Blog : chiang rai

Baan Noi Doi Hang: Little House on the Hill Boasts the Beauty of Work-from-Home Design

Baan Noi Doi Hang: Little House on the Hill Boasts the Beauty of Work-from-Home Design

/ Chiang Rai, Thailand /

/ Story: Nattawat Klysuban / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Rungkit Charoenwat /

It’s amazing how a small space can make a big difference. Here’s a little house on the hill located at Tambon Doi Hang in Chiang Rai’s Muang District. It’s only 35 square meters, which is no bigger than an average condominium unit in the city. But it’s location, location and location that makes it a stunning place to live. The homeowner couple wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and live somewhere out there in the countryside. Like a stroke of serendipity, their wish came true.

Little House on the hill

Theirs is a tiny home built into nature. It sits beautifully ensconced in the misty morning air and, beyond, forested mountains can be seen from miles around. It’s a calm living space designed for a remote work-from-home job and hence no time is wasted in daily rush-hour commutes.

Plus, they get to choose a way of life tailored to their needs. It’s a lifestyle pared down to the essentials thanks in part to a simple house plan, in which every square inch serves a purpose for which it’s intended.

Little House on the hill

The homeowner couple are natives of Bangkok. They had lived in other places before moving out to this northernmost corner of the country. So they pretty much had a clear picture of what they wanted in a new home plus the functionality and the size that would be right for them. They tossed the ideas around with a team of architects. And the overall result was impressive.

Little House on the hill

It’s a small house designed for two people to fit in comfortably, with a bedroom, workspace, bathroom and a kitchenette with coffee bar. It even has a closet and outdoor rooms for relaxation and al fresco cooking and dining.

Basically, it’s a small living space with many advantages. To begin with, it’s a way to avoid expensive cost overruns. It’s easy to keep clean and maintain in good condition, which translates into more time being devoted to something else more important.

Little House on the hill

A large countertop made out of hardwood is perfect for preparing favorite meals and beverages.
The closet with shelves attached to a wall has a wash basin nearby for extra convenience.

The house on a hill is positioned along the east west axis with the view of a lush landscape. The north and south sides have long eaves overhanging the walls that shield the bedroom from exposure to intense afternoon sun.

For health benefits, the architect puts in a front porch under the gable to create room to sit sipping coffee in the morning and to cook stakes in the late afternoon. The house plan is made in this way for good reason; the outdoors can impact human wellbeing. So it’s a good idea to step outside and connect with nature to reduce stress or just lean back and chill.

A floor plan illustrates relationships between spaces. / Courtesy of IS Architects
A drawing illustrates front and side elevations of the house built on sloped ground. / Courtesy of IS Architects

Little House on the hill

Little House on the hill
Multiple swing door systems are glazed using clear glass to soak up the views of lush countryside.

Like a good neighbor who cares about the community, the house was built using locally sourced materials by local builders and artisans highly skilled in woodworking and masonry.

The ingredients obtained from the locality included roofing materials, reclaimed hardwood, and cement for textured plaster walls. The builders were tasked with work according to their specialized skills so as to add countryside flair to the home.

A steel bracket connecting the house post with concrete footing helps protect against moisture damage.

Like everything else, the Northern Region is not without its challenges. It’s no stranger to air pollution caused by seasonal agricultural burning. To be prepared for all eventualities, the architect makes sure the doors and windows are impervious to dust and dirt when that happens.

Well-made swing door systems and awning windows are chosen for their effectiveness in keeping dust out. At the same time, attention to detail ensures there are no gaps between the window pane and the frame when shut.

A teakwood post supports the roof truss consisting of beams and common rafters, a collaboration between the project architect and experienced local builders.

On the whole, the little house on the hill is designed to blend perfectly with the circumstances that form the setting of the area. It’s a product of thoughtful planning by the project architect and the homeowners. And the result is a humble abode that syncs with the rhythm of life in the highlands region of Chiang Rai. Priceless!

Little House on the hill
A bird’s-eye view of the little house on the hill in relation to lush greenery in the surroundings.

Architect: IS Architects (

Lead Architect: Pawin Tharatjai

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Ahsa Farmstay: Relaxing Country Lifestyle

Ahsa Farmstay: Relaxing Country Lifestyle

/ Chiang Rai, Thailand /
/ Story: Samutcha Virapornd, BRL / Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

From time to time, it’s good to leave a hectic lifestyle behind. Escape to the countryside and enjoy life in the slow lane. Priceless! There’s nothing like staying close to nature and being surrounded by mountains and lush paddy fields. Do something you’ve never done before. You can be a part of a local community by getting involved in farm activities.

Collect freshly laid eggs from the chicken coop, pick mushrooms from the nursery, and get vegetables straight from the garden. Even cook your own meals using seasonal ingredients from the community. Or treat yourself to a chicken coop sauna amidst rice fields, a spa idea you never imagine.

There are plenty of reasons a farmstay is the perfect experience as you learn to live in a natural environment. Ahsa Farmstay is offering tourists a chance to stay overnight on a working farm. It’s a place to be happy and have fun as you interact with people in the community and learn about their heritage and culture of farming.

Modern Vernacular Homes

From Chiang Rai, head north towards Doi Mae Salong. About halfway there, you come into Mae Chan District. Ahsa Farmstay is located on 85 Rai (33.6 acres) of land, surrounded by views of the rolling terrain, fertile grounds and lush plains.

The luxuriant vegetation encompassing the farmhouse makes the atmosphere calm and relaxing. The property owners have spared no effort in making sure visitors are happy physically and mentally as they gain an understanding of local culture and the beauty of traditional Lanna architecture.

Modern Vernacular Homes

Ahsa Farmstay is the work of Creative Crews, an architectural design firm passionate about traditional Lanna architecture.

By looking at the northern heritage from a different perspective, they are able to create a home that’s modern in style and functions. This is achieved by reducing design detail and embracing the traditional principles of form and layout. The result is a home that combines privacy, comfort and convenience.

Ahsa Farmstay consists of four buildings. The property owners’ home sits at the center of the rectangular floor plan flanked by two-story buildings that provide guest accommodations on the left and right wings. There are four guest rooms in all. A pavilion that’s up front by the entrance provides a place to unwind and relax, and room for activities.

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Typical of house-on-stilts design, the underfloor space serves as open dining room with a kitchen hidden from view in the background. It’s equipped with stoves and facilities for food preparation. For visitors keen to experience truly country style meals, there’s a barbecue grill for cooking food out of doors.
Modern Vernacular Homes
The lodging house offers two guest rooms, one on each floor. To prevent humidity damage, the room on the ground floor is built of brick with cement plaster. The exterior is painted earth tones to blend in with its natural surroundings.

Im, who oversees Ahsa Farmstay, says the design concept is inspired by a desire to be a part of the local community.

“This is the first phase of an ongoing experiment. The farm owners are a family that resides in this community. By living on the property, they are on hand to take care of their guests at all times. Determined to preserve their way of life, they prefer not to travel some distance to work in the city. And that’s what gives rise to the farmstay project.

“We have good relationships with the community and hire local carpenters to build. They are rare these days, but we find some in the neighborhood.

“For quality assurance, they work under our supervision. The project is built almost entirely of wood recycled from old houses. Our architects take the time to do it right. They go through each and every piece and handpick only the ones that meet specified construction standards.”

An architect on the team added, “Reclaimed wood is the main building material because it can be sourced directly from the community.

“It comes in handy since some villagers are willing to sell it as reusable material. In the end, it’s about finding a new use for old wood and adapting it to serve new purposes. Once the villagers see that we can do it well, they adopt the idea and technique to better suit their construction needs.

“In the end, it adds up to the continuation of cultural heritage and preservation of traditional Lanna architecture by passing on the skill and knowledge to young people in the community.”

Besides old wood, the team is able to put other recyclable materials to good use. They include concrete roof shingles that are rare nowadays. They are made the old-fashioned way using the pedal-powered pottery wheel. Also known as the kick wheel, it’s an ancient manufacturing technique that has been passed on in the local community.

To prevent leaks, the roof is covered by two layers of shingles. The weathered concrete look is beautiful. That’s not all. Ahsa Farmstay is also decorated with items of handicrafts and furniture sourced directly from the community.

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All things considered, the atmosphere is warm and inviting. It gives other families in the neighborhood some idea of how they can offer a form of hospitality and lodging where guests can stay overnight at the home of locals and learn about their culture.

It’s an opportunity to play host, cook food and share their lifestyle and culture. Like so, Ahsa Farmstay is planning on providing more guest rooms as demand for cultural tourism increases.

And it works both ways. New lodgings will be built by local carpenters, which in turn generates supplemental incomes for the local community. In the big picture, it amounts to promoting a kind of tourism intended to support the conservation of cultural heritage, skill and knowledge in the community.

The designer wraps it up nicely:

“It’s important that visitors refrain from causing changes in the community’s way of life. More than anything else, the farmstay provides the opportunity of learning something new about rural culture.

“Visitors are welcome to join in the daily activities of locals. Architecture has a role to play in the betterment of society. The homes built by locals not only promote cultural tourism but also contribute to efforts at sustainable development in the area.”

By looking at old Lanna architecture from a new perspective, a design team is able to create a home that’s up-to-date in style and functions. This is achieved by reducing design detail and embracing the traditional principles of form and layout.

The result is a home that combines privacy, comfort and convenience.

Modern Vernacular Homes
The second-floor unit has a bed at the center. The room is enclosed by wood paneling that slides open to get a view of the natural landscape and slides shut for privacy.

Modern Vernacular Homes

This story is from Modern Vernacular Homes Special Issue: Happiness Matters. (Available here in Thai and English)


Modern Vernacular Homes
Ahsa Farmstay is one of the 13 Special Homes from the Modern Vernacular Homes: Happiness Matters Issue, Thai and English version by the Baan Lae Suan Team. The issue is available now! If you are interested, please contact us. >>

Ahsa Farmstay is located on Soi Wat Mae Salong,

Soi 1, Mae Salong Village, Tambon Pa-sang,
Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai Province.
Tel: 09-7248-4674

Architect: Creative Crews

Structural Engineer: WOR Consultant

Mechanical Engineer: EXM Consultant

Handicrafts: Bundanjai

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Tea Café, Choui Fong Plantation, Chiang Rai Province

Tea Café, Choui Fong Plantation, Chiang Rai Province

Choui Fong Plantation in Chiang Rai is a popular landmark for travelers. In 2016 its Tea Café was awarded a citation of excellence in the commercial and office building category by The Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage (ASA).

/// Thailand ///
Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Designer: Idin Architects

The building’s left wing holds a shop filled with tea-related products.
Buildings split off radially for a panoramic view of mountains and fields.



Sit and sip tea with a 360-degree view.

If you have the good fortune to visit Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai Province, source of Thailand’s high-quality tea, you’ll pass through Mae Chan District. This is home to the Choui Fong Plantation, an enormously popular local tourist landmark. Besides the beautiful tea field landscape spreading as far as the eye can see, you’ll also find the truly chic Choui Fong Tea Café, in 2016 recipient of an architectural award from the Association of Siamese Architects.

The Choui Fong Plantation had been in tea leaf production long before its second-generation heir, Ping (Chanya Wanatsapithaksakul) made the improvements that put it on the agricultural tourism map, with a shop and stalls distributing many of his products and the café, which offers pastries and high-quality tea-based drinks. The delicious tastes and smells are enhanced by the setting: the ingenious architectural design of IDIN Architects which seems to spring right out of its gorgeous natural surroundings. The rectangular concrete structures, split into three interconnecting wings. are built into the hill at the highest point in the fields. Elegant by themselves, they are even more so in the context of nature. Visitors can walk around the hilltop roof and enjoy a 360-degree vista of tea fields, or look out from the lower deck while relaxing with tea and pastries, which can also be bought at the store.

Visitors walk down from the hilltop to enter the café complex.
With only a single post supporting each wing, the buildings seem light, as if floating midair.
Tea can be enjoyed on both the roof deck and the lower level.

Tea aficionados love the simple décor: pine wood gives a serene look which goes well with the scents and tastes, and all the building materials – steel, concrete, wood – retain their natural textures, bringing to bear the tea-drinking cultural values of honesty and simplicity, attracting both experts and amateurs into the tea world in all its depth.

Sipping tea here is much more than just experiencing delicious tastes, it’s experiencing the joys of life itself.

Evening atmosphere at Choui Fong Tea Café.


Link :


A Concrete House with Bamboo Interior Decoration

A Concrete House with Bamboo Interior Decoration

/ Chiang Rai, Thailand /

/ Story: Otto Otto / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sungwan Phratep /

Introducing a plain and simple concrete home that captures the essence of the cultures of Southeast Asia. Like an unforgettable journey back in time, it uses bamboo design for interior decoration. Step inside and be enthralled by a bewildering array of items made of bamboo and craftworks showcasing a passion and individuality.

The homeowner is a nationally renowned painter. When his old house was receiving more visitors and friends than it could handle, he decided to build a new one right next to it. The result is a living space handcrafted with grace and sustainable elegance.

The first floor holds a trendy open-concept living room with dining space done in the loft style. It houses a collection of paintings that dominate bare concrete walls.

If visitors should feel like spending the night here, guest accommodation is only a flight of cantilever stairs away.

Loft House with Entrancing Bamboo Design

Loft House with Entrancing Bamboo Design

There is a touch of the exotic in the bedroom designed by award-winning designer/carpenter Yutthana Bumrungkit. He thinks this modern building needs a bit of craftworks to create a delightful local ambiance.

Ceiling treatments are fashioned from cleaved bamboo paneling, while the walls are covered in flattened bamboo poles arranged horizontally to highlight a naturally split pattern and nodes in rustic amber color.

Even the doorknob is crafted of a bamboo gnarl.
Even the doorknob is crafted of a bamboo gnarl.
Light switches are hidden in plain sight behind knotted bamboo sticks put together in a miniature lattice.
Light switches are hidden in plain sight behind knotted bamboo sticks put together in a miniature lattice.
Rustic handrail is crafted of a giant bamboo pole, part of the designer’s rare collectibles.
The rustic handrail is crafted of a giant bamboo pole, part of the designer’s rare collectibles.

Ceiling treatments combine strand woven paneling with braid design, ideal bathroom décor of bamboo aficionados.
Ceiling treatments combine strand woven paneling with braid design, ideal bathroom décor of bamboo aficionados.
An ultramodern chandelier fashioned from sheets of mulberry paper fills the interior with an orchestra of electric lights.

The raw look of lofts and warmth that comes with bamboo design combine to give this house modern rustic appeal while showcasing the owner’s passion and individuality.

In a nutshell, the giant woody grass of Southeast Asia still has plenty of room to grow in the world of modern design.

Designer: Chan Sippasattra, Yutthana Bumrungkit

Visit the house on YouTube…


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