While staying in Thailand, one of our reporters came across an expansive estate littered with colossal buildings. This was said to be the property of the Chairman of Saha Farms Group, Dr. Panya Choititawan.

As we will soon see, Dr. Choititawan seems to be a devout Buddhist and has opened his home, called Sukhawadee, to the public for a nominal fee of 200 bahts (US$6). It’s said the purpose was to give people a feeling of being a joint owner and treat them to the images of Buddha it contains. Kowloon Kurosawa, wanting to get a taste of success decided to take a look around.

Lifestyles of the rich and Buddhist

Approaching the residence was unnerving. The land was so immense that it was hard to believe someone lived there. It even put some places of world leaders to shame. It was so large that Kurosawa needed to go from place to place in golf carts which ran between buildings regularly.

The first place he went to was a massive pink, blue and gold building that served as the main residence of Dr. Choititawan and family. At first glance it might seem that the color scheme was chosen through a nouveau riche spending spree, but the colors are meant to represent love and flexibility.

The top (sixth) floor had an observation deck overlooking the entire property, but Kurosawa was able to see it all just from the observation deck. Needless to say, it was big.

The upper floor was full of golden statues and decorated in a similar fuschia and blue color scheme as the exterior.

The strong colors and golden women couldn’t help but stir up a sense of gaudiness in him, but they had a spiritual explanation to them. The rest of what he saw, however, was a little harder to explain.

A turn for the weird

The top floor also had a ceramic relief depicting what appeared to be a Roman man surrounded by women. It was hard to find the connection to Buddhist spiritualism here, but it certainly seemed classical…ish. The artist took quite a few liberties with perspective through the man’s super-long toes, the liter of water being dumped into a 500mL cup, and the approximately 2.5m-long arm of the woman holding it.

Then as Kurosawa turned another corner he was startled as he came face to face with a strange woman. He was momentarily relieved to see it was just a statue of Marilyn Monroe with brown hair, but soon after he gradually began to feel uneasy again.

Then the tour wound up in a massive ballroom type enclosure with a large Saha Farms sign at one end. Under the sign stood an altar with a chicken statue perched atop. Saha had its roots in the poultry industry and this seemed to be a way to honor those birds who died to build the company. Kurosawa wasn’t exactly sure if this room was for company gatherings or simply to worship chicken, but it was nicely air-conditioned and monitored by security guards.

Overall, the tour of the grounds took about half a day and allowed him a glimpse of what being really, really rich was like. It was very pink, spiritual, and a little sexy. He didn’t really understand it, but maybe that’s why people like Dr. Choititawan are super-rich and he isn’t.

Sukhawadee: Website (Thai/English)
Original article by Kowloon Kurosawa
Photos: RocketNews24

Based on the opulent decor of his home I’m surprised to find that Dr. Choititawan looks like my dentist.

[ Read in Japanese ]