Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bangkok 2014 - Jim Thompson's House

If there was one thing you should not do when visiting the Jim Thompson's house in Bangkok, it would be to say you are Malaysian. Simply because the famous Jim Thompson, the darling of Bangkok went missing in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands over 45 years ago and hasn't been found since.

But the house itself, located in the heart of Bangkok city was an architecture inspiration and well worth a visit at only 100baht (RM10). The entrance fee covers a guided tour of the house by a knowledgeable guide. The tour can also be conducted in various languages to cater to the growing tourist numbers visiting the attraction. While I was there, Koreans and Japaneses seemed to be in abundance.

Many of the items and decorations in Jim Thompson's house were the original pieces from when he was still residing there and boy, were they fascinating. His home was a unique blend of Western and Asian designs that showed in the way the building and compound was designed as well as the many furnitures in each room, some of which dated back to over 200 years.

The guide then led us inside the house, cautioning us that visitors were not allowed inside without a guide. And to protect the artifacts and furniture, cameras were not allowed. In his day, Jim Thompson was revered as the man who singlehandedly revived the silk business in Thailand and his love for the city showed in the way his staff were treated.

The house is also located along the banks of a canal and now and then we could hear the motor boat passing through. Of course back then, the back garden served as an exit to the dockking pay for the boat. 

It was nice to see his legacy living on amongst the Bangkok culture. True to his legacy, there was Jim Thompson silk store on the estate as well as a lovely restaurant. The house/museum also offers shuttle service to the entrance of the road every 15 minutes as the house is located along a long dead-end road.

It's surprisingly easy to find the Jim Thompson House as it's near to National Stadium BTS stop and MBK Shopping Center. If one is coming from the station, they would need to pass Lub D hostel on their right before turning right into Soi Kasemsan 2 road. The house is all the way at the end. If the shuttle buggy hasn't come, best to start walking then. 
Jim Thompson's House/ Museum
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (last guided tour at 17:00) 
Location: Soi Kasemsan 2, opposite the National Stadium on Rama I Road.

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