Experience Hospitality and tranquility at

Suan Sook Bed & Breakfast - Homestay

Experience Hospitality and tranquility at

Suan Sook Bed & Breakfast - Homestay

Suan Sook Bed & Breakfast - Homestay

Experience Hospitality and tranquility

Photo workshops at Suan Sook Homestay with ceramic New Zealand native birds

Accommodation

Comfortable boutique bed and breakfast at the foot of Doi Inthanon National Park. Come to relax and explore.

Photography Retreats

Learn photography and while enjoying our hospitality. Please learn more about the various retreat workshops we offer.

Kevin and Pansa and Letterbox at Suan Sook Bed and Breakfast Homestay

Whether you are coming for a photography retreat or to just relax and enjoy nature, we want your time at Suan Sook Homesty to be a most memorable one. We want to give you the best Inthanon accommodation experience.

Our homestay is right at the foot of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s hights mountain, bordering the national park. Come and enjoy the relaxing organic gardens and orchard where time seems to slow down. Explore the mountain’s many natural attractions. There’s forest treks, easy walks, fabulous views, waterfalls, the Royal Project gardens and so much more.

Please email us with your booking inquiry or book via AirBnB or Booking.com
[email protected]

Suan Sook Accommodation

Photo Gallery Room

Big wooden doors, wardrobe and bed give this room more of a natural country feeling. Spacious, comfortable air conditioned with a king size bed and private bathroom.

 

1900 Thai baht per night

Photo Studio Room

Modern styling, original artworks, photography collectables, and books make the room. Spacious, comfortable air conditioned with a king size bed and private bathroom.

 

1900 Thai baht per night

Getting To Suan Sook

Suan Sook Boutique accommodation is located just 73 kilometers (45 miles) south westish from the center of Chiang Mai. It takes a little over an hour by car and is an easy drive. Please take a look at our Google map for directions and points of interest. Check out this page for more details of Doi Inthnon attractions and what the weather is like here today.

We can arrange transfer from and returning to Chiang Mai (1,500bt each way,) and local drivers to take you sightseeing in Doi Inthanon National Park, (if available.) These services need to be booked in advance.

 

Contact Us

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If you're wanting to book a room and/or a workshop please include the date(s) and the workshop you are interested in.

For workshop pricing and details please keep scrolling down this page.

Photography Retreats @ Suan Sook

Weekend Rural Market
Photography Retreats

Markets are always a fabulous source of opportunity. To taste delicious food, pick up a bargain or two, find a special trinket or a cool new hat or tee shirt. But, far more than these things, local markets provide a superb introduction to local culture and lifestyle, opening up endless possibilities for great photo opportunities.

We’ve discovered two rural weekend markets nearby our home and created new workshops designed to give you an unforgettable photographic and northern Thai cultural experience.

Suan Sook Custom
Photography Retreats

Providing exceptional learning experiences focused on the skills you most want to improve or learn.

We have developed our @ Suan Sook Photography Retreats to bring you the most enjoyable, practical learning experience. Stay with us and be immersed in photography while savoring the tranquil environment of the rural landscape and lifestyle.

Based a short one hour drive from Chiang Mai International Airport at the foot of Doi Inthanon National Park, we are situated in an ideal location to offer diverse photographic opportunities and teach the skills you are most wanting to improve on and/or learn.

Premium Photography Experience Retreat @ Suan Sook

We’ve put together a fantastic package for photography lovers who cherish unique travel experiences. We will host you in your private accommodation which is semi-attached to our home. We both love living in northern Thailand and love photography and we invite you to share this with us.

  • Stay with us at Suan Sook.
  • Engage in a six-day exclusive photography retreat tailored for you.
  • Enjoy 3 more months of photography mentoring after the workshop
  • Keep a 50-page high quality, hardcover book of your photos

Book a Photography Workshop or Retreat with us this month and receive our

Master Your Camera – Master Your Creativity

online course

For FREE!

This online course is a great review of any of our workshops

so you can enjoy learning on the day and into the future

Weekend Market – Special Experience Photography Retreat

Markets are always a fabulous source of opportunity. To taste delicious food, pick up a bargain or two, find a special trinket or a cool new hat or tee shirt. But, far more than these things, local markets provide a superb introduction to local culture and lifestyle, opening up endless possibilities for great photo opportunities.

We’ve discovered two rural weekend markets nearby our home and created new retreats designed to give you an unforgettable photographic and northern Thai cultural experience.

Happy Market Vendors Suan Sook Weekend Markets Photo Workshop

@ Suan Sook Homestay

You’ll need to make a booking to stay with us on a Friday or Saturday night so we can rise early and head to the market at dawn, making the most of the morning light and activity. The vendors have told us they arrive at around 2am to start seeing up, so we will not be there too early!

@ The Markets

We’ll guide you through the maze of stalls and stores, selling everything from mobile phones to buffalo (at the Saturday market,) and highlight the best locations for capturing the mood and atmosphere that’s developed at these markets every weekend for well over 100 years.

Suan Sook Weekend Markets Photo Workshop Weekend Cattle Market

We can enjoy breakfast there. Sitting down for a bowl of noodles or snacking as we walk on the wonderful variety of local goodies.

Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced photographer, these weekend markets will open up your creativity and inspire you to come away with a new portfolio of unique travel images.

Selecting Your Best

We’ll return to Suan Sook, stopping for some lunch along the way, where we will sit together and review your morning’s efforts. No doubt you will have captured many special moments in a myriad of locations and situations, and now comes the part of the process many photographers struggle with – discerning which of your photos are the “keepers” and which of them to delete.

Kevin’s early experience working as a newspaper photographer required him to become an expert in this area. To be able to quickly choose the one image from the assignment that would be published. You don’t have that pressure, but you can benefit from Kevin’s experience and teaching as he walks you through his tried and true process training you how to make a selection of the finest photographs you’ve captured during the morning session.

Our Weekend Photography Retreat includes:

  • One night’s accommodation (1 or 2 people)
  • Weekend Markets Workshop
  • Image Selection Workshop
  • Dinner, breakfast and lunch.
  • Transport to and from the markets
  • Free online photography course (so you don’t need to take notes during the workshop)

Not Included:

  • Transport to and from Suan Sook (this can be provided if booked in advance.)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tips
  • Insurance
Suan Sook Homestay photo workshops Market Chicken Buying

Special Opening Price

7,900bt (1 person)

6500bt each, for two people sharing a room.

All of our standard terms and conditions apply.

Everyone booking a retreat who gives us a review on Trip Advisor will receive one month of free email questions and answers relating to any topic covered during the workshops.

Don’t just take our word for it – click here to read the reviews we have from happy photographers who have completed our workshops.

Suan Sook Custom Photography Retreats

Providing exceptional learning experiences focused on the skills you most want to improve or learn.

These retreats are customized to best suit where you are at in your photography journey. We have tons of experience in many, many styles and photographed everything from hill tribe to celebrity portraits, trolly racing to World Rally Championship competition, corporate boardrooms to garbage dump dwellings. We are passionate about what we do and enthusiastic to impart our passion and expertise to you.

Book an @ Suan Sook Photography Retreat with us and you will have the opportunity to discover more of your creative gifting, learn how to use your camera intuitively and infuse your photos with a depth of meaning and feeling beyond what you can currently imagine.

Suan Sook Weekend Markets Photo Workshop Suan Sook Interior

Your Photography Retreat
@ Suan Sook

Welcome To Our Home

Greeting you with a cool drink we’ll let you settle into one of our two guest rooms, each featuring king bed, en suite, air-conditioning and the warm comfort of our home.

Once you’re ready we can sit together and go over the options for how you would like to design your Photography Experience Retreat. To get an idea of what’s available, browse through the many options below. There’s a variety of locations we can teach at in the region and the photography topics best suited to each of them are also outlined. You can pick and choose where you’d most like to spend the time based on what you most want to see and the photography skills you most want to improve on.

During this initial discussion we’ll get a feel for where you are at with your photography and what you most want to focus on. Through our years of experience teaching we have found this to be a most valuable time. It will enable us to teach you matching your skill and experience level. We’ll also get a feeling for the way you prefer to use your camera and the styles you are drawn to.

Planning Your Photography Retreat Experience

Whether you are coming for a single night and one day workshop, or a longer stay with multiple days of workshops, we will map out an itinerary based on your preferences.

Photographers with a reasonable amount of camera knowledge and experience will likely prefer arranging to go directly to a location first thing the following morning. For beginner photographers we recommend spending some time together in the morning at Suan Sook.

For Beginner Photographers

We will focus on familiarizing you with your camera and some of the essential photography skills. Around Suan Sook we’ve incorporated an abundance of interesting features to photograph and to aid your learning experience, so this will not be a boring classroom session. Once we have got you well grounded, understanding your camera better and the fundamental concepts of what makes a great photo, (and how to achieve doing this,) we’ll head out and do it!

For More Experienced Photographers

Those who are already more familiar with using their cameras can begin the experience at your first chosen location. With a careful selection of locations you are sure to learn new techniques, develop your skills and spend the time capturing creative, dynamic photographs.

Pick ‘n’ Mix

Pick the locations which most interest you and mix them with the style and skills you most want to work on. We not only want you to learn and love photography more, but we really want you to enjoy your experience at our home, in and around Doi Inthanon National Park and the region.

As you read through the outlines of locations below you will notice we have matched them with various types of photography best suited to them.

The Locations

@ Suan Sook

Portraits (outdoor studio)

I have developed a technique to make outdoor portraits with a custom made ‘studio’ using only available light, based Irving Penn’s own outdoor studio.


Night & Dusk

Dusk and night photography @ Suan Sook. Learn to experiment with low light, long exposures, ‘blue hour’ and using flash and other light sources.


Macro Photography

Attention to the smallest details. Focusing on making great photos of little things (or small portions of big things.)


Still Life

Take time to create and photograph still life subjects. It’s about balance, careful composition and lighting.


Flowers/Nature

Natural creation provides endless opportunities to produce stunning photos.


Architecture

Learn to see light, shadow and shapes @ Suan Sook.


Food Photography

Pique appetites by discovering how to make food look tempting and irresistible.


Digital Work-flow

Kevin has developed his work-flow diligently to ensure maximum efficiency and enjoyment to manage and manipulate digital photographs.

Inthanon National Park

Mae Ya Waterfall

Our favorite of the many waterfalls in the national park.
 – Landscape, nature, panorama, long exposure.


Royal Project Agricultural Station and Gardens

Splendid gardens, green houses and nurseries developed to teach local farmers new and more productive growing methods.

 – Flowers/nature, landscape, macro, stock


Ang Ka Walkway

A short walk down fairly steep steps brings you to a serene green tropical forest boardwalk.

 – Nature, abstract.


Big Rock View Point

Stunning panoramic views from atop this large rock.

 – View, panorama, landscape


Kew Mae Pan Walkway

2.8km trail through forest and along the mountainside with more sensational panoramic views.

 – View, panorama, landscape, stock, story telling


Twin Royal Pagodas

The twin pagodas are set in spectacular gardens with majestic panoramic views.

 – Architecture, landscape, flowers/nature, panorama, view, stock


Rice Terraces

Terraced working rice fields stretch impressively on and on across mountainsides and through valleys. (Available only during the growing season – July thru early November)

 – Landscape, panorama, stock, view.

Local Highlights

Weekend Markets

Rural markets selling everything from mobile phones to buffalo. Throngs of locals (and few or no tourists) flock to these markets every Saturday and Sunday. (You’ll need to be staying with us on a Friday or Saturday night to include this option.)

 – Street, candid, people, storytelling, black and white, food,


Temples

We have a variety of local Buddhist temples, of which we’ve picked out the most photogenic, close by Suan Sook and further away.

 – Architecture, still life, story telling, abstract, stock


Reclining Buddha

A massive statue rests on a hill top surrounded by gardens and religious sculptures.

 – Architecture, still life, story telling, nature, panorama, view, abstract, stock


Mae Lai Karen Village

Real rural hill tribe lifestyle. We have a close relationship with people in this village. It’s a wonderful place to experience a little of Karen lifestyle and make some great portraits with our outdoor studio.

 – Portraits, architecture, street, story telling, black and white,


Baan Thong Luang

Slightly north of Chiang Mai, so a little further away, is one of our favorite places to photograph and take guests to. We have very good relationships here which afford us, and you, remarkable photo opportunities.

 – Portraits, people, candid, architecture, black and white, story telling, flash


Muang Mai Market

Another of our favorite photography locations. We’ve been taking workshops here for years and never get tired of the hsutle and bustle and real Chaing Mai life.

 – People, street, story telling, candid, food, macro, black and white, time lapse, stock, abstract

Pricing

We have a base rate per day with additional charges depending or your choices, as some locations require an entrance fee. The accommodation cost varies from high to low season, (currently between 1300bt – 1900bt per room per night.) Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the workshop prices. Drinking water, tea, and coffee are also included. Alcoholic drinks are not included in the prices.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/24104272

 

Retreat Prices

First Day – 7500bt

Second Day – 6500bt

Third and subsequent days – 5500bt

Please ask us about pricing discounts for more than one person booking at the same time.

If you compare our photography workshop prices with others offering one on one or small group teaching you will find we are often 3-4 times cheaper than in many countries.

There is a 300bt per person ticket to enter Doi Inthanon National Park and some attractions within the park, (such as the Royal Project, Twin Pagodas and waterfalls,) a further ticket price incurred. Baan Thong Luang Village has a ticket price of 500bt per person.

If you are wanting to work with the outdoor studio, using local people as models or professional models in traditional costume, the price will vary depending on the number of models, costumes etc.

All locations requiring a ticket purchase are indicated above like this **(300bt) with the price in brackets indicating the cost of the ticket.

Photo Workshops at Suan Sook Homestay rice field irrigation with bamboo

Suggested Photography Retreat Design

2 Days, 2 Nights

Arrive in the afternoon or early evening to check in.

Discuss together what you hope to learn and experience during the retreat. Design the workshops together to meet your needs.

Dinner together @ Suan Sook

Workshop Day 1:

After breakfast head up the mountain to the Royal Project Gardens and spend the morning learning and practicing new skills and improving on existing ones.

Enjoy lunch at the Royal Project restaurant before going for a relaxing walk in the cool of the tropical forest at the Ang ka Walkway. Head back to Suan Sook for a rest before an early dinner.

After dinner spend time at dusk and into the evening focusing on ‘blue hour’ and long exposure techniques.

Workshop Day 2:

Wake early to leave for the weekend market, (for this option you’ll need to be here on a Saturday or Sunday, obviously.) Enjoy breakfast at the market and be immersed in a rural Thai cultural experience and photography fest! There’s so much to photograph here – from candid or posed portraits, food, plants, crowds of people, lively ‘street’ scenes and, at the Saturday market there’s also cows and buffalo.

Heading back we can enjoy lunch at a restaurant along the way and then spend time in the afternoon working through digital workflow methods. Learning how to manage your photos and choose which ones you want to post process.

Then return to Chiang Mai or relax and spend another night with us @ Suan Sook Homestay.

Costs for this suggested 2 day workshop:

Chiang Mai transfer – optional (3,000bt)

Accommodation 2 nights (3800bt)

2 Day Workshop (14000bt)

Doi Inthanon Park Ticket(300bt)

Premium Photography Retreat Experience @ Suan Sook

We’ve put together a fantastic package for photography lovers who cherish unique travel experiences. We will host you in your private accommodation which is semi-attached to our home. We both love living in northern Thailand and love photography and we invite you to share this with us.

  • Stay with us at Suan Sook Boutique Homestay.
  • Engage in a six-day exclusive photography workshop tailored for you.
  • Enjoy 3 more months of photography mentoring after the workshop
  • Keep a 50-page high quality, hardcover book of your photos
Photo workshops at Suan Sook Homestay with ceramic New Zealand native birds

Relaxed Learning Environment

Stay with us at our brand new boutique homestay at the foot of Doi Inthanon National Park (just a short drive from Chiang Mai.) Spend six days immersed in photography with us as we teach, guide and challenge you to improve your skills and gain new insights on how you can continue to develop your love of photography.

You will also learn about northern Thai lifestyle – from Pansa who is born and bred Thai and Kevin who has chosen northern Thailand as his home for over 16 years. Discover Thai home cooking, how to cook it and how we are organically growing our own fruit and vegetables. Be part of a rural farming landscape where people live a happy, simple lifestyle (yet still have wifi 🙂 )

Women teaching and learning photography on a Chiang Mai Photo Workshop

Exclusive, Customized Retreats

The photography retreat will take place at our property and also at other locations in the national park and Chiang Mai province. We will work directly with you, teaching and encouraging you to become more creative and technically aware. Because this is an exclusive photography workshop you will receive tutoring customized to your needs and desires. We will be totally focused on how you want to further your photography.

Prior to the workshop we will communicate with you so we best understand how we can provide the teaching you want and the options for topics you’d like to cover. We will also discuss with you options for locations to visit and some special extra subject you may like.

pwo karen man portrait during a Chiang Mai Photo Workshop

Special Mentoring Program

After completing the retreat with us you will not want to loose momentum so we are including three months of photography mentoring once you return home. This will incorporate assignments, image critiques, and video calls with Kevin.

Personal Coffee Table Book

Further, we will provide you with three copies of you personalized beautiful hardcover coffee table book comprised of photographs you made during the six day retreat. This will be custom designed to display 50 pages of your best photographs. Yes! We are confident you will produce this many photos you’ll want published and it will be a precious keepsake for you.

What’s Included:

  • 6 day exclusive customized photography workshops (for 1 or 2 people)
  • 3 months online mentoring after you return home (for 1 or 2 people)
  • 3 copies of a beautiful hardcover, 50 page coffee table book of your photos
  • 7 nights accommodation for two
  • Meals and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Airport transfers

What’s Excluded:

  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Entry visa for Thailand.
  • Travel to and from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Tips.
  • Anything not specifically listed as included.

Testimonials

My husband and I have recently stayed with Kevin and Pansa for 2 nights in their beautiful homestay accomodation whilst I undertook a two day customised photography workshop. For anybody who really wants to propel their understanding of photography to the next level, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The course was fully customised to my level of understanding and to my desired genre/s of photography. There is no other way to describe Kevin other than he is an absolute expert at what he does. His passion for photography is infectious and he loves sharing his art form with those that show some passion, no matter their level of understanding. He clearly loves people and loves what he does. Pansa is also a very gifted photographer in her own right; some of her people shots are astounding and her insight in composition and creativity was amazing. The flexibility and the one on one nature of the workshop is what I valued the most. If you are willing (and have the energy) Kevin will work with you from 7 in the morning until very late in the evening on each day; they are both extremely generous with their time. You also have the option to stay on their property and photograph or if you’d prefer to explore other areas of Chiang Mai with them for inspiration they will take you there. The structure of the course is really up to you. Kevin and Pansa really opened their homes and hearts and love sharing their passion. They have both inspired me to be a better photographer and have given me the skills to do so. Really there is nothing more you can ask for other than that. Great people, amazing accomodation and food and best course I’ve ever done. I can’t thank them enough!