Gardens Around the World: Jim Thompson House and Garden, Bangkok

06/04/2013 by Keith Fletcher takes a visit to the Jim Thompson house and garden in Bangkok.

Jim Thompson was a high profile figure in Southeast Asia. He was an American businessman who decided to settle down in Thailand, where he dedicated over 30 years to reviving Thai silk industry. Formerly an ex-architect and a retired army officer, Jim was a passionate and renowned collector of antiques and treasures from across Asia.

In 1958, he began the construction of a new home to showcase his antiques and collections. The house is very unique and Jim used his talents to create an archirectural masterpiece. The house consists of six authentic Thai houses interconnected seamlessly to appear as a large elevated house set in a lush garden.

It took Jim Thompson almost a year to complete his mansion and still today it stands out as one of Bangkok’s most charming attractions.

Garden Path - Jim Thompson House Bangkok

When you arrive at the home you get a strong feeling of peace and serenity which is very difficult to achieve in a city as chaotic and noisey as bangkok. A lush tropical Thai garden meanders it's way around the main house. Jim Thompson fondly referred to the garden in his house as the "jungle".

Jim Thompson House Treasures

Above: Exquisite garden statues and buddahs surround the home.

China Garden Chair 

Above: Jim Thompson was a keen collector of china and pots. The garden seat on the right of the picture can be filled with charcoal to warm the seat while sitting on it.

The terrace fronting the main house is shaded by a magnificent 100 year old tree and looks out onto the busy Saen Saeb Canal.

Above: The terrace fronting the main house is shaded by a magnificent 100 year old tree and looks out onto the busy Saen Saeb Canal. Throughout the day you will see river taxis take people backwards and forwards on their travels to work and school.

Jim Thompson - Water Garden Feature

Above: Pink frangipani blooms and Water Lettuce

Jim Thompson - lotus bloom with lotus leaves

Above: Lotus bloom with lotus leaves in a vivid blue pot.

Koi Pond - Jim Thompson House

Above: Tranquil Koi Pond 

Exotic Hanging Plants

Above: Exotic Hanging Plants and Lush Green Palms and Foliage

Jim Thompson's Unsolved Dissapearance 

On Easter Day, 1967, Jim Thompson disappeared while supposedly on a stroll in the jungle-clad Cameron Highlands in Central Malaysia. The circumstances were unusual, and led to a massive search and investigation. Neither Jim Thompson or any of his remains were ever found.

After his disappearance the house was transformed into a private museum and is now one of the most important destinations for visitors to Bangkok. It's well worth a visit if you ever

Jim Thompson house and garden open to the public:

The Jim Thompson House can be reached by public or private transport. Located at 6 Soi Kasemsan Song on Rama I Road.

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm.

Tours: The last guided tour of the complex is at 5pm.

Easiest way to get there: If you take the sky train to National Stadium (exit 1) you can take advantage of a free shuttle that takes you to the entrance.