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Container Village for Migrant Workers

Photographer: Diego Azubel


The container village for migrant construction workers in Samut Prakan on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand was setup by a construction company with the purpose of housing employed migrant workers for the estimated three years it will take to build a block of condominiums.


Currently housing over 400 workers, the village has a capacity for 800 people, which is the number of workers expected to be needed to build the condominiums. The workers living here come from Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos although there are also a few Thai workers. They are all part of a construction crew working on two separate sites for the same employer.


Yellow rows of three-story high customized shipping containers, interconnected by stairways and walkways occupy about half of the village. There are also shops selling vegetables, drinks and other foods as well as a school and playground for the workers’ children. And there is plenty of open space where games of volleyball and sepaktakraw (Footvolleyball) are played at the end of the day when the workers return from the construction sites.


Each 12-meter container is divided into four units or homes, with some homes housing an entire family. Each home is equipped with power outlets and most of them have a TV and/or a music system. Toilets are outside and bathing and running water happens in a common area fitted with fourteen large tubs where migrants bathe wearing sarongs as they do back home.


Although living conditions could be better, most workers are happy with their living arrangements and like working in Thailand. They favor it here over working in their home countries as money is better here, and once the work is finished, the majority of the workers will stay in the country working on the next project, and the village will be disassembled and moved to a new location to serve as their new temporary home.