Jim Thompson House is in the top ten of attractions to see in Bangkok and makes a pleasant change from the more crowded temples and palaces.
History of Jim Thompson
Originally trained as an architect, Jim Thompson worked for American Intelligence during World War II before finally moving to the Kingdom in 1946. After a brief stint as an investor in the Oriental Hotel, he established the Thai Silk Company in 1946, The company championed traditional weaving methods, working with the villagers direct and over time, created their signature style of bright color combinations so synonymous with Thai silks today.
In 1967, Thompson disappeared in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia, a mystery that to this day has never been solved.
The Original House
The house itself consists of 6 different traditional teak houses, in the main from Ayutthaya, whose buildings were dismantled, transported and painstakingly reassembled on site by Thompson and his team. Adding in his own architectural design touches, he then filled the rooms with his collection of furniture and antiques amassed from his travels both within Thailand, but also from Burma, China and Cambodia.
Luckily for us, The Jim Thompson House has been immaculately preserved and curated. Its 6 houses sit around a central courtyard joined by paths and interconnecting stairways, complete with sloping walls, ceilings and beautifully polished teak floors. The rooms crammed with porcelain, pictures, screens, objets d’art and beautiful wooden furniture, vividly capture a sense of its past life as a dwelling and the immensely serene setting is a world apart from the modern Bangkok just outside its doors.
You must join a 30 minute tour to walk around but both before and after that tour, you can wander freely from house to house in the wonderful urban garden.
The excellent on-site restaurant is well worth a stop and you’ll find some a vast choice of silks and other clothing at the attached store.
Directions and Practicals and – Jim Thompson House
The easiest way to get to Jim Thompson House is using the BTS (Skytrain) to National Stadium. Leave at Exit 1, down the stairs, straight on and after a hundred metres or so, right into the soi. The house is at the end, just 5 minutes walk, but you can take their buggy too.
Open daily from 09.00am to 17.00 (last tour), shutting at 18.00. The admission fee is 100 baht and the compulsory mini-tours are available in English, French and Japanese. The restaurant is open in the evenings separately.
Their website is here.
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