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genericptr

When did Thais begin living in concrete houses?

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Many new houses are still constructed using wood, it's considered a sign of wealth as they cost much more to build than brick and steel.

Many old wooden houses on stilts have the ground floor filled with brick as and when it can be afforded.

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On 5/30/2020 at 4:56 PM, Denim said:

 

I should add that the poorer house did not have walls made of wooden planks. Instead they had a kind of lattice work made of bamboo strips from floor to joist and big leaves were woven between the lattice work. As far as I remember most houses had roofs of sheeting ( sangasee ) usually brown from rust and dirt and very leaky. For lighting there would be an old can of condensed milk with some oil and a wick in it. To get to the village we took a pony and trap from the main road. I felt sorry for that horse as its neck and back were chaffed raw. I wanted to get out and walk but my distaff partner would have none of it.

 

The first village I went to was in Kalasin and they had never seen a white man in the flesh before. Half the women in the village turned out to prod me and have a feel of my hair. At night they went home and the men came for more of the same. The resident linguist asked me my name and where I came from about a thousand times ( the only English he knew ) until my bird got bored and kicked them all out. It was so cold during the night that in the morning there was a hoar frost for an hour after sunrise and frozen puddles. I nigh on froze to death ..................in Thailand of all places since I only had flimsy clothes with me. Like everyone else I was soon huddled around a fire drinking a chipped cup of hot water.

 

Never forget that trip. A real eye opener.

Was it that far back when all the women walked around half naked?

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Unfortunately it was a long time before I got here. Which half would you have prefered ?

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On 5/31/2020 at 7:41 PM, Oxx said:

Apart from grand residences, I suspect that such houses started with traditional shop house architecture.  It started as a Sino-Portuguese thing in the early- to mid-1800s.  Phuket in particular is noted for such constructions.

In some countries stone or brick was reserved for religious structures and wood was for the people -'though pretty soon masonry was extended to kings etc.

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My first year in the Peace Corps in Maha Sarakham in 1977-78, I lived in a wooden house on concrete stilts on the campus of the Teachers College. It was what most faculty lived in at the time. 

 

My second year 1978-79, I lived off-campus in a house made of concrete block. I think it had wooden floor joists. So concrete block construction has been around that long, at least. 

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On 5/30/2020 at 2:19 PM, Silent Number said:

Con from Crete so they just shortened it to Concrete

have you heard the story about Con Do?

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Think they got fed up with Termites having lunch on their houses, so cheap cement frame/brick alternative came to the fore..😷 

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On 5/31/2020 at 10:54 PM, Denim said:

 

The high street in Wichien Buri still looks exactly like that.

Sattahip   "same same  but different"

 

P_20190806_111244.thumb.jpg.ecedcd55e583f9bc104d43f74a34d08e.jpg

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1 hour ago, Pedrogaz said:

Probably when they chopped all the teak down.

Massive deforestation in Thailand late seventies, by the early eighties people were buying old Thai teak houses, disassembling and rebuilding on their own land, simply put, it was cheaper!

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2020 at 2:24 PM, genericptr said:

Interesting thank you. I'm renting a little wooden house in the mountains as a weekend retreat and this got me thinking. I've seen some photos of Chiang Mai in the 70/80's and I still see wooden houses all throughout the city but also many poured concrete structures and brick.

Wood was almost free in the early days and people even cut down trees themselves. Now wood is VERY expensive. If you have been inside a house made of wood daytime you will understand why they prefer brick houses now. 

Edited by Max69xl
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I would think it changed in villages when hardwood like teak became restricted, and concrete blocks and cement cheaper to use. I remember from my first visit to Thailand in 1987 that village houses I saw were mainly wooden on posts, while city house were a mix between concrete buildings and wooden old-style houses, and some wooden houses with concrete on the ground floor.

 

My next visit in 2001-2002 I noticed plenty of one level brick houses in rural villages.

 

But it's only speculation.

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About 20 years ago in our village most of the houses were teak. 

 

Now there are hardly any wooden houses left

 It's a shame because they looked to pretty. I think many people did it to keep up with the neighbours...as concrete and brick seemed more modern. 

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Posted (edited)

No not a history, but ..

Traditionally Thai houses were impermanent. Meant to be taken down and rebuilt, after termites, sun, elements took their toll. That was the old wood structures. The idea of permanence was not the same as western or north asian peoples, mostly due to material and climate. Thai towns also had a problem with fires. They were always burning down. Wood structures combined with Thai pyromaniac tendencies, made that inevitable. After WWII (some will say before) lots of towns started to get rebuilt more in cement. They were cutting down the forests too, wood became more expensive and less available. Secondly cement and steel just last longer, don't burn down as easily, so a better investment. Now towns villages and mooban are following suit. Bangkok of course started this before any other cities, its styles and designs were copied up country.

 

Five years back the sister in law put up a house in the old family plot in Chiang Rai. Original houses were wood on poles and straw, I saw the pics from early 80’s. Now cement wood, two story, with roofed open sided car park. Looks nice. The fruits of her 'pleadings to the pussywhipped'. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

 

Edited by LomSak27

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On 5/30/2020 at 1:57 PM, genericptr said:

when Thais starting building and living in concrete houses?

When the termites eat the wood I think.  😜

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