SIGHT-SEEING IN BANGKOK. 39
painted on each bow. The Chinese say, ' No got eye, how can see ? '
But you must not get so much interested in the boats and the fruits as not to notice the homes of this people. Many of the princes and nobles now have fine houses handsomely furnished. The missionaries, foreign consuls, merchants, and wealthy Chinese have good, substantial dwellings. The homes of the common people, you see, are small, of one storey, and- thatched with the leaves of the atap palm. Most of them are neither painted nor whitewashed. Those upon the land are placed on posts six feet high, and the sides of many of them are made of bamboos split and woven together, forming a kind of basket-work-
But thousands of the people live in floating houses, which you have observed lining both banks of the river. Notice them particularly now, for they ajre one of the peculiarities of this Eastern city. They are but one storey high, you sA e, and built of boards and placed on rafts of large bamboos, which rise and fall with the tide, and hence are called .floating houses. These rafts must be renewed every 1 two or three years. The houses are kept in their place by large posts on each side driven deep into the muddy bed of the river. They do sometimes, however, get detached from their moorings, though fastened to them by rings of ratan, and float up