Thursday, 16 August 2012

Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok

As my plane arrived after 8 on Tuesday evening, I have really only had two days to explore Bangkok before I head south for my R&R at the beach, so the pressure has been on to make the most of it.

Number One on my to-do list this trip was a visit to Jim Thompson's House, and, although quite a long taxi ride from my hotel, I was able to beat the traffic by taking advantage of Bangkok's extensive waterways and jumping on a boat from a nearby jetty.

A little background... Jim Thompson was an American born in 1906.  Before the onset of World War II, he practiced as an architect. During the war, he served briefly in Thailand, fell in love with the culture, and resolved to make Bangkok his permanent home. He played an important role in the revival of the silk trade in Thailand and built up an important collection of Thai art. This extended to collecting parts of derelict Thai homes which were brought to the site and reassembled as his residence, providing an authentic and beautiful setting for his art and antiquities. He opened the house and art collection to the public to support Thai charities and the country's cultural heritage, and this has continued, despite his mysterious disappearance in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands in 1967.

The visit to Jim Thompson's House definitely lived up to my expectations, and I would highly recommend it if you are planning a trip to Bangkok. Besides the house and art collection and the surrounding gardens, there is a gift shop and restaurant. Compulsory tours in several languages are held at regular intervals.

First impressions

In an unrelated post, I previously identified this as Dracena draco. I am now more inclined to think it's a  Cordyline (australis?)  Any other suggestions?

I still haven't found a water feature I could resist. Here pink frangipani blooms are teamed with Water Lettuce  Pistia stratiotes and a couple of lotus blooms in a stunning blue pot.

The koi pool

Here it is again...

Lotus bloom with lotus leaves

 and with Water Lettuce

I like the foliage of this plant and its interesting ragged leaf edges but have no idea what it is.

The property's Spirit House - this is a shrine erected for the displaced spirit of the land when a house is erected.

Unfortunately, it wasn't permitted to take photos inside, but the photo below, taken from outside, shows the middle of the central living room, and there are rooms to either side.  To the left, rooms included the dining room and pantry, as well as the staircase, while to the right were the bedroom/s.


  1. My dear, I hope you made friends with the gardener, and obtained a few pieces of those gorgeous plants.
    Lovely post...thanks.

    1. I rather fancy one of those blue pots too, but they are a bit too big for carry on luggage!

  2. It certainly is a stunning tropical garden. I loved everything about it.

    1. Me too, Bernie, and the house was just wonderful inside too. They were the perfect complement to each other.

  3. What a beautiful place. No wonder it was top of your list.

    1. They certainly managed to successfully create a lush cool oasis in the midst of all the heat and traffic.

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