Housing Around The World- Malaysia- Stilt houses

Sabah, Malaysia

The houses here are made of wood, some painted, and others worn out by time and sea air. The fishermen in Saba of Borneo Island and their families live in houses on the water commonly known as stilt houses.  Stilt houses are houses raised on piles over the surface of the soil or a body of water. The stilt houses are built from the timber of mangrove trees which has the durability to stand up against sea water. By living on the water, it provides the family with easy access to food as well as a source of income.  The water houses are officially issued addresses and family registrations.

Stilt houses are built primarily as a protection against flooding from torrential rains, but the houses are also built on stilts to be safe from animals. Right under and running alongside each of these houses are big gaps leading down into the sea below. A mass of interlinked wooden beams is supporting it all. The shady space under the house can be used for work or storage. Doors are left open, and many a room is empty aside from a piece of carpet, and maybe a television. The gondolas provide additional shade from the elements. The deck outside provides an area to dry out the day’s catches(pictured above). The occupied houses often have one or two people sitting on stools or the floor, some mixing rice into a bowl, others nodding off to sleep.


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