They are enlarged replicas of the primeval wooden hut described above, having rafters with their upper ends crossed; thatched or shingled roof; boarded floors, and logs laid on the roof-ridge at right angles for the purpose of binding the ridge and the rafters firmly together.
The city is built on a low plain, is regularly laid out, and has many fine warehouses, public buildings and residences, but its greater part, however, consists of mud-walled cabins supported by bamboo (guadua) framework and thatched with rushes.
The native dwellings are constructed of wood, or occasionally are huts thatched with grass at the sides and top. What little cooking is undertaken among the poorer natives is usually done outside.
In ascending the river a stranger's eye is first caught by the numerous huge ice-houses with high thatched roofs and by a tall white tower - the T'ien-feng-t'a or Ning-po pagoda or obelisk - which rises to a height of 160 ft.
These huts are sometimes made simply of straw and are surrounded by high thorn hedges, but, in the north, square houses, built in stories, flat-roofed, the roof sometimes laid at the same slope as the hillside, and some with pitched thatched roofs, are common.
The houses in the Gilberts and Marshalls (much less elaborate than in the Carolines) consist merely of a thatched roof resting on posts or on blocks of coral about 3 ft.
The thatched house with crow-stepped gables in Church Street, in which Hugh Miller the geologist was born, still stands, and a statue has been erected to his memory.
In this period of anarchy the native princes of Glamorgan had their principal demesne, not at the camp but a mile to the north at Llystalybont, now merely a thatched farmhouse, while some Saxon invaders threw up within the camp a large moated mound on which the Normans about the beginning of the 12th century built the great shellkeep which is practically all that remains of their original castle.
West of Stratford, is the picturesque thatched cottage in which Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, was born.
The villages lie thickly scattered, consisting of low thatched cottages, and surrounded by patches of garden land, or groves of banyan, pipal and pakar trees.