It’s been a little over 6 years since I last visited the Jim Thompson House & museum in Bangkok, and revisiting it was every bit as interesting as I remembered.
It was pretty crowded (as is Bangkok, all the time it seems), but the crowd management and visitor flow is very well managed.
You have to visit the house with a guide, & you’re divided up into groups of about 10/12 people, according to language.
You leave for the visit at intervals: we waited about 10 minutes until our charming young guide, with very good English, started the 35 minute tour.
She would always wait until the previous group had moved on, which, given the small size of the rooms and the astonishing artefacts on display, was very prudent.
Jim Thompson was an American who lived in Thailand in the 1950s and 60s, and who was integral in reviving the neglected cottage industry of Thai silk weaving.
He was also an architect and a connoisseur of antiques.
His home was constructed from 6 old houses that he bought and had transported to Bangkok where, using his technical skill and his fine eye for style, he combined them into an eclectic home, where he melded some western traditions (like having a dining table) with his exquisite Thai furniture and furnishings.
Jim Thompson disappeared without trace in early 1967 and his fate remains a mystery to this day.
What remains – as well as a flourishing Thai silk industry – is a gem of a property, with stunning antiques and a delightfully shady garden by a canal.
Entrance costs Baht 200 per person.
As mentioned, you have to take a tour, and photos are not allowed inside the house and museum, though they are in the garden.
There are (free) lockers to leave your belongings.
Well worth a visit.
There is a cafe, and a shop selling the beautiful Jim Thompson clothes, scarves and bags – the designs are truly fabulous.
We paid our own way and no-one knew that I blog and write reviews.