Typology and Life Style Analysis of the Raft House (Ruan Pae) in Riverine Settlements in Thailand

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Chaweewan Denpaiboon
Mamoru Tohiguchi
Hiroyuki Matsuda
Seiyu Hashimoto


This paper describes two areas concerning raft houses in Thailand for the purpose of (1) the classification of the raft house typology, measured by field surveys and mapping, and (2) the study of the way of life of the inhabitants and their satisfaction towards living in the raft houses, as well as the conditions of the raft house settlements, as researched by questionnaires and in-depth interviews. This study encompasses three subareas of study including (1) the physical features of the raft houses, (2) the way of living in them, and (3) the coexistence of the inhabitants, water and land. It is found that: (1) the typological features are varied by location, function and life style, (2) the conditions of the inhabitants in the raft houses are insecure for today’s living, (3) the existence of the raft house communities depends on the coexistence of the environments of water and mankind.


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Ornsiri Panin. (1995). Typical houses and villages. Bangkok: Silpakorn University.

The raft houses survive only in 8 provinces: Kampaengpetch, Phitsanulok, Uthaithani, Ayuthaya, Chachoengsao, Samutsakorn, Nakornpathom and Kanchanaburi. Recently, the authors rechecked and found that raft houses in Kampaengpetch, Samutsakorn and Nakornpathom had disappeared. However, they have been found in 2 other provinces, Nongbualampoo and Lampoon.

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The survey was conducted by students of Kinki University and the staff of the National Housing Authority during the year 1995 in Uthaithani, and was rechecked in the year 1997 in Phitsanulok and Uthaithani.

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We chose these provinces because the characteristics are different in settlement locations, house sizes, inhabitants‘ life style and so on. Additionally, Uthaithani province was the first to introduce trash can in every household.