After a super hot Saturday and a head wetting in the blaring sun at Shane’s place on Saturday arvo that left me limping home at 9pm with a SPLITTING headache, I decided it was time to get out of The Penh for a Sunday Family day. Around 12pm we packed up the car and headed down to the shady outdoor eating area on the river front at Takmeo and secured a nice table overlooking the Tonle Sap. Iced coffees, tea and some duck eggs were ordered and we spent a very pleasant hour in the shade with a nice breeze to cool us down.As the rain clouds threatened, we packed up and decided to go for a drive over the new Vietnamese bridge and take a cruise down the Eastern side of the river towards Kandal. Many times I had gazed over at this lush strip of riverside and wondered what it was like and I also had an ulterior motive. I was keen on looking for a small weekend holiday retreat for the family. Just a small wooden house somewhere near the river with a safe yard and some fruit trees etc.Bit of a dream but hell…..if you can’t dream what can you do ?
The rain started in earnest and for 15 minutes we had to drive at about 10kmh as the road, whilst tarred, was quite narrow . Eventually it stopped and we were soon cruising through some beautiful stretches of small banana and mango farms ( very small ) interlaced with houses and businesses. I drove very slowly keeping my eye out for the obligatory FOR RENT signs and eventually, lo and behold, one sprung up on a tall gated compound . “FOR RENT !” yelled Leakhana . The brakes went on, reverse was selected and we were parked in front of a very nice looking wooden house on a HUGE, lush lot of about an acre. We rang the owner and whilst Leakhana chatted away for 5 minutes I waited patiently to find out how much this could possibly cost. Finally my wife got off the phone and after telling me the price, we were inspecting it 10 minutes later.
The house is a classic timber Khmer stilt house sitting on about an acre of lush, heavily fruited garden. There is a typical under-house kitchen and eating area and the upstairs is ALL glowing wood and exposed timber rafters and tiles with huge floor boards and many louvred shutters providing glimpses of the river and trees that line the garden.The house is fantastic and lends itself to many applications/businesses apart from a family holiday house. There is already one outhouse that could easily be converted to a bungalow.
At the price the owner is asking it is an absolute bargain and as no-one has lived in it for a year, we are going to try and negotiate them even lower. With a little bit of elbow grease I am pretty sure I could turn this into a great haven for the extended family ( Leakhana could finally have the ducks she wants so badly ) and possibly even a viable financial business as a retreat for stressed out Penhites.
30 minutes and 20km from Phnom Penh in peak hour Sunday traffic.
Oh……and here is Gavin’s room ;