Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

what's the attraction of Jim Thompson's house?

what's the attraction of Jim Thompson's house?

Jan 15th, 2006, 05:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 350
what's the attraction of Jim Thompson's house?

I can't quite figure out what everyone likes about this place, but you all rave about it, so I want to check. We are not shoppers or interested in silk or fabric. We have limited time and we want to make the most of it. Should we include this stop?
jkgourmet is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 194
If you are interested in seeing thai residential architecture or are interested in SE Asian art, then I would say definitely, yes. Jim Thompson collected Thai houses from all over central Thailand, and reassembled them in Bangkok so Jim Thompson House is actually a collection of traditional buildings. He had exquisite taste and everything in his house is placed just so - all his art works and his personal belongings. Well worth a visit.
Kippy is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
imo, the JT house is the #2 attraction in bkk behind the grand palace...

it is a cozy part of bkk that has survived the boom....JT brought several up country houses to this piece of property and reassembled them in a uniqe way to create a unique museum/house for himself... he filled it with treasurers he loved and entertained lavishly there....it is a "mansion" wearing peasant shoes...

it is peaceful there and represents a time and way of life that have vanished...the house has nothing to do with textiles and fabric but has everything to do with gracious interesting living from another time...

well worth every minute of your time...great restaurant and JT shop now open on the ground as well....a busy klong is in back of the house and you hear the boats passing all day long..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,988
Note that there is the Jim Thompson house (described above) and the Jim Thompson stores. I agree that the Jim Thompson House is well worth your time if you have any interest in traditional Thai archecture or Thai arts.

The Jim Thompson stores (there is a small branch at the JT house) carries gorgeous fabrics as well as items made from fabric (purses, jewelry boxes, some clothing, etc). The JT items are very high quality. If you aren't shoppers, then don't go to the stores, but do go to the house.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 16th, 2006, 12:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 14
I'd say it is very worth it. It is not mind-blowing or anything, but it's a nice visit in terms of seeing the architecture for sure.

The cafe is incredible too, visiting just for the cafe is worth it. So even if you don't like the tour, you're at least going to have a great meal in a beautiful cafe

We were very tempted to go back just to eat the cafe in our two weeks in bangkok.

gazibidian is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 350
Okay, we went, and not to be obnoxious, but we should have gone with our original thoughts. The JT House was pretty and peaceful, but the tour guide was scripted beyond belief (even the jokes) and the place was just a let down after seeing Suan Pakard Palace. (This was the suggestion of our driver from Ratt Service that turned out to be an unexpected highlight of our BKK trip.) Lunch in the restaurant was good, and the cafe is lovely to be sure, but the food was pricey by BKK standards and nothing different than what we could get in a high end, good Thai eatery at home. If we had more than 3 days in BKK, we would certainly make this a stop. With less than that, we should have passed on it and spent our time elsewhere.
jkgourmet is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,339
So what didn't you like about it? Because i really don't know if we should go there or do something else...
TracyB is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
The Jim Thompson House is one of my favorite places in Bangkok and I have returned many times. The docents are generally lousy but the man had exquisite taste and the objects in the house are perfect -- as is the house itself. Plus I find the story of Jim Thompson fascinating.
glorialf is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
i often suggest suan packard palace to people but unless i missed something and i have been there at least twice, it is not even a drip off the candle that is jim thompson house....

but to each his own....
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
I'm with you, Bob. I like the Suan Pakkard House but I consider it second tier in terms of sights while I put JT on the must see list and return almost every trip.
glorialf is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,988
I'm the third person to agree that the Suan Pakkard Palace is very interesting but I prefer the Jim Thompson House. I always recommend a stop at the Jim Thompson House to friends headed to Bangkok. Some of the docents are very good, some not so good. It occurs to me that if you don't know the Jim Thompson story, the house may not be as interesting to you. For people making a second or third trip to Bangkok, or for those with more time in Bangkok, I recommend a stop at the Suan Pakkard Palace.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 07:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 350
Perhaps we were too tired by the time we hit JT House - or we are not sophisticated enough to appreciate it (not being nasty here, just direct) - but I still feel we could have spent our too limited time at other sites, markets, even walking the streets.
jkgourmet is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,067

Thanks for the followup on this. We'd decided to forego the Jim Thompson house when in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago. Passed because with so many interesting things to see, the website on the house didn't sway us to give us something else - and generally we're not the "finer things in life" sort of people, I guess. Good to know that we at least may have made a reasonable choice.

Clifton is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jan 15th, 2009 10:51 PM
Sep 12th, 2003 01:07 AM
Oct 2nd, 2001 07:23 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:28 AM.