Jim Thompson was a legendary man, an American who became famous for his achievements as he was a great architect and gave a re-boost to the Thai silk industry. It’s admirable that he managed to set-up the silk company and made it so successful despite the fact that he was only one of the few foreigners at the time, not even able to speak Thai (at the beginning). He mysteriously disappeared shortly after his 61th birthday when he was on a holiday in the Highlands of Malaysia. Everything was done to find him but upon today nobody knows what happened to him.
It was 1906 when Jim Thompson was born in Delaware, America. He was an architect and American spy during war but is probably most known for his Thai silk production and merchandises all over the world. He saw Thailand as a country full of opportunities and wanted to contribute to the growth of the country. At that time, after the WOII, Bangkok was still relatively unknown but it was perfect for Jim Thompson, he fell in love with the country and designed his own house.
With his affection for arts and open mind, he gave a new boost to the Thai Silk industry. First only as a businessman but later he started to produce silk himself with the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company and increased the worldwide demand for Thai silk, for example by organizing fashion shows in Paris, Milan and New York. Nowadays there are still many people interested in having a piece of his collection.
Not only his silk productions were pure art, also his house, which was a piece of art in itself with a lovely peaceful garden and ultimately Thai architectures near the canal. He designed the house himself which contained enough space to practice all his hobbies. Hence there was a painting room, library, study room, dining room and furthermore multiple guestrooms. Whereas the house used to be a meeting place for inhabitants (on invitation of Jim Thompson of course) it’s now a museum, visited by many tourists every year. Visitors can admire several art pieces coming mainly from Asia and the impressive Thai architecture.
Nice to know
When you arrive at the museum it’s best to request for a guided tour straight away. This doesn’t involve any extra costs and guides will provide you with some interesting stories. Tours are available in multiple languages amongst others: English, French and Chinese. The admission price is 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for students.
Opening Hours: 09.00 to 17.00 every day.
How to get there: The Jim Thompson house is at the opposite of the National Stadium on Rama I road, in a small side street called Soi Kasemsan 2. It’s not far away from Hotel de Bangkok. You can reach the museum by taxi, tuk-tuk or take the BTS sky train and stop at the National Stadium station, from there it is just five minutes walking.