This research has explored the relationships between community ecosystems and folkways in the context of modern development, especially how these relationships are manifested in the changing physical characteristics of their vernacular houses. Using qualitative methods and a holistic approach to study tradition and change, three Thai-Buddhist communities around Songkhla Lake Basin were selected for comparative study. Data were derived from documentary sources, direct and participant observation, in-depth interviews and architectural drawings. It was found that the traditional communities in different local micro-ecosystems were transformed to be a new characteristic of Southern Thai dwellings underlie the emergence of hybrid economic and society. However, kinship ties, their Buddhist beliefs and experience of adaptability reinforce the existent of local identities.