Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 65 Reviews

Rama I Road, Pathumwan District

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Jim Thompson House
    by Willettsworld
  • Jim Thompson House
    Jim Thompson House
    by Cathy&Gary
  • Jim Thompson House
    Jim Thompson House
    by Cathy&Gary
  • DarkRay's Profile Photo

    The House that was the Talk of the Town

    by DarkRay Updated Jul 10, 2007

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outside Jim Thompson Thai House Museum
    4 more images

    Jim Thompson House was the home of James H.W. Thompson, a self-made American entrepreneur and the founder of the world renowned Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company.

    The house consists of a complex of six traditional Thai-style houses, teak structures that were purchased from several owners and brought to the present location from various parts of Thailand. Construction of the Thai house was completed in 1959.

    With his natural flair for design and color, and driven by his single-minded dedication to reviving the craft, Thompson soon gained worldwide recognition for his success in rebuilding the industry, for generating international demand for Thai silk.

    For his invaluable contribution to the growth and development of the Thai Silk industry, Jim Thompson was awarded the Order of the White Elephant, a decoration bestowed upon foreigners for having rendered exceptional service to Thailand. Thompson's success story in Thailand has become one of the most popular postwar legends of Asia.

    During the Easter weekend in 1967, Thompson disappeared while on holiday with friends in Cameron Highlands, a northern Malaysian resort. There he set out for a walk in the surrounding jungle but never returned. An extensive and extended search failed to reveal any clues about his disappearance. Thus began the Jim Thompson legend.

    The current Jim Thompson House serves as a showcase of how he had lived while in Thailand. Originally trained as an architect, Thompson fell in love with the rustic design of the Thai House and built his own quarters in a similar style, although there is a distinct fusion of traditional American living as well.

    The museum is open from 0900-1700 (last guided tour starts at 1630 though) daily. The admission fee is 100 baht and you will need to join the guided tour as you are not allowed to freely wander within the house. They have some of the best guides around and the tour was a very pleasant as well as being enlightening.

    Do note that indoor photography is not allowed, as with shoes.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • tere1's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Thai compound!

    by tere1 Updated Aug 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim Thompson house

    The Jim Thompson's House is one of the best preserved traditional Thai houses in Bangkok city.

    Jim Thompson, an American, a former member of the US Office of Strategic Services came to Thailand during the World War II. He revived the flagging silk weaving industry later at the end of the war.

    Jim Thompson disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the
    Cameron Highlands in Malaysia in 1967.

    In the Jim Thompson House compound you will be
    guided to see many interesting collection of antiques
    and artworks from all over Southeast Asian region. The house has a restaurant and a shop where you can find the best thai silk. Things are a bit pricy though.

    It's open every day at 9 a.m and the last tour begins at 4.30 p.m. The admission is 100 baht.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Magnificent Teak Houses & Priceless Antiques

    by Mikebb Written Mar 8, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim Thompson's Living Room
    3 more images

    On a previous holiday we tried to find Jim Thompson's but got lost, this time we walked an extra 50 metres and arrived, it was well worth the second effort. Jim Thompson was an American who arrived in Thailand as a milatary intelligence officer after WW2 and on leaving the service decided to live in Thailand.
    Before the war he had been an architect and he now entered the the world of hand weaving of silk where he is credited with substantially contributing to the development of this industry and gaining world recognition for Thai Silk.
    He also is remembered for the construction of his house which combined 6 teak buildings in traditional architecture, these buildings being centuries old. The house and associated buildings are magnificent, set in beautiful gardens it is a pleasure to take the guided tour with an English speaking guide and later walk through and relax in the garden prior to visiting the silk retail showroom.
    The home is beautifully fiurnished with Thai furniture and antiques complimented with other antiques collected from neighbouring countries. Photos are not allowed whilst within the house, admission is 100 baht .

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Thai Silk & Jim Thompson's House

    by xuessium Written Nov 10, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    JimThompson'sHouse

    Folks who love Thai silk or Thai architecture should not miss Jim Thompson's House.

    Jim Thompson came to SE Asia during WW2 and soon found opportunities that would bring fame and wealth. Realising the potential of Thai silk, he almost single-handedly brought global fame to the art of Thai silk weaving.

    He was a lover of Thai architecture and travelled throughout Thailand to bring back items that he wanted for his dream house. Sometimes, houses were brought back plank by plank and rebuilt. Folks would not miss the european styled black & white marble tiles at the basement of the main galley - these were from a palace that was about to be torn down and he salvaged it.

    Jim Thompson disappeared in the highlands of the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia in 1967 and the house was eventually returned back to the Thai government under a trusteeship.

    You are not allowed to wander around on your own. Compulsory guided tours (in groups of different languages) were given for visitors and you will be guided from room to room, hall to hall. The house is tasteful designed and rich with architecture gems. Take your time to marvel at the beauty of Jim's House and imagine yourself in his shoes.

    There is a cafe/restaurant for folks wanting a drink/or a meal and of course, you can't really be in Jim's House without taking a look (and buying) the product that he made famous, wouldn't it? There is an in-house boutique selling products made from Thai silks as well as momentos for your visit.

    Opening Hours : 09:00 to 17:00 everyday with the last Guided Tour at 16:30*

    Admission : Adult 100 baht; Students 50 baht

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jim Thompson house

    by volopolo Updated Sep 1, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim Thompson house
    4 more images

    Jim Thompson House

    A small museum in the heart of Bangkok. The architecture is the first think that u see here, a Thai style house.


    Information
    Name: Jim Thompson House
    Theme: Thai style house, Museum
    Location: Near Siam
    City: Bangkok
    Pictures in the web: Jim Thompson House
    Last Visit: September 2006


    My Photos
    First Photo: Jim Thompson House

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ines28's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompson House

    by Ines28 Written May 15, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim Thompson House

    The American silk magnate Jim Thompson built his house from 6 teak houses before disappearing in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia in 1967. The house now hosts one of Thailand`s best collections of Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin period art. The tours are well-organized and interesting.
    Admission is 100 BHT, I believe.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Joenes's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompson revitalised the silk industry

    by Joenes Updated Jan 3, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim Thompson's House
    4 more images

    The American Jim Thompson revitalised the silk industry when it was almost gone.This has been very important to the economy of Thailand.
    The beautiful house he lived in is most certainly worth visiting.It is completely build of teak and is a little paradise in the mids of a metropole.
    You are not allowed to take pictures inside because they want to sell the books but if you keep a close eye on your guide you can take some "forbidden pics" like I did...:-)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • hojasdehierba's Profile Photo

    A very thai expat's house: Jim Thompson's

    by hojasdehierba Written Oct 29, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    Jim Thompson was an American silk trader who established in Bangkok and it seems that he really aprehended Thai culture and architecture. He was the founder of the Thai Silk Company and his house is now a kind of shop-museum. The garden is particularly charming with beautiful flowers and ponds. Guided tour is compulsory: you cannot visit the house without following the tour. We didnt care much for the tour, except from being the only way of visiting the house (well, the houses, in fact. There are several connected teak buildings): our guide gave us a monotonous speech, which she has learnt by heart, which we found hardly understable. But the whole place deserves a visit. You can reach the house by Skytrain, National Stadium stop. Entrance fee is 100 baths for adults and it opens from 9. to 17, although the last tour is at 16.30. Beautiful stuff on the shop, but there are at least one outlet in Bangkok of the same brand (at Sukhumvit Road) with cheaper prices.
    Jim Thompson era un comerciante de sedas norteamericano que se establecio en Bangkok y parece que realmente se empapo de la cultura y arquitectura thai. Fue el fundador de la Thai Silk Company y su casa es ahora una especie de tienda-museo. El jardin es particularmente encantador, con preciosas flores y estanques. La visita guiada es obligatoria (no hay en espanhol): no se puede visitar el interior sin guia. No recomendaria el tour, salvo porque es el unico medio para visitar la casa (las casas, en realidad son varios edificios de teca conectados entre si): nuestra guia dio un discurso monotono, aprendido de memoria, hasta el punto que resultaba dificil entenderla. Sin embargo, el conjunto merece una visita. Se puede llegar a la casa en el Skytrain, bajando en National Stadium. La entrada cuesta 100 b (2 euros, aprox) y abre de 9 a 17, aunque la ultima visita guiada sale a las 16.30. Cosas muy chulas (seda) a la venta en la tienda, pero recordad que hay un outlet de la misma marca en Sukhumvit Road donde tienen productos a precios mas reducidos.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompson House

    by SirRichard Written Oct 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some pavillions

    This thai house is one of my favourite spots in Bangkok. I like it because is not too big and is beautiful, both the pavillions and the gardens.
    It was the home of the american businessman Jim Thompson, who lived here in the 50s. He had a slik business, lived in this house, which he refurbished and fullfilled with antiques and had the industry, as well as the workers houses, at the other side of the canal.
    He lead an interesting life, was socially prominent, rich, antiques lover, CIA agent... until he disappeared in the Cambodian jungles in the 60s

    The entrance fee is 100 bahts. You have to wait till a group is gathered, then you go in a guided tour around. No photos allowed in the upper floors.
    There is a nice bar with a pond, and a souvenir shop, where you can find the famous silks, and other luxury items.

    There I found a wonderful watercolors book on Thailand, highly recommendable if you like painting.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Quality throughout - keep children in animals out

    by sourbugger Updated Sep 29, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim Thompson

    The Jim Thompson house is very much in the "Must See" category in Bangkok.

    The CIA man turned silk merchant put together this beautiful house by transporting five original houses from elsewhere in the country.

    You have to take a tour to look round - but the guides are excellent and knowledgeable.

    The man himself is mentioned in the film "The King and I", and looked set at one time to enjoy his retirement as the chief farang socialite of Bangkok. However during a short evening walk whilst visiting the Cameron Highland in Malaysia he became lost - and was never heard of again.

    Whilst some features of the house have been 'westernised' - such as having downstairs rooms, much of the Thai style was kept including the high sill to the door to keep children in (altough he never had any) and animals out. Thais also believe that 'evil spirits' are kept out by such methods.

    I especially liked the bedroom. It had a chamberpot in the shape of an animal, and a 'mouse house'. The purpose of the giant mousebox was to let two mice free and see which would get to the bottom of the cunningly designed house first. The guide when pressed admitted that it was more than just for fun that these things were built - serious bets could take place !

    I think that we should extend the idea further - it would make hores racing far more interesting if they had to naviage a small town to get to the finish line.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompson House

    by ukirsari Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Right side of Jim Thompson House by ukirsari

    Exploring the house of ex-CIA agent which had interest in Thai silk and Asia cultures. His absence (or in other word "missing") after having lunch at Cameron Highland, Malaysia still a mystery nowadays! Then the story of James Harrison Wilson Thompson a.k.a Jim Thompson became a legend.
    Entrance fee: 100 Baht

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo

    Exploring Jim's Collection

    by ukirsari Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jim's Collection by ukirsari

    It's prohibited to take pictures at the main building also upstairs. But taking at both the left and right sides in the first floor is allowed. Here I feel in an unique Asia museum! Nice place, enjoyable and I forgot the time just passing by :)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • syllybabe's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompson House

    by syllybabe Updated Sep 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tish booked us for a tour with VT's travelagent4thailand (Winston) who happens to be the same travel agent she uses in Bangkok. When asked to choose where we wanted to go, Toots and I chose the Jim Thompson House. His reason for choosing it; the element of mystery when I mentioned that Jim Thompson was involved in US military intelligence and that he disappeared during a visit to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia...my reason; nothing as exciting... I just missed this on my first trip.

    Jim Thompson was an American who moved to Bangkok and revived the long-neglected silk weaving industry. Until today, the Jim Thompson label is known for high quality Thai silk garments.

    The houses in the complex are a combination of 6 teak buildings that strictly adhere to traditional Thai architecture. His eye for detail and his background as an architect makes this house truly authentic.

    Lush gardens surround the house and the main entrance to the living room from where the boats dock is my favorite part for its open concept that is truly welcoming.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • syllybabe's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompson Cafe

    by syllybabe Written Sep 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Note the house behind us that's elevated a full story so as to avoid flooding when the Chao Phraya river overflows during the rainy season.

    They serve yummy ice cream at the coffee shop. Try the durian ice cream even if you don't like the smell of the fruit. Its creamy taste might entice you to eat the fruit.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kimmo_v's Profile Photo

    Jim Thompsons house is superb!

    by kimmo_v Updated Aug 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the mainhouse

    There are six teak buildings which represents the best traditional thai architecture. Most of the houses are at least 200 years old, and those are brought from different places around Thailand, for example Ayutthaya.
    There is superb art collection, including statues, pots, doors, carvings etc.

    The history of J.Thompson is like from the spy books. Ex-cia agent, that spend many years during WW-2 in Bangkok. After the war he decided to stay there to do some business with silk-products. He get european fashion houses get to known with silk, and made a fortune with that.
    In 1967 he went to Malaysia, Cameron Highlands, and disappeared under some weird circumstances. There were rumours about KGB-agents assasin and stuff like that.
    Body never found.

    Open daily 09.00-17.00.
    Dont miss this spectacular place.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bangkok

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

103 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Jim Thompson House
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
753 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
840 Opinions
1.1 miles away

View all Bangkok hotels