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Bangkok Must See - Jim Thompson's House
A Hidden Gem!!
I have visited Bangkok many, many times over the past 30 years or so but had never been to Jim Thompson's House. However, on a recent visit with my mother she said she didn't need to do the normal touristy things like the Grand Palace or the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po so I thought that doing something that neither of us had ever done would be just the ticket!
If you live in Asia then you will be very familiar with Jim Thompson Silk. Jim Thompson was an ex American military intelligence officer who saw the potential for Thai silk as a business and set up the Thai Silk Company in 1948.When his fabric was chosen for the costumes of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical 'The King and I' there was no looking back, he had hit the big time. He built his business based out of Bangkok and decided to live in essentially traditional Thai style and so built a house more or less in the centre of Bangkok using the structures of six houses that he had found in country. The result is an artistic combination of styles set in a luscious garden by the side of a still working klong (canal). Inside he furnished it with beautiful antiques and furniture that he found in his travels not only in Thailand but in the surrounding countries also. Chinese porcelain, glassware, buddha images and torsos abound.
The house is located a short walk from the BTS station 'National Stadium', the end of the Silom line. The exit to take is clearly marked and then you turn back on yourself as you come down the steps and walk to essentially the first soi. Jim Thompson's House is clearly marked (what a surprise) and is located about 100m down basically at the end of the soi past the William Warren Library. Warren was his biographer. Admission is Baht 100 which includes a 30 minute tour with English speaking guide. In the compound there is also a restaurant and a shop selling Jim Thompson products as you might expect but all tastefully done. The House is open every day from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Don't miss the beautiful gem in an otherwise noisy, bustling but nevertheless exciting city.