House in Rawai, Phuket


Love at first sight - well, more or less Love at first sight - well, more or less

We were driving around south Phuket serendipitously last week (mid-May), with occasional stops to look at houses for rent or land for sale (really intending to rent a holiday house in the south), when we turned a corner and saw this, with an irresistible For Sale notice on the gate.

We went in and talked with the owners (an Australian bar-owner and his Thai wife) and were very taken with the whole place - lovely garden, great sea breeze (though you cannot see the sea), great open-air living, all wood first floor, deep well. Not a snip, but not outrageous at 6 million Thai Baht - about GBP85,000. Just one km or so from Rawai beach (see Gallery/Diary May 2004 for pics of this.)

We may go ahead on another joint venture with Peter. I've just been back for the day to talk and take these pics, and I'm more than ever convinced that we'd be happy here. We're also considering the possibility of buying the piece of land next to the house - garden, swimming pool, pool table - maybe, in the future. Hmmm...
View from the front gate View from the front gate

The ground floor is entirely open, except for one room (with en suite bath and minor kitchen area) and a store room; upstairs there are two large bedroom (on en suite), one shower/toilet; a European kitchen area; a large living area and an enormous open-air balcony. In the garden there is another self-contained bungalow-bedroom, with a small workshop behind it.

The house is on the edge of a private estate of high quality housing, with a good number of foreign residents (mostly with their Thai partners). The estate is building a swimming pool and social centre some distance from this house. It's well off the main Chalong-Rawai road, virtually in the countryside. The other houses are less impressive (though often larger and more expensive) than this one.
Balcony area Balcony area

This shows the large open balcony on the first floor, and the open area under it, directly in line with the front gate. The current owner parks his car in here.
Ground floor living or play area Ground floor living or play area

In a true rural Thai house, this is where the chickens would be rooting about; maize would be racked to dry; tools stored; animals penned; grandpa and baby snoozing in hammocks.

Here you could have a pool table; a dining area - and certainly enormous parties...
Ground floor accommodation Ground floor accommodation

This shows the small store room (left) and the self-contained ensuite bedroom.
Upstairs living area Upstairs living area

Upstairs bedroom Upstairs bedroom

Beacuse of the climate - especially the sea breeze - there is no glass in the windows: only mosquito mesh and shutters.
Impressive fitted furniture in one of the bedrooms Impressive fitted furniture in one of the bedrooms

Spacious, well-appointed shower/toilets Spacious, well-appointed shower/toilets

The house has four in all.
Bungalow-bedroom Bungalow-bedroom

This spacious room sits on its own in one corner of the plot.
View from one front corner of the plot View from one front corner of the plot

Small strip of garden and good trees at the back of the house Small strip of garden and good trees at the back of the house

Front garden, with entrance gate to the right Front garden, with entrance gate to the right

Front of house Front of house

Front corner with balcony Front corner with balcony

The balcony is the full depth of the house, about 10m
Back of the bungalow, with small workshop between it and the rear boundary wall Back of the bungalow, with small workshop between it and the rear boundary wall

View from a little way into the adjacent plot of land - which we're enquiring about buying. View from a little way into the adjacent plot of land - which we're enquiring about buying.

The high-pitched roof has louvres at each end to encourage the circulation of air and to cool the house. The roof space is enormous, and large enough for conversion into a major living space or two good rooms.
Adjacent land Adjacent land

We're not sure how much of this is available, but if it's all this, it may be too much and too expensive. Sadly, there are no mature trees left here - as is usually the case on Thai construction sites: all the trees are almost always cleared as the first act of preparing the ground for building.
View from balcony over the back boundary wall View from balcony over the back boundary wall

Not entirely inspiring (especially with all the trees having gone), but the worst likely to happen here is the building of some more houses - there's already one very attractive Thai-style house to the right. And the long prospect to the hills is not unattractive. It's over this open stretch of land that the cool breezes come from the sea. (The nearest sea is actually off to the left, about 1km away.)