4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } elseif (preg_match("/MSIE (\d)/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT,$v)) { $browser="msie"; if (($version=$v[1])>4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } elseif (preg_match("/Mozilla(?:\/|\s)(\d)/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT,$v)) { $browser="navigator"; if (($version=$v[1])>4) $PLATFORM=1; else $PLATFORM=2; } else { $browser="other"; $version="unknown"; $PLATFORM=2; } } ?> Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

continued from Bangkok Honeymoon Planner

Jim Thompson

Bangkok’s best-known American businessman, Jim Thompson, remains its most mysterious. A former architect, Thompson first saw Bangkok during World War II as an intelligence officer and returned to make the country his home after the war. Convinced that leisure travel to Asia would be on the rise, he worked on the relaunch of Bangkok’s Oriental Hotel.

Soon, however, Thompson’s attention was drawn to the local silk, a product hand-woven and dyed in brilliant colors. In 1947, he ordered some silks and took them to New York to test market the product. Soon the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company was born, and Thompson brought the local fabric to the attention of the world. Thompson maintained many traditional methods but added standardization, modern dyeing methods, and an inspection process to meet demands of a worldwide market.

In the late 1950s, Thompson moved to a Thai-style residence he had constructed from six traditional homes. The businessman became known as Bangkok’s leading farang (foreign) host. Mysteriously, in 1967, the charismatic businessman disappeared while on walk in Malaysia; no trace of Thompson has ever been found.

Even without Thompson’s personal touch, the local silk industry continues to grow, employing approximately 20,000 families. The businessman’s former home is now one of the city’s top attractions, offering tours as well as special events. The Thai Silk Company continues to thrive, with 13 stores in many of the city’s top hotels as well as in many Thai resort areas as well as in Singapore and Malaysia.

For more information, see www.jimthompsonhouse.org/.

Introduction Hotels Restaurants
Getting There Jim Thompson Shopping
Attractions Nightlife For More Info