In rural Thailand, many houses are built on poles in order that animals, creeping insects cannot enter inside. The typical house in the north is rather well walled in with less space for windows, and ample space for platform known in the northern dialect as "toen". A shelf for a row of earthenware water jars is to be found on one side of the house. Lanna house as a rule faces east with the roof ridge oriented along north south direction. The house is thus exposed to ample sunlight and at the same time protected from northern winds in the cool season.
Quirks of Rural Houses in Thailand
Rural Thai people think it is always safer to live close to a road and to have neighbours. This is due to the fear of robbers. Often a light is lit during all night to avoid dark areas around the house. A wall is also built around the house.
Rural Quirks - Village Cats
Thai villagers have a keen sense of omens and feel that certain things found in nature are auspicious or ill-favored and this classification extends to village Siamese cats as well. Village cats are classified according to their characteristic markings. On this basis, some cats are thought to be auspicious animals and if well-cared for will bring their owners good fortune. Others, such as pure black cats Westerners think of as ill-omened are thought to bring their owners bad fortune.
The ''Gao Taem' has a white coat with nine auspicious black spots.
'Panpayak or Lai Soea' has stripes on its body like a tiger, and very coarse fur. Its sound is long and low and scary, said the old People, like a forest spirit.
Quirks of Rural Houses - Spirit Houses
Every Thai house has a house of spirits (SAN PHRA PHUM). The spirit house size is related to the owner's house. The biggest it is, the biggest the spirit house shall be. Every morning the owner of the house shall feed the spirits. It was mandatory to install a spirit house when building a new house. In fact the house is made for the spirit of the land. It calms the spirit and assure good blessings for the owner of the house. Spirit houses are often installed in a corner of the garden. The spirit house shadow shall never overlay the main house.