The Jim Thompson House attraction offers visitors the chance to step into the decadent word of an Asia-loving American entrepreneur. This was once the home of James H.W. Thompson, a self-made entrepreneur who established silk production in Thailand and was the founder of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company.
Sections of Jim Thompson House are dedicated to presenting early silk production in Thailand, including displays of some of the first patterns and machinery used. As visitors will soon discover, Jim Thompson was also a collection of Asian antiques and artefacts, and the main house is dedicated to presenting these treasures in stylish settings.
Although we know that Jim Thompson lived in Thailand for more than thirty years, the end of his life is a mystery. In 1967 Thompson went on holiday in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia with a group of friends. He went out for a walk in the jungle and never returned and although there have been a number of speculations over the years including the ideas that he was murdered or eaten by a wild animal, the truth has never been uncovered. Observant visitors who want through the rooms of Jim Thompson House will see artefacts relating to all aspects of the entrepreneur’s life and may even be able to pick up a few clues that will help them to solve this famous mystery.
Much of this house has been preserved as it was left in 1967. Among the treasures that are just waiting to be admired here is a beautiful collection of Benjarong porcelain ware, wooden hand-carved figurines, a huge Belgian chandelier and a 17th century standing Buddha. The house has been decorated with a careful eye for detail that runs from the Italian marble tiles on the floor of the main hallway to the dining table, which has been created from two traditional Chinese mahjong tables. This dining table is laid with an exquisite blue and white porcelain set of plates that are just waiting to be used by their master once again.
Jim Thompson House itself is a specially built house that has been created following Thai architectural traditions. The walls lean slightly inwards to create the illusion of height, while the curved ends of the roof are particularly iconic. The main house is set inside a picturesque tropical garden which backs onto a canal. The garden also contains five smaller teak structures, which were completed in 1959 and are now used to display yet more artefacts from Thompson’s extensive collection.
Before leaving Jim Thompson House, visitors who are feeling a little peckish should stop for lunch in the onsite restaurant. This excellent restaurant specialises in gourmet Thai and Western cuisine with a unique twist. The nearby gift shop sells a range of silk products created by the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company as well as other type of souvenirs such as guidebooks.
Jim Thompson House is open daily from 09:00 to 17:00. Admission to the main house costs just 100 baht and includes a guided tour. It is situated on 6 Soi Kasemsan 2 off Rama I Road, which is just a short walk from the National Stadium Skytrain station.