Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn did not ‘use’ the custom-built toilet on her visit to Yeak Lom Lake in north-east Cambodia on Monday, but she did take photos of the toilet’s building. The toilet was reportedly built at her request. It took two weeks to build and cost an estimated $40,000. The story quickly became news in Cambodia where 40% of the rural population does not have access to toilets.
The toilet has been removed from the small building, and officials say the structure is going to be used as a tourist office. Speaking to the AFP news agency, community leader Ven Churk said, “She [the Princess] did not go inside the bathroom, she just looked at it from outside and took some pictures.” Cambodian officials have been keen in making clear that the Thais paid for the bathroom.