Job Training Project




Adventure in
Kampong Cham
1 September 2009



The casual passerby may not notice them, but stairways of these simple rural houses show a variety of designs and construction.  Generally the perception is that people plan and construct the house and then use whatever they have left for the stairway.  That happens even in houses in the city where often an external stairway is built after the house is constructed to give access to the second and third floors.

Sometimes the stairs or entranceway into a house seems almost an afterthought. This is a rather substantial and well-made house but the stairway is just a simple ladder leading up to the door.  Note that the ladder emphasizes simple and cheap construction—with the steps far apart—rather than ease of use.  Can you imagine coming down that in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom?  My bet is on a chamberpot. A most basic stairway
This simple little ladder seems more appropriate for this simple little house. A ladder for a stairway
This is probably the most common stairway seen in this area—finished lumber used for steps, with a concrete footer and railings.  It shows the family has enough money to pay attention to some simple details. The most common house stairway
What happened here?  Maybe they ran out of lumber for the wooden part of the stairs or they had some extra concrete they didn't want to waste.  Note they have added an extra wooden step to get down from the concrete footer. A stairway with a big first step
A surprising number of houses have some sort of ramp.  Perhaps it's because very elderly family members need to go up and down or perhaps it reflects the large number of people with disabilities in the country.  This is a rather solid ramp with firm planks. A house with a ramp
This long ramp is made from split bamboo.  A second similar ramp is under construction on the ground. A less substantial ramp
This house is not elevated very high on stilts and an earthen ramp, surfaced with concrete, has been built for entrance into the building. An earthen ramp
The porch with a railing and the painted, more stylish stairway show this family has a little more money than most of their neighbors. A stairway with a little more flair
And then there's this grand staircase, maybe illustrating the "If you've got it, flaunt it!" school of thought. The ultimate in village stairways

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