Ho Trai

Ho Trai, also worth a closer look is the charming library building, near the front gate built about 400 years ago, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai

Ho Trai is the library where book cases are kept. There is no definite design of this structure. It varies in form and size. In the past, most libraries were built in wood on poles over ponds to prevent the white ants from harming the palm-leave books. Some Ho Trai has a basement in brick and the room in wood, others have the ground room in brick and a wooden one over it. Of this type, which is common in the north of Thailand there are fine examples in Chiang Mai and Lumphun .

Ho Trai Wat Hou Koung, Nan

Usually the Ho Trai has no interior decoration but some, like that of Wat Rakhangk in the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, have fine paintings on the walls, window and daoor panels. This Ho Trai is formed by three parallel attached rooms, each room having a proper roof. The inner sides of the roofs of the right and left rooms join the slopes of the central one and the water of the four slopes is received by two gutters.

The Ho Trai styles Lanna, Wat Ubpakub, Chiang Mai

To build two or three rooms attached to each other with separated roofs, typical of the Thai common houses, is quite logical because by roofing each room the Thai avoided building a large and high roof which had to span the total breadth. In this case the lower part of the buildind would appear too small in comparison with the roof.

A lacquered and gilded painting depicting Kinnaree ( mythical being) inside Ho Trai,
Wat Thung Sri Muang, Ubon Ratchathani

The fine proportions of the small Ho Trai of Wat Rakhangk and the finesse of design of the windows show the remarkable artistic sence of the old Thai of the Bangkok period previous to the influence of moderm materials.