For this trip we are staying in a little hotel at 10 minutes from the beach. As I was told from my swiss neighbors since the tsunami this is one of the few areas that still maintains a more traditional look, otherwise all over everything is being built in a more modern key, which I feel is really sad since part of the beauty of traveling to different countries is to see how people live in different ways from us.
These are a few shots from our little hotel that reminds us of the movie “The Best Marigold Hotel”! I believe the structure follows very much the traditional Thai house which adapts to its environment. It has open high-pitched roof that facilitates air circulation. Open windows and walls in combination with a large central terrace provide ventilation and offer relief from the hot and humid climate. Wide overhanging eaves protect the house from sun and rain. Rainwater runs off the steep roof quickly and falls through the permeable terrace and house floors. The use of wood and bamboo reflects the once abundant forests that provided these materials cheaply.
What mostly made me curious are the high thresholds between our rooms (we ahem all tripped a million of times specially at night!) and I have found a few different reasons for them: according to superstition and traditional Thai belief, the raised thresholds of Thai houses prevent evil spirits from creeping in at night and disrupting the sleep of the inhabitants. It also served a functional purpose.
The raised threshold also acted as a structural aid holding the wall sections firmly in place on their frame. Additionally the early settlements of the Thai kingdom were largely agricultural communities built along rivers, canals and waterways. Hence to prevent babies and small children from falling into the water, the thresholds of the door were raised.