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Grandmother, 79, refuses to sell her old wooden house for $2.5MILLION

With a never-ending stream of new high-rise apartment blocks being built, sometimes it seems like they’ll be nothing left of the ‘old’ Bangkok.

Most of the city’s original wooden homes have disappeared – swallowed up by offices, shopping malls and condos.

But this pensioner is taking a stand against that, refusing to sell her crumbling 152-year-old teak house – even for a staggering 85 MILLION Thai baht ($2.5MILLION).

Kannika Chomsiri, 79, and her daughter Sununta, 39, outside the family home that developers offered to buy for 85million thb

Kannika Chomsiri, 79, and her daughter Sununta, 39, outside the family home that developers offered to buy for 85million thb

Kannika Chomsiri, 79, was born in the house, which was built originally by her great grandfather.

When developers bought neighboring land, they thought that Kannika would be quick to sell up.

But the retired police lieutenant refused.

Property developers pleaded with her to sell her ‘virtually worthless’ property – ramping up the offer each time they visited.

Even with big money on the table, Kannika, who became a nun after retiring,  insisted that she wanted to stay in the house with her three sons, one daughter and five grandchildren.

The company developing the area instead built a strange looking, 24-storey L-shape apartment block around her home, as the couldn’t buy her land. A second building is going up directly in front of the pensioner’s house, and there’s a recently finished apartment block directly to the left.

It means that the grandmother and her family are living in the shadow of three huge new tower blocks.

‘The noise is a nightmare and it’s not nice looking out and seeing concrete walls, where once there were fields,’ Kannika told PackThailand.com

The 152-year-old teak house is surrounded by high-rise apartment blocks

The 152-year-old teak house is surrounded by high-rise apartment blocks

‘The big boss of the company came many times and begged me to sell. He kept coming back an increasing the price. But i’m not leaving.

‘Most people would sell. But this was my parents’ home, and my grandparents’ home, and their parents lived here too.

‘That is more important to me than any amount of money. I will stay here and so will my children when I am gone.’
The wooden home is in desperate need of repair, and is being propped up with metal stilts.
It was built under the reign of King Rama IV, in a distinctive style. Many of these homes have long been knocked down.
And the pace of gentrification of Bangkok has increased even more in recent years as money pours in from Chinese investors, keen to buy land and property.
Kana’s daughter Sununta Chomsiri, 39, said: ‘We don’t have a lot of luxuries, we wash the clothes in a tub outside in the yard.
‘The house has a lot of problems. On its own, it’s virtually worthless.
‘But we’re happy here and it’s important to my mother that this home stays in the family for future generations.’

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