Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bangkok: Jim Thompson House and Other Stuff

On Saturday I noticed something was definitely not right with my leg. I woke up sore and that's all I thought it was, "Wow, I'm out of shape if climbing a few wats did this to me but it will be gone in a day." It steadily got worse, but I didn't say much to Casey about it because I didn't want him to think I was a complete wimp from soreness. He talked me into going to this Jim Thompson place-something to do with silk-and I complained thinking it would be another boring museum.

 (On a side note because I forgot to post about it. At Wat Phra Kaew they had a little museum with all the weapons of Siam. Casey was ridiculously excited, like any boy, about this. It was hot and stifling to me.) 

Anyways, I didn't want to be bored but as soon as we walked down the street and turned into the drive I was awestruck. 

I wasn't sure what to expect as I had let Casey do the research. We paid 150 baht total to get in (I got a discount for being younger than 25), which is about 5 bucks. The history goes as follows (I'm summarizing poorly):
Jim Thompson was an army officer from Delaware who was sent to Asia. As an officer in Bangkok he fell in love with Thailand and returned after discharged to live there permanently.
He devoted himself to reviving the silk industry and was a very gifted designer and colorist. His house (where we visited) combined traditional Thai architecture through six teak buildings. The house is a full story above ground and building techniques are consistent with centuries old design.
Mr. Thompson later donated the house in 1959 to the public so that all proceeds would be donated to Thai charities and could be appreciated by all. In 1967 Mr. Thompson was visiting Malaysia and went for a walk in the jungle. He never returned and no one (or so it is said) knows what happened to him. His company and heritage live on.

And now on to the pictures. It's such a beautiful place that I wanted to share it with all, as I can see why Mr. Thompson did.

Below is his private gardens.

Fish were in HUGE pots all over. There was one we pet... uhh... touched. He must be use to it though because he just sat there.

The red building in the background belongs to the estate; the beige one further back is outside of the property-probably apartments.

There were orchids in more HUGE pots all over. 

He's a professional... The yellow balls below are the silk worms in their cocoons. They're unstrung one strand at a time.

A weaver thingy.

I was really excited to see the turtles.

More flowers!

See the leaves below in the top of the picture? They're about 5 feet tall!

Fishy fishy fishy.

We ate lunch at the restaurant afterwards. They had one of my favorites desserts/snacks! Mango with sticky rice! Yum! 

It was a beautiful experience and I'm glad Casey talked me into going. That evening we went further down on the MRT to the factory outlet, where we bought 2 meters of silk to make pillow shams with. 

Today, Sunday, we went to the downtown Bangkok ward where Casey saw a few people he knew. I'll talk about that in the next post if I can get online in Trang. :)

1 comment:

  1. The flora is so beautiful! Five foot elephant ears!