lipe (เกาหลีเป๊ะ), Mueang Satun district, Satun province
However I haven't been able to find a page which actually describes what such a "Front part district" does mean - but my guess is that it is simply means a branch district office built in the remote parts of a larger district, where the citizen can only reach the district office after a very difficult travel.

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