Thai Village of the Four Regions of Siam
The architecture of the houses and the lifestyle of the villagers are influenced by the geography, the climate, as well as the social aspect of each region. This reflects the wisdom of the Thai in the olden days.
The traditional Thai House in the dry season is located in lowland where soils are the most fertile. When monsoon season comes, the river will overflow, therefore the houses are elevated high to avoid the flooding. During the monsoon season the people will live on the second floor (this is shown in the central house during the flood season). While during the dry season the ground floor is used to store farming and fishing equipment.
There are rivers and canals running through the central plain therefore, the main mode of transportation is by boat. Each house will usually have pier for people to get in and out of the boat.
The terrain in the North is mountainous. The weather is windy and cold, so the house is built to protect against the cool climate. The walls of the houses are angled outward so that it lessens the impact of wind.
The Fa Lai (ฝาไหล) architectural feature as you can see in the balcony is the sliding walls which they can slide open in the summer to receive wind and close during colder times.
The terrain of the Northeast is mainly highlands and the soil quality is not so good. It is difficult for agricultural activities in this region, therefore, the people tend to be less wealthy than in other regions of the country. This means that houses are relatively simple and small compared to other regions and mostly elevated up from the ground. The spaces on the ground floor are used to store food and fermented products such as fish.
The culture of the people in the Northeast is influenced by the culture of the Tai-Laos minority. The villagers are joyous people and love to gather together and eat to celebrate weddings or other occasions. It is an open community where there are no fences and people often help, share food with each other.
People in the southern part of Thailand often engage in fishing activities. They also love to gather for dinner and have their main choice of food which are very spicy. For entertainment, the people watches “Nang Talung”, which is the traditional shadow play.
There are many hilltribes in the north of Thailand, for example the Karen tribe, Lisu tribe, Mien tribe, Hmong tribe and etc. They are usually located in the most Northern part of Thailand where it is most mountainous. Their houses are made with bamboo or teak and are built on the hill or by the hill.
The villagers often keep their agricultural gear in their houses for harvesting their crops and vegetables on the hill. The main source of harvest includes, rice, vegetables and opium. The Karen tribe often wear colourful clothing and the unique feature is that the female can be seen wearing neck ring.