Jim Thompson House


Are you ready to find out the story of one of the most mysterious personalities in the history of Thailand? Then you should definitely visit the house of Jim Thompson, an American businessman and the founder of the Thai Silk Company and a unique collector. He owned a great collection of Buddhist and secular art not only from Thailand, but also from Burmah, Cambodia and Laos.

After finishing his military career Kim Thompson decided to settle down in Thailand. Inspired by his collection of silk he was made during his trips around the country, he dedicated almost 20 years to revive the art of Thai silk production and presented it in Europe and in the US. Patterns for his collection were copied by Thompson from ancient Thai samples, while the colors were borrowed from a Russian artist named Leon Bakst.

The museum is actually a garden on the bank of a channel and a complex of six vintage Thai houses made of teak wood and collected by Thompson from every corner of Thailand in the 1950s and 1960s. The majority of houses were dismantled and moved from Ayutthaya. It is no ordinary villa that presents a collection of antiques – here you will feel the extraordinary passion of Thompson to the artistic creations of South-East Asia. An experienced touch of a hand of an architect is also visible – there is a feeling that you stand right on the spot where the West meets the East, and this feeling will be with you throughout the stay. Belgian lamps shine here, the floor is all Italian marble, while the decorative drapery was purchased from Buddhist wats. Buddha depictions guard the entrance to the Thai kitchen, where you will see Thompson's excellent porcelain collection. By travelling from one room to another you will notice how deep the owner's knowledge of and respect to Thailand was. His excellent taste resulted in great antiques and art collections that fill this house.

On one Easter Sunday of 1967 being on the top of his commercial success, the founder of the legendary Thai silk empire, a dandy and a former intelligence serviceman mysteriously vanished in the jungles of Malaysia. Till today the mystery remains, not a single trace of Thompson was found, and no version of his disappearance proved valid. In 1974 Kim Thompson was officially proclaimed deceased and his heir gave the museum house to the Government of Thailand.

Address: ถนน พระราม 1 Wang Mai, Pathum Wan
Opening hours: daily 9 am – 6 pm
How to reach: BTS National Stadium
Coordinates: 13.74916, 100.52842