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Jim Thompson House

A house where the 'farang' who changed the Thai silk industry once lived and which, after his mysterious disappearance, became an amazing museum of artefacts.

The strange tale of Jim Thompson – the American who went from architect to spy to reviver of Thailand’s ailing silk industry – is one of the most fascinating you're likely to come across in Bangkok's exotic swirl. And probably the best place to appreciate the man, and his works, is at the house he designed and built – simply called the Jim Thompson House. A few kilometres east from the centre of Bangkok, this beautifully preserved house is now a museum to Jim, one of the few foreigners to receive Thailand's highest honour – the Order of the White Elephant.

Thompson – the man from Delaware, USA – received that award in 1962, after his Thai Silk Company had achieved wild success back in his home-country. He first fell in love with Thailand, and its vibrant silk-work, after coming here during the Second World War. Silk had fallen out of favour locally, but his ideas helped turn round a Thai industry that had forgotten its true splendour. By the time of his mysterious death in 1967, over a hundred silk companies were in business in Thailand.

But as a visit to Jim Thompson House shows, his energies were directed in many directions. It is packed to the gills with objects that caught his artistic eye. Belgian antiques, Italian tiles, Thai porcelain and, of course, Thai silk hangings – all arranged to complement to carved intricacies of the house itself. It was created from six traditional teak Thai houses, here on the banks of a local klong (or canal). They were cleverly joined together without nails, on a day determined to be most auspicious, according to the traditional Buddhist Thai way.

Sadly Jim Thompson wasn't able to live out his days here. He went on a walking holiday in Malaysia, with friends, in 1967. He went on a walk in the jungle, and never returned – apparently he lost his way and died. But Bangkok hasn't forgotten him, one of the most renowned of its 'farangs'. A visit to the house that Jim built might show you why.

Popular Activities at Jim Thompson House

Like to make your stop at Jim Thompson House even more special? Don't forget to try some of these activities:

Why don't you consider buying a Private Half-Day Khlong Saen Saep Insight Tour and a Jim Thomson's House & Suan Pakkard Palace Tour?

Take a look at our Bangkok things to do page to discover many more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring Jim Thompson House


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Top Jim Thompson House Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point NZ$118
Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point

Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point

662 Rama IV Road, Bangkok, Bangkok
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Bangkok City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lumphini Park and MBK Center. Siam Center and Pratunam Market are also within 3 mi (5 km). Sam Yan Station is only a 3-minute walk and Silom Station is 14 minutes.

    iSanook Bangkok NZ$66
    iSanook Bangkok

    iSanook Bangkok

    118, Soi Songphra, Siphraya Road, Kwang Maha Pruttaram, Khet Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of River City Shopping Complex, Si Phraya Pier, and Patpong Night Market. Lumphini Park and MBK Center are also within 2 mi (3 km). Sam Yan Station is 12 minutes by foot and Hua Lamphong Station is 13 minutes.

      Asia Hotel Bangkok NZ$56
      Asia Hotel Bangkok

      Asia Hotel Bangkok

      296 Phayathai Road, Bangkok, Bangkok
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Saphan Huachang Pier, Siam Discovery Centre, and Jim Thompson House. Siam Center and Siam Paragon Mall are also within 15 minutes. Rachathewi BTS Station is only a 2-minute walk and Phaya Thai Station is 8 minutes.

        Amari Watergate Bangkok NZ$142
        Amari Watergate Bangkok

        Amari Watergate Bangkok

        847 Petchburi Road, Bangkok, Bangkok
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located in the business district, just steps from Platinum Fashion Mall and Pratunam Market. CentralWorld Shopping Complex and Pantip Plaza are also within 10 minutes. Ratchaprarop Station is 11 minutes by foot and Rachathewi BTS Station is 13 minutes.

          Novotel Bangkok On Siam Square NZ$166
          Novotel Bangkok On Siam Square

          Novotel Bangkok On Siam Square

          392-44 Siam Square Soi 6 Rama, Bangkok, Bangkok
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located in a shopping district, steps from Siam Square, Siam Paragon Mall, and Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World. Siam Center and MBK Center are also within 10 minutes. Siam BTS Station is only a 3-minute walk and National Stadium BTS Station is 10 minutes.

            Amara Bangkok NZ$170
            Amara Bangkok

            Amara Bangkok

            180/1 Surawong Road, Sipraya, Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bangkok City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Patpong Night Market, Wat Hua Lamphong, and King Power MahaNakhon. Thaniya Plaza and Lumphini Park are also within 15 minutes. Chong Nonsi BTS Station is 8 minutes by foot and Sam Yan Station is 10 minutes.

              ibis Bangkok Siam NZ$92
              ibis Bangkok Siam

              ibis Bangkok Siam

              Rama 1 Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Bangkok
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Siam Discovery Centre and Jim Thompson House. MBK Center and Siam Center are also within 10 minutes. National Stadium BTS Station is 6 minutes by foot and Siam BTS Station is 8 minutes.

                Mercure Bangkok Siam NZ$132
                Mercure Bangkok Siam

                Mercure Bangkok Siam

                927 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Bangkok
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Siam Discovery Centre and Jim Thompson House. MBK Center and Siam Center are also within 10 minutes. National Stadium BTS Station is 6 minutes by foot and Siam BTS Station is 8 minutes.