Saturday, 21 February 2015

Tree Houses in Thailand

It is curious that although Thais frequently build their homes on stilts they rarely build houses or bungalows in trees. The tree house is an imported idea that is slowly gaining traction in Thailand. It is sometimes broadly interpreted as a building among trees or a roof top room exposed to the elements. Here are a few versions of tree houses in Thailand.

Bangkok Tree House

This is a serious attempt at an environmentally friendly hotel in Bangkok. It is next to the river in an area with plenty of trees. The hotel offers various high build rooms including this one with great views and a bed on a viewing platform. It epitomises the indoor / outdoor concept that came to the fore of Thai design in the early 2000s mostly connected to luxury villa and hotel architecture.

Khao Sok Tree House

This is a resort set near the National Park of Khao Sok. It is a staging post for safaris in the park. It gives guests the chance to be in a jungle environment. The rooms are bungalows that are on stilts. They are not built in the cradle of a branch but are surrounded by plenty of trees. The resort does well to combine luxuries such as a swimming pool with a forest situation.

Rabeang Pasak Treehouse Resort

This resort is on the edge of Chiang Mai City. It is in a great sylvan location. Longan House is a well-constructed tree house. The main room is built around a tree trunk at elevation. The structure is extended with steps and a walk way to a smaller room near ground level.

Charm Beach Resort

On the popular party beach of Baan Tai you can find one ‘luxury’ tree house. It is built in a tree on the beach. It has TV, air-con and the resort promises room service. It is a bungalow in a tree essentially. It fits very well into the traditional Koh Phangan style of using natural and locally sourced materials for building.

Sunrise Villa

On the same island is Sunrise Villa. It is a modern 3 bedroom private villa. The hillside location means that there is a large distance between the wrap around balcony and the steep hill below. The panoramic sea views and the height give the impression of being in a tree house.

Koh Phayam

Koh Phayam is a small island off the coast from Ranong on the Andaman coast. It is very under-developed, in many ways like Koh Phangan was 30 years ago. The main beach had a bar with lots of funky seating including this basic tree house. The platform is made from bamboo and the steps are just bits of wood nailed to the tree. It is simplicity itself.