Landscape Architecture in Thailand

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Landscape Architecture in Thailand

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    Andrew Spiering

    I recently read two articles on Landscape Architecture in Thailand. The first on a wordpress blog called, landscapeisquashu, comments on the great opportunities for those to practice landscape architecture in Thailand and wonders why so many students choose to leave such a beautiful place. The author, also shows examples of work being done in Thailand.

    The second concentrates on the opportunities to study and work in Thailand, how to become licensed, and backs up the point of the first article. The author gives us facts as to how many landscape architects currently work in Thailand versus how many students move elsewhere after they graduate. The author states, “Nearly one third of the students of Bachelor degree in landscape architecture wish to go to other countries for practical training like Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and USA”

    Does anyone know why this trend exists in Thailand?

    Article #1-
    Article #2-

    Les Ballard

    I feel sure that everyone wants experience of elsewhere before returning home. There is no pot of gold though, to pay for a triumphant return to private practice, so the governments of countries with a brain drain, that is not balanced by incomers, have to offer some inducement to stay or return snd that applies across the skills menu. The mayor of Warsaw, Poland, went to Peterborough, England to ask Polish nationals to go home – there is now a skills shortage. Well, once, a full coach left Warsaw for London every half hour, all day, every day and now a million Poles are here in the UK. Some responded to the mayor’s plea.

    Why I write is that, while foreign LA’s will lend any office something, the office is often parochial to its own country, at least. We need vision most in areas near the equator, as that is where global warming is biting hardest and forests are under greates threat from, say, palm oil plantations as well as logging. Even opium poppy crop replacement is an issue in, say, Burma and Afghanistan. What would fetch as high a price? Landscapes have to change and the LAs will help dictate the attempts to change them for the better while retaining a naturalistic environment. So, if governments can recognise this, then sponsoring their nationals’ attempts at finding solutions seems a good idea – but send those who have gone abroad a letter.

    Luv n Lite

    Les Ballard

    Pok Kobkongsanti

    Agree with Les.
    The other big reason for that is salary issue.
    New landscape architect, coming out of undergrad degree, usually gets about 4-600 US$ a month.
    While is Singapore and Hongkong, they will get 3-4 times that amount.
    Living cost is different, and plays an important factor for that salary difference.
    Thailand’s living cost is much much cheaper than Singapore and Hongkong though…..
    In my firm, salaries is a bit higher than average, and I pay for Bonus at the end of the year instead.


    I’ve just finished subscription to Land8. I’ll manage myself to be back to the forum again soon. I’m the author of the article : “Landscape architecture in Thailand” in Topos and pleased to explain more about the situation.

    Pls stay tuned.


    I’m curious who wrote Article #2
    He almost copied my article from Topos62 and add some wrong information at the end ?!?!?
    Mr Somwang is the former president of TALA or we called 2nd Vice president, but not deputy president.
    M.R. Chanvudhi is a senior architect/lecturer not landscape architect.


    In Article #1…

    All photos are from Topos62, it should be referenced 😛


    OK… now I’m able to answer Andrew’s question…
    It’s true that our Newbies (I called my just graduated students –> Newbies) [Read more here]
    prefer to go working abroad. I tried to imply in the articles about
    1. the lack of good regulation/legislative system – i.e: it’s not possible for them (those who graduated after 2003) to apply for the license.
    2. Demand and supply issue, even it’s also true that the market interests in Thailand is growing, but still in many provinces there are some misunderstandings about the Landscape Architecture.
    3. Salary is low, in Singapore for instance, they can get 4 times more (2500 SG$), but in Thailand living expense is also low. A meal can cost only 1$, a furnished apartment can cost only 150$ a month.

    The most important issue is COA:Council of Architect (now they change their name to ACT:Architect Council of Thailand), which regulates 4 areas of design/planning profession – i.e: Architect, interior architect, landscape architect, and urban designer, is too new. And most important reason may involve the organizational structure of the COA, I dont think it’s a good idea to integrate those 4 areas together in an agency. The nature of works is totally different.

    I’ll end here… and wait for any other question (if any)

    pooritat kunurat

    To be honest as I used to working in Bangkok & Hong Kong as well.
    Yes, if compare the living cost & salary Thailand is much more cheaper than other.
    I’m not Bangkok native & need to rent apartment But in actually acceptable room it’s cost around 120US
    per month. But my salary that time is around 400US per month .it’s mean rental is 30% of income.
    It’s hard to live.
    That why alot of LA go to working outside.
    For Hongkong will get 4-5 times salary & rental is around 20-25% of income.
    It’s hard to say for everyone about money & Ideal work.
    For example I used to collect money for 2 years in Thai = Collect in HK only 4 months.
    But other side.I n my opinion I was thinking about somebody who used to working aboard before
    can get the job & connection from world wide back to Thai. It’s mean
    our contry will famous & get more income.
    International office can be pay well also.
    I used to talked with alot of people mostly they would like to back to mother land.
    As long as our country are peaceful. 🙂

    Andrew Spiering

    Thanks for clarifying the mishaps by the other authors. And your expertise in this area is greatly appreciated! I will have to look at your article a little more and come up with a few more questions. From what I gathered, Landscape Architecture in Thailand is in the shadow of the other disciplines…


    AJn Narm krub

    I agree with u krub about the Architect Council of Thailand, sometime (or mostly) they do something too funny krub. I never apply for the landscape license ( exactly it’s very easy to got it ‘coz I graduated before 2003) Maybe I need to thinking again when I have to go back to Thailand ( thinking that I really want the landscape license to work as a landscape architect or wanna be a 7-11 owner krub)

    Charcrit Boonsom

    Thailand is one of a very beautiful country in Asia, rich in cultures and people are kinds. The view from outside world like ” Why so many of thais left home? there is not trend thing at all, it’s for your future, finance and experiences. As you know recently an event in Thailand, I just can not believed it. We are not helping one another enough, purely lack of communications in union, not sharing knowlege and bad billing system. please let it open , open minds.

    Landscape Architect is a sophisticated job as same as photography and cookery. I find it’s so difficult to get recognition out there unless your title are high enough to impress the nation on your CV.

    My brother is still running his 30 year LA business in North of Thailand, but it’s toughed, very toughed.!

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