Mum’s $15k housing fund is still burning a hole in her pocket and recently Leakhana and her friends have been scouting an area opposite Chroy Changva that apparently is good value. Leakhana tells me that with the assistance of a lady we knew ( now living out there herself with her family after moving from the city ) they had found an old Khmer wooden house on 17mx30m that did not need much work and it was only $18k. Keen to get out of the city and with an invitation for lunch at the friends house, we bought some chickens at the market and headed over.To get there you have to cross the Japanese bridge and then jump on a vehicular ferry that takes you across the Mekong. From Wat Phnom on Phnom Penh all up you are looking at about a one hour trip assuming the ferry connects reasonably quickly but if the ferry was waiting and you drove straight on I’d say about 45 mins.
Once over there we headed straight for our friend At’s parents house. They paid $5000 for their little block of land and had spent a few thousand more building a functional house with loft setup inside. It was a bit tight getting along the access road in the Landcruiser but we managed it and after some hellos and a quick perusal of her fathers motorbike collection, we let them prepare the chicken whilst we left to go look at the house for sale. When we got there I was very pleasantly surprised indeed. The solid concrete down / timber up Khmer house was on a nice sized block just one street back from the Mekong ans was generously proportioned with PLENTY of potential do renovate cheaply. It needs a complete concrete floor / slab added underneath to remove the existing dirt floor , some work on the kitchen and bathroom , a fence and a lick of paint all of which you could easily do for under $5,000. They want $19,000 so mum is short. I don’t know how they are going to come up with the extra cash but I told everyone in no uncertain terms NOT to look at Leakhana and I ! Still…its definitely worth a run at if mum can swing it and I could certainly lend my handyman skills to fix it up over time.
After seeing the house we went for a bit of a drive ans tumbled on a great resort called Smango House. Set on a huge block right on the Mekong it had a pool and some bungalows and a great play area for the kids. Id really like to go over there for a night / weekend.
After touring around for a bit it was time to head back to At’s house for lunch – roast Khmer chicken and steamed banana leaves washed down with cold beer. With a breeze blowing and Grace kept busy cuddling chicks , it was a nice afternoon and around 4pm we headed back to the city.