Friday Future Lister: From City Stress to Countryside Bliss: How One Architect Built Ranong's Ultimate Farmstay, Baan Rai I Arun

Meet Viroj, the architect who left city life to create one of Thailand's most beloved farmstays and integrated sustainability into his vision.

Friday Future Lister, Koktail shines a spotlight on Ranong.


We introduce you to a farmstay that demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and a simpler way of life, close to the Andaman sea.

Viroj "Best" Chimmee, an architect and the owner of Baan Rai I Arun Farmstay, graduated from Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi. Starting his career in an architectural firm, he found the stress and competition of urban life overwhelming. Born in Ranong, he yearned to return to the countryside, build a comfortable home for his ageing parents, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle.

Building a Dream with Natural Materials

With minimal savings, Best began restoring his old family house using natural materials like bamboo and rattan. He cultivated the surrounding farmland, gradually transforming it into Baan Rai I Arun Farmstay, a project that includes a restaurant, café, souvenir shop, and organic farm. The farmstay, a collaborative effort of his entire family, has become immensely popular, winning awards for its combination of sustainability and comfort.

Baan Rai I Arun features cottages with evocative names such as Baan Mok (House of Mist), La-ong Dao (Stardust), Rim Tharn (Streamside), and Treehouse. Best's belief that true wealth lies in the freedom to pursue one's passions is evident in the farmstay's design and operations. He continues his architectural career but prioritises sustainable and meaningful work over financial gain.

Over the past eight years, Baan Rai I Arun has expanded significantly. It now includes 17 houses spread across more than 50 rai (approximately 20 acres) and has garnered nearly 900,000 followers on Facebook. Best also runs his own design company and has expanded his business to include cafes in Bangkok, which have received widespread attention.

A key aspect of Best's creativity lies in his use of local materials. He emphasises that expensive materials are not necessary for beautiful, functional design. By using bamboo, dried flowers, and other locally sourced materials, he creates distinctive and sustainable structures that blend with their natural surroundings. One notable feature is a bedroom on the top floor of a house, elevated above palm trees to offer a panoramic view of Ranong's highest peak.

Dining with a Local Touch

The farmstay's restaurant uses ingredients sourced from the nearby community, supporting the local economy and ensuring fresh, delicious meals for guests. The food is often garnished with edible flowers, adding both visual appeal and unique flavours.

This dedication to sustainability extends to the souvenirs available at Baan Rai I Arun. Products made from raw materials like bamboo and dried flowers are crafted by local artisans, providing guests with meaningful mementos of their stay.

Driven by passion, Baan Rai I Arun Farmstay exemplifies Best’s vision of a life where passion, community, and environmental respect coexist harmoniously.