Jim Thompson was an American architect who came to Bangkok towards the end of the Second World War. He loved the city and returned to live there. He became interested in a local community of silk weavers and created a company to market their products. If you’ve ever read ‘Threads’ or ‘Vogue Patterns’ magazines you’ve seen the ads for his company. He introduced a wide range of silk products to the west and the company continues to this day.
He built himself a beautiful home on the edge of one of the canals in Bangkok. Actually, he had 6 traditional Thai homes brought to the site, and with his architectural skills he created a really interesting Thai/Western hybrid home. And then one day in the mid-sixties he went to Malaysia for a visit with a friend. While the friend was napping Thompson went out for a walk – and vanished. Not a peep since then. Many theories abound, but no one knows. The company continues, and his house and art collection have been preserved and can be visited. No pictures in the house itself, but in the gardens they had demonstrations of silk processing and Thai dancing. There was also a gift shop full of lovely things….