A Complete Resort Landscape – Large Entertainment Sala, Stream and Waterfall, Traditional Thai Prayer House

A Youtube video of this project can be viewed here: Resort Style Landscaping in Thailand …

To start the job, the team had to completely clear 1 rai of ‘jungle’ land, which had been left to its own for many years. A dedicated team with back hoe and dozens of clearing trucks attacked the undergrowth, and within several days had cleaned the area of all vegetation, with new leveling sand and topsoil being brought in to make this once heavily jungled wasteland into a broad, flat rectangle of amazing potential.

Land preparation in Thailand
The plot is ready for the landscape plan to be marked up and installed

The team marked out the various areas, and how they would all be linked together. Steam, Sala, Prayer house and pathways. Planted areas and large trees.

The Prayer House

House design in Thailand
The finished Prayer House is in traditional Thai Lanna style

The original concept was to make a quiet, enclosed area for the Thai family members. Located near to the bottom of the stream, it is accessed via a bridge. The structure is built with concrete foundation and pillars, with a steel roof structure and framework, with red wood paneling, windows and doors.

House Design
Prayer house – under construction

A small outdoor porch were also part of the original design, which was drafted in full and approved by the owner before the build took place. The final results are a delightful little wooden house, with multiple tall thin windows adding a good amount of light inside. The wooden floors are solid and comfortable, and the house with it’s clear views of the face of the large waterfall is a great addition to this resort style landscape.

Landscaping and Construction
Nestled amongst the tropical gardens …

The Sala

Thai Garden Sala
The Finished Sala measures over 80 SQM of entertainment space

This large entertainment sala is really the centerpiece of the whole garden. Situated just beside the stairs from the upper garden and main house, it offers a sheltered, cool place to sit and enjoy the surrounding views, pond and landscape. Itself designed to include a full bar, BBQ, fridge freezer, it also is a large enough to hold several tables and a pool table, with room to spare! At over 80 sqm, it is not a small space.

Building a Sala in Thailand
The Sala under Construction

The team poured a reinforced slab and columns. Similar to the prayer house in design, a complicated steel framework make up the roof structure, along with roof insulation sheet and beautiful modern shingle tiles in a traditional Thai red colour.

Hardwood Roofing Thailand
Team install the redwood ceiling

The interior roof of the sala was decorated with a flat hardwood ceiling, a spread of modern style downlights, and a mist spray system running around the perimeter of the roof! It’s impossible to remain hot and sweaty when you’re inside this sala.

Tropical Resort Landscape
The Sala is the centerpiece of this new garden

Finally, the layered ‘Dutch Gable’ styled roof, which was also a feature of the prayer house, makes this structure a real eye pleaser. Many people who witnessed the building of the sala from outside often came in and asked our guys ‘what is the name of the new restaurant’.

Pond, Stream and Waterfall

Drone Shot Landscaping
The length of the stream is visible in this overhead picture

Our customer was passionate about making this garden the main attraction to his house. Anticipating future retirement here, he planned the sala to be his ‘entertainment’ and ‘relaxation’ area, and to complement that, his vision was to build a meandering stream, cutting lengthways across the landscape, with the end closest and in direct view of the sala, a large, natural stone cascading waterfall.

Natural Rock Stream Thailand
Amazing rock waterfall and stream

Measuring close to 2.50m in height, and over 5m wide, the waterfall took several weeks to plan and build. The team at Thai Garden Design have decades of experience building similar waterfalls, and so the customer had done their research well.

Rock Waterfall Landscape
The impressive stream is over 15m in length

The stream, measuring over 15m in length and averaging 1.50m width and 1.30m depth, was also a large part of the project. Concrete lined and with a pebble floor, the edges were to be decorated with rock boulders and landscaping plants.

Wetland filter in Thailand
The wetland filter has been constructed, and ready for the filter medium

At the end closest to the waterfall, the team build a large wetland filter, which would receive the incoming water at the base, and slowly push this water up through a layer of fine gravel and then larger stones, filtering the sediments from the water, and over time building up layers of good bacteria to naturally get rid of algae and other contaminants.

Waterfall and Stream Hua Hin
The wetland filter is now filled with medium, and populated with water plants

At the other end of the stream, the team also included a large tank filled with UV lights, to also assist in the killing of algae, helping the pond water to stay clean and clear. When the stream and filter structures were complete, the team installed a series of water plants in fixed and open buckets, to decorate and green up all areas.

Other garden elements – Stone Cladded Wall

Wall design Thailand
The old wall was cladded in lovely natural stone

The old separating wall between the two plots was a stained and ugly concrete wall. The team cut this down to about half size, and knocked through spaces where two steps would go, one main entrance and another on the bottom half of the garden. The old concrete wall was re-plastered, and then cladded with natural stone boulders. The final look is very dramatic and in keeping with the resort style of the overall landscape. Planter spaces were built into the top of the wall, with amazing colourful bougainvillea and Madagascar Periwinkle plants, set to hang and fall over the sides of the rocks.

Stone Cladded House Wall
The finished house wall – a feature in itself

Pergolas – The owner removed all the previous awnings that were old and tired, and the team built galvanized modern style steel frames, coloured to look like hardwood, over the main patio doors to the house and guest houses. The pergolas offer a long term solution, giving great shade and rain protection with zero maintenance.

Pergola in Thailand
Finished Decorative Pergola for Guest Houses and Terraces

Sprinkler System – Both upper and lower gardens were fitted with a fully automatic Hunter X-Core sprinkler system. Nearly 3 rai of area covered, including all solenoid valves, pipework, rain sensor, lawn and garden beds!

Sprinkler system Hunter
An automatic sprinkler system covers both gardens

Pathways – Meandering pathways of stamped concrete, in a random cut stone style.

Tropical garden designs
A mix of pathways decorate the landscape

Plants – A huge range of palms including : Bismarck Palms, Washington Palms, Foxtail Palms, Travelers Palms, Lipstick Palms (lots). Plus a great array of ground covers and shrubs – Purple cordylines, red ixora, lobster clays, coral vines, ash bushes, spider lilies, birds of paradise.

Tropical plants thailand
Tropical plants of all descriptions installed across the garden


Let us help you to decorate your Thai garden. Browse some of our wonderful Thai garden features here.



Pebbles and Rock

Pebbles & Rock



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Plants & Trees

Garden Art

Garden Art

Palm Gate