Jim Thompson House

After our whole day full of activities in Bangkok, on the following day we had the morning time to do one last activity before we have to head to the airport to continue our journey. We decided to visit the Jim Thompson’s House Museum, which was easily reachable from our hotel by SkyTrain.

Jim Thompson was an American ex-pat who came to Thailand when he worked for the CIA. He ended up staying in Thailand and building a business empire selling Thai silk products. In the early 1960s, when he was in Malaysia for vacation, he disappeared and was never found. Today his house in Bangkok is a museum as a tribute to his life and his art collection.

The visit to the Jim Thompson House included a tour of the interior of his house. We were not allowed to take photos inside, but it was interesting to learn about some traditional features of Thai homes that were incorporated into the house. Things like having the home elevated to deal with possibility of flooding, and having a board to cover the bottom part of an entrance — believed to help prevent bad spirits to enter the home because there is a belief that the spirits travel on the floor surface. The home was a nice, cool oasis from the hot and humid day in Bangkok. It was not air-conditioned but it had very nice air flow throughout the house. It reminded me to some old homes in Indonesia.

Another interesting aspect that was similar to tradition in Indonesia was the rule to take off our footwear before entering the home. The Thai believes in keeping the house clean, so we were supposed to leave the dirty/dusty footwear outside and enter the house barefooted. It was interesting that within our tour group there were a couple of westerners who apparently didn’t feel comfortable with that rule, and they decided to just forego the tour and left.

The photo below was taken at from the gravel entry way outside the home. This is where visitors wait for their house tour to start.

Jim Thompson House

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