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Welcome to Thai home of Jim Thomson, the American who was born in Delaware, in 1906. A practicing architect prior to World WAR 2, he volunteered for service in the U.S. army, campaigned in Europe and was later sent to Asia. However, the war ended before he saw action. He was sent to Bangkok a short time later as a military officer and fell in love with Thailand. After leaving the service, he decided to return and live here permanently.
The hand weaving of silk, a long-neglected cottage industry, captured Jim Thomsons's attention and he devoted himself to reviving the craft. Highly gifted as a designer and textile colorist, he contributed substantially to the industry's growth and to the worldwide recognition accorded to Thai silk.
He gained further renown through the construction of this house combining six teak buildings, which represented the best in traditional Thai architecture. Most of the houses were at least two centuries old and were easily dismantled and brough to the present site, some from as far away as the old capital of Ayutthaya.
In his quest for aythenticity, Jim Thompson a dhered to the customs of the early builders in most respects. The houses were elevated a full story above the ground, A practical Thai precaustion to avoid flooding during the rainy season, and the roof tiles were fired in Ayutthaya employing a design common centuries ago but rarely used today. The red paint on the outside walls is a preservative often found on many old Thai buildings. The chandeliers were a concession to modern convenience, but even they belong to a past era, having come from 18th and 19th century Bangkok palaces.
All the traditional religious rituals were followed during construction of the house, and on a spring day in 1959 decreed as being auspicious by astrologers, Jim moved in. The house and the art collection soon became such a point of interest that he decided to open his home to the public with proceeds devoted to Thai charities and to projects directed at the preservation of Thailand's rich cultural heritage.
On March 26th 1967, Jim Thomson disappeared while on a visit to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Not a single valid clue has turned up the ensuing years as to what might have happened to him. His famous Thai house, however, remains as a lasting reminder of his creative ability and his deep love of Thailand.
Rates : THB 2,500
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