On Monday, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Cambodia, but before she arrived, she requested that they build a $40,000 air-conditioned outhouse with a lake view that only she can use.
The princess, who is the second daughter of Thailand’s current King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is visiting a resort next to Yeak Loam Lake in the rural province of Ratanakiri.
The princess hired Thai construction firm Siam Cement Group to create an air-conditioned, 8 square-meter toilet with a view overlooking the lake. The firm flew in contractor’s, labourers and materials from Thailand and took 19 days to build it. It is unclear whether Thailand or Cambodia paid for the pricey toilet.
After her visit, the toilet will be destroyed as it is not to be used by anyone who isn’t royalty and the outhouse itself will be converted into an office for Cambodian government workers. A manager at Siam Cement Group told The Guardian:
“Normal people can’t use a [royal] toilet.”
The princess’s three day visit will be hosted by resort owner Pierre-Yves Clais who will throw a banquet. Foie gras, crepes and fish cooked in butter sauce are reportedly some of the menu items the princess will be dining on.
The average Cambodian factory worker only makes $140 a month, according to the BBC, but the the average income where the princess is staying is reportedly much lower.
The majority of Cambodians (69%) living in the country’s rural regions don’t have access to basic sanitation or toilets and defecate out in the open.