Well, talk about jumping the gun on research. Here I was writing snidely about why anybody would want a brick house in Siam in the 1860's, in a super hot and humid climate, and I forgot all about the "white ants," that is to say termites. Apparently, if a house is not built completely of teak, they will eat it up very quickly, so a brick house necessary.
Also, Bangkok was built on marsh and river, with houses on built up platforms or built up land, so that going anywhere meant having a boat and boat man. It would have been much more expensive for King Monghut to have Anna Leonowens living off site, because she would have had to have both boat and servant handy at all times.
|The Grand Palace in Bangkok|
I should maybe shut my mouth until I have done voluminous research to make certain I make no more mistakes, but I am so excited about this research and hope to find people who know more about this area.