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


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

Kevin Landwer-Johan teaching photography

Photo Workshops

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

Custom Workshops

We are happy to design customized photography workshops and tours in Thailand and other SE Asian countries.

Suan Sook Homestay Kevin and Pansa at Number 49

Whether you are coming for a photography retreat or to just relax and enjoy nature, we want your time at Suan Sook Homestay 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

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 (low season beginning March – end October)

2500 Thai Baht per night (high season beginning November – end February)

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 (low season beginning March – end October)

2500 Thai Baht per night (high season beginning November – end February)

Suan Sook Homestay family cottage exterior

Family Cottage

Two spacious, comfortable air conditioned bedrooms with king size beds. There’s a living area opening out onto a porch with stunning views and private bathroom.

3500 Thai baht per night (low season beginning March – end October)

3900 Thai Baht per night (high season beginning November – end February)

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.

Scan this QR Code for a Google Map pin to Suan Sook Homestay.

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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.

Contact Us

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    Weekend Rural Market
    Photography Workshop

    Markets are always a fabulous source of opportunity. To taste delicious food, pick up a bargain or two. 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 Workshops

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

    Our photography workshops 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.

    5 Day
    Thai Culture Photography Workshops

    We have designed this 5 day workshop to immerse you in photography and northern Thai culture. The environment is friendly, encouraging and designed for amateur photographers at any level.

    We will build your confidence and creative skills and provide you with a huge variety of cultural photo opportunities unique to our photography workshops.

    Premium Photography Experience Workshop @ Suan Sook

    A fantastic package for photography lovers who cherish unique travel experiences.

    • 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

    Weekend Rural Market

    Special Experience Thailand Photo Workshop

    Thai 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, in Thailand local markets provide a superb introduction to local culture and lifestyle, opening up endless possibilities for great photo and teaching opportunities.

    We’ve discovered two rural weekend markets nearby our home and created new photography workshops 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 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. You’re unlikely to see other tourists at these locations let alone any Thailand photo tours.

    Suan Sook Weekend Markets Photo Workshop Weekend Cattle Market

    Whether you’re a more experienced photographer or interested in more basic photography lessons, 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

    Workshop Price

    9,900bt (1 person)

    8,500bt 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 Workshops

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

    These workshops are customized to best suit where you are at in your photography journey. We have tons of experience in many, many styles. We’ve photographed everything from hill tribes 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 Workshop with us and you will have the opportunity to discover more of your creative gifting. You’ll 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 Workshop
    @ 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 Workshop. 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 Workshop 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.

    “Kevin taught me to tell stories with my photographs

    I recently returned from a 5 day photo workshop/retreat with the amazing Kevin LJ. I had taken a few courses in the past but honestly none of it really stuck with me.  This time was different.  Kevin is an amazingly patient teacher and his passion for photography (and teaching) shines through and is contagious. 

    I believe that the information stuck this time because by staying in their lovely guesthouse I was immersed in photography all day and into the evening. It was intense (at my request) as I had a lot to learn but being able to sit out on their lovely balcony overlooking rice fields, fruit trees and a Chedi in the evening was rejuvenating.  I took several pictures of the landscape trying to capture the beauty that I was seeing but the photos did not do it justice.  It wasn’t until I took a video and captured not only what I saw but also the symphony of frogs, crickets, occasional birds, and running water from a small stream into the rice patty that I was able to capture the magic of Suan Sook Homestay. 

    In addition to all that I have to say that I was spoiled with fantastic Thai food created by the very sweet Pansa – Kevin’s wife.  The only thing that I regret was letting the price delay my decision to take the course.  Yes the cost is high but I can honestly say that you get what you pay for – absolutely top quality instruction and overall experience.”

    Laura, Retired.

    The Locations

    @ Suan Sook

    pwo karen man portrait during a Chiang Mai Photo Workshop 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.

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

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

    Suan Sook Weekend Markets Photo Workshop Suan Sook InteriorTake time to create and photograph still life subjects. It’s about balance, careful composition and lighting.

    Lotus Flower Dark Background taken on a Suan Sook Photography RetreatNatural creation provides endless opportunities to produce stunning photos.

    Photo workshops at Suan Sook Homestay with ceramic New Zealand native birdsLearn to see light, shadow and shapes @ Suan Sook.

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

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

    @ Inthanon National Park

    Ma Ya Waterfall at Doi Inthanon near to Suan Sook Boutique bed and breakfast homestay accommodation

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

    Pink lotus flower and green leavesSplendid gardens, green houses and nurseries developed to teach local farmers new and more productive growing methods.

     – Flowers/nature, landscape, macro, stock

    Ang Ka Walkway, Doi Inthanon during a 5 day photography workshopA short walk down fairly steep steps brings you to a serene green tropical forest boardwalk.

     – Nature, abstract.

    2.8km trail through forest and along the mountainside with more sensational panoramic views. (open November – May)

     – View, panorama, landscape, stock, story telling

    Doi Inthanon Pagoda near to Suan Sook Boutique bed and breakfast homestay accommodation

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

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

    Doi Inthanon Rice paddies near Suan Sook Boutique Homestay Bed and BreakfastTerraced 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

    Suan Sook Weekend Markets Photo Workshop Weekend Cattle MarketRural 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,

    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

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

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

    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,

    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

    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


    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 1900bt – 2500bt 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.

    Retreat Prices

    First Day – 7500bt (+accommodation)

    Second Day – 6500bt (+accommodation)

    Third and subsequent days – 5500bt (+accommodation)

    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 Workshop 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 Workshop 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 since 2002. 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 Workshops

    The photography workshop 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.

    You will have the option of including one or more photography sessions with a model in traditional Thai costume at a special location. (The cost of this is extra and not included in the regular pricing. Please enquire with us about the price.)

    Reclining Thai Model During a Suan Sook Photography Retreat in northern Thailand.

    For a gallery with more examples, please click here.

    Special Mentoring Program

    After completing the workshop 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 your personalized beautiful hardcover coffee table book comprised of photographs you made during the six day workshop. 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
    • 3 months online mentoring after you return home
    • One beautiful hardcover, 50 page coffee table book of your photos
    • 7 nights accommodation
    • 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.

    Retreat Price

    140,000 Thai Baht (~US$4,600) per person. (Can include non-photographer partner at no extra cost.)

     95,000 Thai Baht (~US$3,200) each for two people taking the workshop.

    Custom Designed Photography Workshops

    Flexible photography workshops designed Just For You Our professional team have a broad knowledge and experience of Chiang Mai and northern Thailand. We are happy to offer custom designed photography workshops and tours to our customers. There’s so much to see and to photograph in the north – the regular packages we offer can only cover a small amount (of the very best there is to see!) We are also happy to work with you on teaching specific aspects of photography you would like to gain a more in depth knowledge and experience of. Working with you we will design a custom workshop tour for individuals or small groups.

    Teaching to Suit You

    We are passionate about photography and about northern Thailand. We love to share this passion through showing our customers the beauty and diversity of Chiang Mai and the north while we teach you to become a better photographer. As we work with you to custom design your photography workshop or tour we will be suggesting locations and destinations and asking you the kinds of places you would like to see and things you’d like to experience.

    Whether your a beginning photographer or more experienced Kevin will customize the workshop teaching to suit your level and areas of interest. If you have specific aspects of photography you’d love to learn more about then this is a perfect opportunity for you. If you prefer a tour style experience without teaching we are happy to provide this service.

    Buddhist monk photographed during a Chiang Mai Photo Workshop

    Individual or Small Group

    Our Custom Designed photography workshops are for individual or small private groups of friends traveling together. There are no set dates for these workshops or photo tours, we will be happy to fit with your schedule (as we are able to.) The cost for each tour will vary depending on the number of days, the locations visited and the style of accommodation requested and is based in line with our other workshop and tour prices. You might be surprised at how inexpensive this option is!
    Akha Tea Pickers photographed during a Chiang Mai Photography Workshop

    Not Only Thailand

    If you are interested in a custom photography workshop tour outside of Thailand Kevin is open to work with you for this option also. Advance booking is necessary!

    Make an inquiry now about designing a custom photography workshop tour with us.

    We are flexible to offer our workshops 7 days a week.

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


    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!