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A Garden Forest Walk



We bought the block of land next to us in late 2017 and started work in January 2018 to turn it from a blank canvas into a tropical oasis inspired by the Jim Thompson House gardens in Bangkok. When I designed the land, I had several themes in mind for different parts of the garden and this post shows the progress we have made in one corner, which we wanted as a small forest or pa/pha in Thai.

Building in Thailand eBook

When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I wanted to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end. 

Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many comments, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!

Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.

I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).  

Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!!  I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical.

The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.

This is me working hard at the planning stage. The area I am showing you today is in the background.

This is the corner featured today. The rice hut is now located where that mound of gravel is. The paths have been marked out. The circle is where the water pot will go.

What is what is technically know as a ‘blank canvas’ 🙂

Gaun’s planting started and this is the path we walk down in today’s video.

Gaun is planting dork khun (golden shower) trees. They have gone from this to the five metre trees you see in the video in 20 months.

At this stage it is all in the imagination 🙂

The Isan water pot (ong) today and the mass of high greenery that is now where that bare earth was in the previous photos.

Heading to the rice hut.

Just what I wanted.

Tropical magic in 20 months.

The view from the rice hut overlooking all of Gaun’s hard work.

Pretty special.

And this one, which has nothing to do with this story but on such a lovely sunny morning I had to take a photo as I walked back to the house.

I made a video this morning of walking through our mini-forest and thought it was worth sharing as an inspiration to others thinking/planning to make a shaded space like this in Thailand.


Thanks for reading.


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  1. raymund codina

    this garden is amazing!

    • Tony in Thailand

      Sorry to be slow responding Raymond. Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated.

    • Tony in Thailand

      I am sorry to be so slow in responding. I really appreciate your comment. The garden is a constant joy and provides a welcome oasis of order and shade in an otherwise pretty bleak landscape.

      Cheers. Tony

  2. Jim Busby

    Are you planning on putting down the Brick Pavers on all of those gravel paths? That will be a bit of work.

    Rest up,


    • Tony in Thailand

      Yes Jim but we have already done most of them. There is only another 30 metres of main pathways to do through the ‘forest’ part of the garden leading to the rice hut, I shared recently, and then the rest is optional – smaller side paths that may just get an upgrade of gravel. It has been hard work in bursts but so worth it in the character added to the garden.


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