Jim Thompson Life & Legend Thai House & Museum Visitor Information Bangkok's Leading Host Special Events
Jim Thompson House
The Jungle Landscape
Nostalic Appeal of the Location
The James H.W. Thompson Foundation
Thai Architectural Style
Fascinating Aspects of the Thai Style House
Construction of the Thai House
Art & Antique Collection

Thompson noted that many of the fine old houses in existence were still in excellent condition in spite of their age of a hundred years or more . He thus decided to purchase several old houses and reassemble them.

The original Jim Thompson house and outbuildings were re-constructed from all or parts of six separate old houses that were brought from various parts of the country to the present location.

Photographs taken during construction of the Jim Thompson house   
in early 1959 and his proposed plan for the house as drawn for his sister. 



The oldest part of the main house is an early 19th century house from the silk weaving village of Ban Krua, across the klong. This became the Drawing Room.

The drawing room.
The oldest part of the house, dating from around 1800, this is also the largest single structure. It came from the weaving community of Ban Krua across the canal
A glittering crystal chandelier from a former palace hangs from the high ceiling. Burmese figurines of "nat" or  good spirits from Amarapura decorate the niches, which were originally windows.


View from the courtyard showing the entrance to the stairwell and on the right, the wing that formerly served as the kitchen.

The next oldest part is the kitchen wing which also came from the weaving village. Dated from the middle of the 19th century, it had been part of an old palace which had been sold and moved to Ban Krua fifty years before.

For the remaining structures, Thompson's search took him to the province of Ayutthaya, upriver from Bangkok. He eventually found most of what he needed in a village called "Pak Hai", northwest of the former capital. The houses were taken down, neatly stacked on barges and brought by river and klong directly to the construction site in Bangkok.


For good luck, peace and harmony to prevail, the advice of a Buddhist monk is often sought with regard to the auspicious dates and times. This involves plotting astrological charts based on the date of the birth of the owner of the house relative to several other astrological elements.

September 15, 1958
Construction of the Jim Thompson house began on an auspicious date and time as determined by astrological readings.

April 3, 1959
Construction was officially completed.



These little houses are often charming miniature replica of a Thai-style house or temple. According to traditional Thai belief, the spirit house provides a home for the resident spirits of the compound. Wielding considerable power, resident spirits can play a major role in the fortune and destiny of the inhabitants of the compound. If the spirits are offended by inappropriate acts, neglect or disrespect, bad luck and misfortune befalls the owner and residents of the house. To appease and pacify the spirits, a daily offering of incense sticks, fresh flowers and food is presented.
The location of the spirit house is of primary importance. A badly positioned spirit house brings countless misfortune to the residents. Great care is taken to ensure that it is never placed in a location where the shadow of the main building casts a shadow over it. Hence the spirit house is often found in the northern, eastern or northeastern corner of the compound.