Bangkok is a city of contrasts, offering a wealth of experiences with something for everyone – from delicious street food to modern architecture, from ancient temples to vibrant art and culture. Among the many attractions Bangkok has to offer, one must-see destination is the Jim Thompson House, recently voted as one of the top 5 attractions in Bangkok by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award 2022.
Built by the American expat nicknamed the ‘Thai Silk King’ for reviving the traditional art of silk weaving in Thailand, the house offers visitors the chance to learn about Thai culture and traditions, shop for authentic Thai silk and gain insight into the life of the enigmatic Jim Thompson. The house is located by the banks of one of Bangkok’s oldest canals and is now the heart of the newly rejuvenated Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter, which also features a brand-new Museum About the Man, a Home Furnishings Exhibition, an Iconic Store, Jim’s Terrace and the Jim Thompson Art Centre.
A former U.S. military intelligence officer, Jim Thompson relocated to Thailand following World War II and focused on reviving Thailand’s traditional silk industry. His work earned him the sobriquet: “Thai Silk King”. Thompson not only revived the art of silk weaving but also established Thai silk on the global fashion scene. He chose to locate himself in the middle of Bangkok’s silk district of Ban Khrua, building his house – a traditional housing complex of teak structures amidst jungle-like gardens. In 1967, Thompson mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. But the brand he created lives on stronger than ever; his home and personal collection were eventually transformed into a museum.
After exploring the house, visitors can indulge their inner shopaholic at the new Iconic Store featuring a wide range of silk products: clothing, home décor items, and accessories. The newly rejuvenated quarter also features the brand-new Museum About the Man, a Home Furnishings Exhibition, and a café – Jim’s Terrace. Here diners can enjoy a Thai Tapas menu or select from a variety of traditional dishes or innovative creations – all using premium local ingredients. The nearby Jim Thompson Art Centre is a sanctuary for artists and cultural communities to engage in meaningful dialogue.
At the Jim Thompson House, a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the city, visitors can immerse themselves in Thailand’s rich cultural heritage, the Silk King’s legacy and shop.