ThailandBangkok $$$$$ All Year Mostly Indoor
Museum

Jim Thompson House Museum

Jim Thompson was a successful American businessman who relocated to Thailand following WWII. Known as the "Thai Silk King" for his role in reviving the art of silk weaving in Thailand and establishing Thai silk on the global fashion scene, Thompson resided in this traditional housing complex of teak structures and jungle-like gardens.

Thompson's love of Thailand wasn't limited to its national fabric, but extended to Asian art, antiques, and religious statues. His home itself is a collection of derelict homes transported across Thailand and reassemble at his compound. Thompson's extensive collection includes unique pieces of architecture, furniture, and art, as well as broken Buddha statues discarded by locals believing them to be cursed.

Following his mysterious disappearance in 1967, Thompson's home and collection was converted into a museum, now open for guided tours that explain the fascinating stories behind each piece. Also located within the grounds is a Thai Silk shop and a café serving traditional Thai cuisine.

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Price

Adult: ฿200 (USD$6.45), Youth: ฿100 (under 22 yrs ID required) ($3.23), Children: Free (under 10yrs)

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Time Spent

1-2hours

Fitness level: Easy

Hours

9am-6pm7 days

Look Around

Front gateFront gate
bangkok_jim-thompson-house-08712.jpg
Front of the houseFront of the house
Exterior of Jim Thompson House
Start of group tourStart of group tour
Ancient state standing underneath the houseAncient state standing underneath the house
EngravingEngraving
Back of the houseBack of the house
Guided tour
Shop exteriorShop exterior
Shop interiorShop interior
Jim Thompson is responsible for reviving the Thai silk industryJim Thompson is responsible for reviving the Thai silk industry
Silkworm cocoonsSilkworm cocoons
Jim Thompson shop

Who Will Like Jim Thompson House Museum

Culture Buff

Wander through a traditional Thai housing complex and marvel at Thompson's collection of Asian furniture, art, and architecture. Visit the silk shop to see the traditional process of turning simple cocoons into exquisite reems of fabric.

Retail Therapist

Visit the shop to snap up Thai silk clothing, bags, homewares and more to take home as keepsakes.

Insider Tips For Jim Thompson House Museum

  • Visitors can only visit inside the museum on a 30-minute guided tour, available in Thai, English, French, Chinese, and Japanese.
  • Tour bookings are not required as tours run according to demand. Visitors may have to wait in the café or gift shop until the next tour. The last tour of the day runs at 6pm.
  • Shoes, bags, and other belongings must be left on unsecured wooden shelves during tours inside the house.
  • Watch out for low level ceilings and doorways, especially if you are tall.
  • Cameras must be turned off while inside the house. Photography is only allowed of the exterior and gardens.
  • The Thai silk shop and restaurant are both quite overpriced.
  • Don't believe locals who say Jim Thompson House is closed and offer to drive you home. This is a scam to gain commission from jewelry stores they will undoubtedly take you to.

Video

Where Is It

6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road. Bangkok 10330

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How To Get There

Train (BTS SilomNational Stadium)

Walk 5 minutes northwest from train station.

Walking directions from train...

Rideshare

Grab drivers pick up and drop off at Kaesem San 2 Alley entrance

Tuk-tuk

Drivers pick up and drop off at Kaesem San 2 Alley entrance. Agree on a reasonable set price with the driver before commencing your journey.

Boat (Canal BoatSapan Hua Chang Pier)

Walk 3 minutes west from pier.

Walking directions from boat...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Light, loose, and cool clothing. The main building is not airconditioned and gets quite hot.
  • Shoes easy to slip on and off. Shoes must be removed before entering the main building.
  • Mosquito spray to avoid being bitten in the gardens.
Don't:
  • Valuable belongings that shouldn't be left outside during the museum tour.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Limited use (see tips below)flash is ok

Tripod allowed: Not encouraged

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Anytime

Tips: Photography is only allowed in the gardens and of the external buildings. No photography inside the museum.

Drones

Drones allowed: Not encouraged

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Food & Drink

Drinks at the restaurantDrinks at the restaurant
Spring rolls and corn frittersSpring rolls and corn fritters
Garden around the house and restaurantGarden around the house and restaurant
Jim Thompson House restaurant

Jim Thompson Restaurant and Wine Bar - Traditional Thai menu with cocktails and drinks also available. Very expensive by Thai standards.

Backstory

Jim Thompson was born in 1906 in Delaware, United States. He moved to Bangkok after serving in Thailand during WWII and, seeing the global potential for Thai Silk, founded the Thai Silk Company Limited in 1948.

During the 1950s and 60s Thompson began to collect Southeast Asian art and antiques, importing items from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos, paying special attention to Buddhist statues and paintings. Also, during this period Thompson began to transport run-down Teak structures from other areas of Thailand, mainly ancient capital Ayutthaya, to his canal-front property in Bangkok. Starting in 1958, he restored and reassembled these structures to commence construction on a home for both himself and his art collection, which was completed in 1959.

Thompson's story ended in 1967 when he never returned from a walk in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands. His disappearance remains a mystery, but there are several conspiracies around what may have happened to him. Some say he was mauled by a wild tiger, while others think he was abducted by shady figures from his past.

Following Thompson's disappearance, ownership of his home was transferred to the James H. W. Thompson Foundation under the royal patronage of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and was opened to the public as a museum.

Etiquette

Do:
  • Stay close to your tour guide and group.
  • Remove shoes before entering the museum.
Don't:
  • Take photos inside the museum.
  • Enter the museum without a guide.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Quiet gardens with a zen-like atmosphere.
  • Interesting and unique collection of art and antiques.
  • Opportunity to learn how Thai Silk is made at the silk shop.
Could Be Better:
  • Expensive restaurant and shop.
  • Can’t visit inside the museum without a guide.
  • Mosquitos, especially in the gardens.
My itinerary Save View

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Joining only takes a minute and it's... um... free! Plus you get other perks like badges, points, and unicorns.

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