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Property booms as Thais rush to rural Khon Kaen

Khanoengnit Bootvong takes in the scene of downtown Khon Kaen below from the condominium she is moving into.

KHON KAEN, Thailand -- In the heart of northeastern Thailand's largest city, a 37-story luxury condominium rises as a beacon of "vertical living," as some locals describe it. All 414 units in this new condo, named "The Houze," have been snapped up by residents with deep pockets who want to live in the tallest building in this largely flat cityscape of low-rise shophouses, commercial establishments, government offices and detached houses.

Khanoengnit Bootvong was looking for a change of lifestyle when she bought her compact single-bedroom unit on the 24th floor of the condo, which smells of fresh paint and still has workmen scurrying around applying finishing touches. "It feels like going up a mountain and looking down," said the 39-year-old dentist as she slid open the wooden panels in her living room to take in a panoramic view of the sun-drenched city below.

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