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The Jim Thompson House Museum, Bangkok
Jim Thompson's House is within easy walking distance of the National Stadium BTS (SkyTrain) station
Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok
Tel: +66 (2) 216 7368
Admission: Adult 100 baht; Students 50 baht.
Photography is not permitted within the main house museum but is allowed in the gardens and elsewhere. Handbags and camera cases etc. must be deposited in secure lockers at the start of the tour.
Shoes must be removed before entering the main house and museum.
We visited the Jim Thompson Museum in early October 2007 and found a very slick, business like and professional operation for dealing with visitors and tourists from around the world. Guided tours were offered in many of the world's major languages. We arrived by metered taxi and were directed into a short one way circuit to the drop off point at the entrance close to the box office.
Once you have purchased your ticket(s), you are ushered off to the guide centre where your ticket is annotated with your next available tour, dependant on your preferred language. Whilst you are waiting for your tour guide, you are permitted to enjoy the compact but beautiful 'jungle' gardens. Our guided tour lasted about 30 minutes and was conducted by a very professional and apparently knowledgeable guide taking us through each of the rooms that Jim Thompson had re-designed from a collection of simple buildings, turning them literally inside out, making them into his stylised private palace, his heaven on earth.
Since 1976, a foundation bearing Jim Thompson's name was inaugurated and the house and art collection are registered as a national museum of the Kingdom of
Thailand. By virtue of the dictates of its legal charter, the abiding interests of Jim Thompson, the Foundation under the Royal Patronage of Her Royal
Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn dedicates and commits itself to the preservation and conservation of Thailand's rich and varied cultural heritage.
J.H.W. Thompson - Jim Thompson's bio, exploits and achievements over his 25 year stay in the Kingdom of Thailand have gained him posthumous fame as the "Legendary American of Thailand". His life and times in Thailand, until his mysterious disappearance in 1967. Jim Thompson disappeared in the Cameron Highlands whilst visiting Malaysia and has become one of the most popular post-war legends of south-east Asia. There will always be a link between Jim Thompson and Bangkok. 'Jim Thompson the unsolved mystery' is a great draw of Americans to the museum looking for an answer.
Today the charming traditional Thai style Jim Thompson House is listed as a 'must see' in most travel guides for visitors to Bangkok. Little has changed in the Jim Thompson's House that was his home and personal collection of Thailand's best arts and crafts. The Jim Thompson's House consists of a sizeable complex of six teak traditional Thai-style houses, most around 200 years old, purchased from various parts of Thailand. The Jim Thompson House and gardens were completed in 1959. The compulsory guided tour around the Jim Thompson House starts every 45 minutes from opening time.
Do not be put off by touts at the end of the road who will try to divert you be telling you that the Jim Thompson House is closed when it's not!
Getting to the Jim Thompson House is easy, located in the centre of Bangkok near to Siam Square, it can be reached by car, taxi, Tuk Tuk, Khlong Saen Saeb boat or the BTS-Sky Train at National Stadium stop.
The Jim Thompson House Museum is signed off Rama 1 Road by the BTS-Sky Train (north west) exit.
At the on site Jim Thompson Silk outlet store of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company, there were a number of Jim Thompson branded goods on display for sale: Jim Thompson Thai Silk, Jim Thompson fabrics, Jim Thompson handbags, Jim Thompson bags, Jim Thompson fabrics, Jim Thompson pillowcases, Jim Thompson batiks and Jim Thompson silks together with the 'usual' tourist souvenirs. Jim Thompson bags collections are much sought after souvenirs.
There is a Jim Thompson Restaurant on site opposite the Jim Thompson Store serving all manner of goodies.
Jim Thompson Main Store in Bangkok is at 9 Surawong Road, Bangkok 10500.
There are also:
Jim Thompson - Siam Paragon, Jim Thompson - Isetan, Jim Thompson - Central World Plaza, Jim Thompson - The Emporium, Jim Thompson - Central Chitlom, Jim Thompson - Four Seasons Hotel, Jim Thompson - Oriental Hotel, Jim Thompson - Royal Orchid Sheraton, Jim Thompson - Jim Thompson - Marriott Resort and Spa, Jim Thompson - Hotel Plaza Athenee, Jim Thompson - Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit, Jim Thompson - Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Jim Thompson - Hua Hin, Jim Thompson - Pattaya, Jim Thompson - Phuket and Jim Thompson - Koh Samui.
Jim Thompson Dubai - Yes there is is even a Jim Thompson shop in Dubai the UAE.
Born 1906, in Greenville, Delaware, this honorary Thai worked as a successful architect in New York, New York. Drafted into the US military during WWII and assigned to the forerunner of the CIA - the Office of Strategic Services commonly known by the acronym OSS. He was assigned to posts in Asia as well as Europe and North Africa.
The war ended when Jim Thompson had just arrived in Bangkok, which he loved! So after returning Stateside to be discharged he came back to Bangkok, some believe still in the pay of the OSS cum CIA. Anyway Jim saw the potential for business in Thailand where others just saw chaos, and in redeveloping the cottage industry for silk production, he was officially honoured by the King of Thailand.
He became a Thai citizen, and whilst on a break to the Cameron Highlands in Northern Malaysia, mysteriously disappeared.
Various theories are bandied about - killed and eaten by a tiger, the CIA 'disappeared' him, he was hit by a truck and his body hidden by the driver.
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