Thailand is one of the most favorite holiday destinations for Indians. Whether it’s a family holiday, honeymoon, friends’ reunion or even company team building holidays, Thailand (especially Bangkok) tops the list. I always thought that I will visit Thailand with my family, however, it was a office trip which saw me landing up in Bangkok last week. In a way, it was a good experience as being a business traveler, one gets to see a bit different side of the city. I got to interact with my colleagues in Bangkok office, some of whom are locals and others expatriates living there for years! I learnt many interesting facets of the city, usually ignored by holidaying travelers.
There was so much I got to experience in Bangkok in a week and when I sat down to write about them, I did not know where to start. Finally, I decided to start from the end…as the last day of the trip was one of the best experience I had in the city.
I visited Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok on the last day of my Bangkok trip and it was one of my enriching travel experiences into Thai architecture, culture and heritage
Jim Thompson was a charismatic American who made Thailand his home and revived the Thai silk cottage industry, making it world famous. As a personality, he was rather an interesting one, having being an Architect by education, then serving in the Secret Service in World War II and eventually settling in Thailand. The most interesting part about him was that he mysteriously disappeared in 1967 aged 61 in Malaysia.
The Jim Thompson House Museum today is an outstanding example of his love for Thailand, as during his years in the country, Jim Thompson painstakingly collected and relocated traditional Thai houses and built a home which is an epitome of traditional Thai home.
For me, it was a wonderful opportunity to experience and learn about traditional Thai architecture and Housing. The Jim Thompson House is located near the National Stadium in Bangkok and is very easily accessible by Sky Train. The entry fee is 100 baht (but due to increase) and the guests are taken on a guided tour (choice of either English or French).
The House is actually a collection of 6 traditional Thai houses, relocated from all over Thailand, by Jim Thompson. It was interesting to see the vision of this person, who being an architect had made such a beautiful place, with lovely corners, pathways and also collected precious sculptures & paintings for the home he built.
The Museum also houses a shop selling items under the Jim Thompson brand (as you see, the brand is still alive and flourishing and sells silk and cotton products).
I would recommend a visit to Jim Thompson House Museum is you are a sucker for culture and heritage…and want to spend time differently other than the usual shopping malls when in Bangkok.