American-born Jim Thompson settled in Thailand after World War II and became famous for reviving the art of silk-weaving in the country before mysteriously disappearing in the 1960s while vacationing in Malaysia. Today, Thompson’s former residence in Bangkok serves as a museum dedicated to the artist, featuring his personal collection of Southeast Asian art and a display of his various personal effects.
Made up of six teak wood houses imported from different parts of Thailand, the Jim Thompson House incorporates traditional Thai architecture with a few Western twists, all located within a lush garden on the bank of the Saen Saeb canal. In addition to wandering the various rooms, including the library, painting pavilion, drawing room and the gold pavilion, visitors can also view silk-making demonstrations or stop into the on-site Thai restaurant and the museum shop, which sells quality silk products to take home as souvenirs.
Travelers can choose to fully experience the museum on a half-day tour that includes admission and roundtrip transportation in Bangkok, or opt for a tour that takes in the Jim Thompson House plus some of the city’s other major sights via various means of transport, including tuk tuk, khlong boat and the Skytrain.
The Jim Thompson House can be reached via subway by alighting at the National Stadium station and using exit 1, or by taking a khlong boat to Hua Chang Pier. Entrance costs 150 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for visitors under 22 years old. The site is open daily from 9am to 6pm.
Did You Know? Thompson's disappearance has fueled many conspiracy theories over the years, and although the mystery has gone unsolved, an American journalist later suggested links between Thompson's disappearance and the CIA, making a visit to his former residence all the more intriguing.