Central Thai - Settlements

Villages range in size from about 300 to 3,000 persons. Some villages are spatially distinct while others are administrative subdivisions in an area of continuous settlement. There are three major village types: strip, clustered, and dispersed. In the strip pattern, houses are strung along both sides of a waterway or road, with open fields stretching behind. In the cluster pattern, houses are built in a roughly circular pattern among fruit trees, coconut palms, or rice fields; the settlement is connected to the main road by a path or cart track. In the dispersed pattern, each nuclear family lives on its own land, surrounded by its rice fields or orchards. Houses are connected by waterways or paths, and much travel is by boat. Prominent in villages are the temple compound and the school, with a few shops scattered nearby. Two styles of housing are common throughout Thailand. The first, for the more affluent, is the sturdy, paneled or clapboard-walled house of teak or mahogany, raised off the ground, with planked floor, a few windows, and a roof of attap palm, tile, or corrugated iron. The second type of house is a low-pitched gabled house on a bamboo frame with a roof and perhaps a porch, thatched with palm or grass, and with sides of the same or of woven bamboo or matting, and earthen floors.

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