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Searching for a Rice Hut

A morning full of variety

The next two projects I have planned for the farm, neither of which have anything to do with farming, are to launch Isan Grace, my floating sala (hut) now that the pond water levels are improving, and to buy and relocate a rice hut to sit over the water. 

This will make a great place to have morning coffee, relax during the day and provide a mooring spot for the boat. Today we booked the guy who moved and rebuilt the rice hut we already have in the garden to take on this project and went on a search for a suitable hut. A few other stories to share as always.

The pond is only a bit over half full but a big enough expanse of water to justify launching the boat, which you can see on the bank in the background.

Isan Grace has looked sad for long enough. Time to refurbish it with a new roof, paintwork and extra barrels and get it back on the water.

This is one of the nicest places to spend time when it is floating and I can’t wait to have it where it belongs.

Isan Grace in wetter times.

Cocktails anyone?

The boat has to be refloated first because where I want to place the rice hut is in the launch path just behind that pipe, which is pumping water from the bore/well into the pond. The raft will be slid down that slope, the barrels installed and then into the water. That leaves the slope free to build the rice hut. The water will eventually reach the level of that timber jetty, so the hut will sit over water – very nice.

Yuan and Lud have been up since 3:00 am today, as most mornings, and were tackling the endless task of weeding and thinning lettuce seedlings.

I was actually helping, although it may not look like it here. That bit of cleared space in front of me was all my work! You can see the difference between the before with weeds and the after. Huge job.

After our morning visit to the farm we locked in the builder to move and rebuild the hut and then went on the hunt for huts. This one was $200.00 but mostly eaten by termites so it was only the original frame plus concrete columns and steel sides. I want all timber.

A small Bun Bang Fai rocket being launched just outside our village this year.

Next to that hut was a Bun Bang Fai rocket making set-up. This is only a small rocket ‘factory’ producing 10,000 rated ones. They can go up to 1 million. Google ‘Bun Bang Fai’ for more info on this unique Isan/Laos festival in May/June. 

Our friend Chung Noi has been making good progress making a new floor for our village temple. This is completed in the raw and will be cut and polished to produce the final result, which I will report on.

The wat is getting ready for its end of Buddhist Lent party on the 21st. Some of the decoration has already been put in place.

We headed to a moo ban (village) close to us looking for rice huts and passed a modern house I have photographed before. This one was built by a son for his mum and is totally out of style for the surroundings. It is as landscaped now as it was 12 months ago!

If this is your thing then here is the guy who can build it for you.

I prefer these traditional timber structures myself. A lot softer on the eye although I am sure less comfortable to live in.

We called into a relative of Gaun’s to get insider’s rice hut gossip and she was making silk thread from boiling these silk worm cocoons. The poor worms are boiled alive to produce silk.

See the thread being extracted from the cocoons in the pot using that divided stick implement.

A casualty to fashion – the dead silkworm. Gaun ate it! I guess it gave its life for two purposes.

The raw silk.

This thread is then dyed to the required colour and pattern before being woven into cloth. This is its raw colour.

This lady has one of those farmhouse type sheds that is full of everything you will ever need, many of which I would like to relocate to our place. Not to be. In the far corner are two beautiful timber wagon wheels in great condition. Not for sale 

The weekend and no school so these three kids were happy to ‘rabbit’ for a photo.

Terrific timbers. Super solid.

We were put on the trail of this rice hut that is possibly up for sale. I should find out tomorrow. In pretty good condition and very tall by rice hut standards. No ducking your head wit this one, unlike the one I currently have.

I would snap this up if it is available at the right price. P.S. It wasn’t. The guy added a 50% farang penalty and I never deal with people like that so this one wasn’t for us.

Bigger than average. It would look great over the water at the farm pond don’t you think?

My current hut as a reminder of what I am aiming to achieve. Stick a bigger version over water at the farm pond and I think that would be a winner.

So many people have timber like this lying around. Old hardwood.

The guy possibly selling the hut is building a new concrete house and had demolished an old wooden house so had all the timber up for sale. I would love to buy the lot. 50,000 baht I believe.

All wrapped up in a display of care that you rarely see. Those timbers must be eight metres long?

The new house. Villages will eventually all be like this – modern suburbia and the historical farm house will be sold off for the timber. I am seeing the best and last of Isan before it fades into bland world architecture..

A glimpse of the roof space. No insulation of course. When will Thais learn the cheap benefit of insulation to keep the heat out?

I took this photo to showcase the high tech platform. Built from eucalyptus for not much. Does the job!

This was a modern version of a rice hut being used as living space next door. I could build this at the farm from much the same money but it would lack the character I so love with these old knock about structures. History seeps into the timbers and you just can’t buy that with modern materials.

Take me on an adventure – click to select a random story below: