Thai princess leaves $40,000 custom toilet 'unused'

Construction workers stand outside a luxury bathroom built exclusively for Thailand's princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Image copyright AFP
Image caption The toilet took more than two weeks to build, reports said

A toilet that cost an estimated $40,000 (£28,300) to custom-build for a Thai princess visiting Cambodia was left unused, officials say.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn reportedly just took photos of the toilet's building during her visit to Yeak Lom Lake, in north-east Cambodia.

The toilet has now been removed and the hut will serve as a tourist office.

The story made headlines in Cambodia, where fewer than 40% of people in rural areas have access to toilets.

The toilet, housed in a specially constructed air-conditioned hut, was set up for Ms Sirindhorn two-hour visit to the north-eastern lake on Monday, reportedly at her request.

"She [the Princess] did not go inside the bathroom, she just looked at it from outside and took some pictures," community leader Ven Churk told the AFP news agency.

The price tag covers the cost of the whole building which, he says, has been given to the community to be used as a tourist office.

It was paid for by the Thais, Cambodian officials added.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The building is expected to be converted into a tourist office

The toilet's construction was carried out by the Siam Cement Group (SCG), a Thai construction giant partly owned by a company that manages the Thai royal family's assets and investments, local media reported.

SCG could not be reached for comment.

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