The Jim Thompson’s House, home of James H.W. Thompson, is located in King Rama I Road. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok showcasing its owner’s art collection. It’s also a perfect example of a traditional Thai house.
About the Jim Thompson’s House.
The Jim Thompson’s house was the most celebrated social center in the early days and continues to be one of the best-preserved houses in the country today. It became the talk of the town in 1967, the year Jim Thompson died.
The house was constructed in 1958 from six antique houses in Thailand, and was completed a year later in 1959. The six houses bought from their respective owners were put together to formed a complex of traditional Thai houses made of teak. The living room, the largest part of the house, was said to be the house of one of the weavers in the construction. The house sits on a klong or canal across Bangkrua. It contains a huge collection of antiques and artwork from all over Southeast Asia. It has porcelain dating from the Ming Dynasty period and paintings from 19th Century. One of the famous attractions of this museum is the headless Buddha image in the garden. The Buddha figure dates from as far back as the 6th Century, and is the oldest surviving Buddha in the whole world.
Who Was Jim Thompson?
Jim Thompson was an American silk entrepreneur who was said to have revived the dying silk industry in Thailand. In fact, because of his many contributions in Thailand society, he was awarded the Order of the White Elephant, a distinction given to foreigners who have rendered great service to the country. Jim Thompson was also a lover of art and all things beautiful. At the same time that he was building his silk company, he was also collecting remarkable art pieces that he picked up from his trips around Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian art at the time was not very popular; nonetheless, he acquired a large number of Buddhist as well as secular art from many countries in the region, including Thailand. To the world, he was the founder and owner of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company; to the Thai people, he was the “Legendary American of Thailand”.
The legend of Jim Thompson does not only include his achievements in his 25 years of stay in Thailand: his legend extends to his mysterious death in 1967. The summer of 1967, Thompson went on a holiday with his friends in Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. He set out for a walk one evening in the surrounding forest but never returned. Today, the legend of Jim Thompson is known as one of the most popular post-war legends of Asia.
Opening Hours. The Museum opens from 9:00 am to 5:00 am every day. The last guided tour starts at 5:00 pm.
How to Get There. The Jim Thompson’s House is very accessible with a Sky Train station (Bangkok Transit System) located within walking distance. It is located at the center of Bangkok and can thus be conveniently reached by a car, cab or the Bangkok tuk-tuk.