A few days ago the Bangkok Post featured “a village designed specifically around the royally-initiated sufficiency economy principle” on its front page. Here it is:

sufficiency village

The accompanying article reports that …

[the village has] begun to take shape in Betong district of Yala, apparently inspired by Her Majesty the Queen’s admiration of the geographical beauty of the local area. Betong municipal mayor Khunawut Mongkolprajak said a budget of 164 million baht has been allocated to build the village close to the Thai-Malaysian border. It is the first village of its kind in the restive border region. He said he had accompanied the Queen on one of her trips to Betong and she spoke of the district’s beautiful landscape and its fine weather. The mayor added that she had made it known she wanted a house built for her in the district… The Queen’s words prompted the municipality to establish the sufficiency economy village equipped with a study pavilion for her. About 50 houses in the project have been completed, with most now occupied by former communist insurgent, the majority of whom work on nearby farms in a royally-initiated development programme. Another 20 houses are currently under construction. The sufficiency economy principle stresses the importance of living within one’s means, said Mr Khunawut.

This is only a sketchy account, but from the report and photo some of the key design features for a sufficiency village are starting to emerge:

  • Locate pleasant rural site suitable for visiting dignitaries and the construction of a rural retreat.
  • Build village on an exposed ridge top, highly susceptible to erosion.
  • Construct village to resemble barracks.
  • Allocate a large amount of money to demonstrate the importance of sufficiency (164 million baht for about 70 houses).
  • Add one “study pavilion.”