Houses in Cambodia

18 October 2008


Cambodia probably has a more uniform national style for houses than most countries. The majority of Cambodia houses, if the family has the money, are built on stilts and have roofs with two parallel peaks, the rear peak higher than the front one. The average house is made of wood. If the family has more money, there may be a concrete foundation or steps or walls. If they have less money, the walls and roofs may be made of woven palm fronds. Here are a variety of houses in Kampong Cham Province in cenral Cambodia. All except the last would be middle class dwellings.


A typical Cambodian house
A family's simple home. They had enough money to build a concrete footer for the stairs up to the only entrance but not enough money for windows. They'll come later, after a good harvest.
A substantial but no-frills house
This is an even more basic house: a steeper, simpler stairway; rougher lumber; one rear wall is palm fronds; a metal roof rather than tile; no windows; and no proper door.
Another inexpensive house
This family is adding a few frills. They have simple sliding windows and manufactured pilings although there's still no door.
A Cambodian house
Some money has been expended on cement eves around the roof peaks and on the tile roof, but the entranceway is the most basic, just a ramp.
House of a family with money
This house speaks "money" to all who pass by. They have a tile roof, cement and metal fence around their lot, and a paved area in front of the house where they are drying a crop in the sun.
Sleeping under the house
During the daylight hours, the family lives under the house, in the shade and open to the breezes. The large stone vats, called "beams," store rain water for drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing. Every house has hammocks and the flat tables/beds like the one where this man is sleeping.
Enclosed ground area
This family had enough money to enclose part of the area under the house but notice the man still sleeps outside on the large flat platform table/bed.
It's small but it's home
This family didn't have as much money so their under-house space is smaller and has less height. The family still manages to gather there, though.
Cows share space with the family
The valuable under-house area is shared with all the family's animals, too.
House with TV antennas
These houses don't have running water or electricity and many have no toilets, but they all have television--run on car batteries!
Living on a worksite
And then there are the migrant workers who live in the fields they work or in the buildings they are constructing, their roof a blue plastic sheet.

Go to Daily Life in Cambodia main page
Go to Charlie Dittmeier's home page