Jim Thompson House

Weather :

Timings :
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Last Guided Tour Departure - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee :
Adult: THB 150
Students (below 22 years): THB 100

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Jim Thompson House, Bangkok Overview

With a remarkable collection of art from Burma, China, Cambodia and Thailand, Jim Thompson House is a must-visit for history buffs and art lovers. A historic property, it once served as the residence of an American man named James H W Thompson, a man responsible for reviving the Thai silk industry and one of the most famous Americans in Asia during his time.

The Jim Thompson House is flanked by lush green garden nestled at the banks of the Saen Saeb Canal narrating the 30 years old tryst with the Southeast Asian art and culture traditions. The place itself is an impressive architecture with six traditional Thai teakwood houses belonging to Ayutthaya and Bangkok's Ban Krua community. With an eye for art, culture and beauty, this middle-aged American is said to be responsible for the revival of the dying industry of Thai silk. Retired from military service in 1946, Jim Thompson left behind a legacy after he mysteriously vanished in the Malaysian forest in 1967.

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Jim Thompson House Architecture

Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is designed by Traditional Thai Architecture
The Jim Thompson house is constructed in the traditional Thai style, with teak wood bought from different parts of the country. The six homes have been built on raised or elevated platforms, which is a typical Thai precaution against flooding. The red-painted walls, as a preservative, is also an old common Thai practice. The roofs of the house resemble the ancient temple patterns that were prevalent in the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Thailand.

Permanent Exhibitions

Entrance of Jim Thompson House
Entrance Hall of the Jim Thompson House

The Jim Thompson house is spread over a half-acre land of lush gardens and dense foliage. There are six houses, all made of teak wood and are classic regal Thai architectural delights. They are located on a klong or canal across the Bangkrua.

Antique Preserves
The houses hold a rich and excellent collection of artefacts carefully selected by Jim Thompson from different places. These include sculptures, porcelain, paintings and other collectable items. Beautiful Buddha images dating back to as far back as the 13th-century hoard the site. Collections of Thai and other South East Asian paintings are also on display. There are also many unique items from different parts of the globe, amassed by Thompson on his various travels.

You can find Chinese porcelain items, Cambodian carvings, Victorian Era chandeliers, textured Belgian glass and even a dining table that once belonged to Thailand’s King Rama V here.

Jim Thompson Arts Centre
Jim Thompson Arts Centre (Source)

Jim Thompson Art Centre
Apart from the house and gardens, there is also an Art Centre on the premises - which often host exciting exhibitions displaying traditional artefacts from different countries. There is also a Jim Thompson silk shop selling conventional Thai silk.

Highlights of the Museum

Jim Thompson House and Museum
Now serving as a museum, the Jim Thompson House features a wide range of items. Some of the highlights are decorative wall hangings from various Buddhist temples, a sandstone Buddha idol, two Chinese mahjong tables, the blue-and-white porcelain set and much more. One will see four windows in the house artistically converted into niches displaying four Burmese guardian spirits crafted out of wood, a gift from the Burmese government. The place also houses the graceful Araya Hall with a capacity of 40 to 80 people along with terrace facing the canal. Standing tall in all its elegance, Jim Thompson House is a must-visit.

Jim Thompson History

Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson has a history shrouded in mystery and intrigue. The house is built in the traditional Thai style of architecture by the American entrepreneur and architect, Jim Thompson, a key figure in the revival of the Thai silk industry. The house displays his artefact collections, South East Asian paintings, sculptures and statues that he had collected over his years in Thailand and other neighbouring countries. He was taken in with the beauty of the Thai architecture, art and culture and hence decided to build himself a grand sweeping house in the old traditional style. The house was completed in 1959, following which Jim Thompson mysteriously disappeared around Malaysia in 1967. The Jim Thompson House is a tribute to Jim Thompson as well as his deep appreciation of Thai culture.

How To Reach Jim Thompson House

Located on Soi Kasem San 2 lane, the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok is around 300 meters walk from the National Stadium BTS bus station. Those having a bus pass could alight at this station and walk. Another option is to take the San Saeb canal boat and get down at Baan Krua Nua Pier and walk over the footbridge to reach the house.

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