There are in the world many queer ways of making houses and one of the queerest is found in the city of  Palembang, in Sumatra the town extends for three or four miles on both sides of a rather wide river and both shores are lined with houses. 

First comes a row built upon piles which are driven into the bottom of the river and outside of that another row resting on great bamboo rafts which are held by cables rattau to the piles of the next houses of course these rafts rise and fall with the tide.  

  And the doors open upon the water, so that they are reached by boats.  The thresholds are not more than a foot above water and, one steps directly from the boat into the house.  One can buy anything there is for sale in this town without getting out of his boat.  The people are Malays and it is said that they never build a house on dry land if they can find water to set it in, and never go anywhere on foot if they can reach the place in a boat.