Jim Thompson’s House: A Glimpse of Thailand’s Past

We all make mistakes in life. I made one on my visit to Jim Thompsons House. This true story happened to me in early 2018. It is only now after extensive therapy and electric shock treatment that I am able to share it publicly.

Jim Thompsons House

My journey to Jim Thompsons House was much like any other trip I make to a historical attraction in Bangkok in that I was feeling slightly confused and sweating a lot. Nothing new so far you may be thinking. To be honest, I’d much prefer things to be the other way around. Oh, to be slightly sweating and confused a lot. It would lead to a more troublesome life, but at least I wouldn’t always look like I’d fallen asleep in the shower.

As someone born into a relatively cold country, wearing shorts has always felt odd to me. Why people choose to wear shorts confuses me. Before moving to Thailand, I was one of those British people who owned one pair of shorts and only begrudgingly pulled them from the wardrobe if I HAD to go to the beach. Therefore, choosing shorts is not a skill I have in my locker and yet, before travelling to Thailand I had gone shopping for shorts…alone!

Buying Shorts That Don’t Show Any Leg

My feeling was that I must buy shorts while making sure my legs weren’t on show. So, I compromised with myself…(is that a thing?) and bought 3/4 length shorts, the style of shorts where the leg stops halfway down your shin. I felt terrific about myself, I’d bought shorts (unattended), and now I would be cooler in a temperature sense but also, and more importantly, in a style sense – I was winning in life however you looked at it.

I would strut around Bangkok with my brand new 3/4 length shorts in the belief that I had made an excellent choice. So sure was I in this belief that I bought TWO pairs of the same shorts. I tend to do that a lot. If I think I look good in something, I’ll buy two because I’m cool like that.

Warning! Shocking Photo Ahead

Then one day while at Jim Thompsons House, I followed the rules of such activities and had my photograph taken as proof that I had been there. The following picture is what I saw when my phone was returned to me…please be warned that what you are about to see is not intended to upset anyone or to incite feelings of uncontrollable lust.

A man in awful ‘shorts’ at a tourist attraction in Bangkok

Now, I’ve never been comfortable with having my photo taken; I’m usually the one pulling a funny face to distract attention away from my awkwardness. But this was no place to draw a funny face; this was JimThompsons House, I need to act respectfully. This ‘pose’ is the result. I look like I’ve never had my photo taken before in my life! But wait, let’s concentrate on the shorts (not my posture, smile or indeed the choice of socks). I look like I’ve had the same pair of trousers since I was 14 years old and gone through a growth spurt at the age of 42. Here’s another photo of me taken the same day…

Jim Thomspons House With a Long-legged Wierd Man In Front Of It.

I look at these photos and think that maybe the other mingling tourists, saw me and got confused as to whether my legs were long or my trousers too short.


Look At My ‘Look’

Once I’d had my phone given back to me, my brain began trying to process what they were seeing. I began to feel a bit self-conscious of…my ‘look’. Technically what you see in these photos is a ‘look’. It’s a look that’s impossible to describe it to anyone that hasn’t seen these photos, but it’s a ‘look’.

Lets take a closer look…at my look

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A sophisticated, debonair and cool British gentleman abroad…

Armed with these photos and a healthy sense of embarrassment, I went and bought some new shorts. The ones in the images above have gone to a better place which is ‘not in my wardrobe’. I now have shorts that from afar looks like I’m naked from the waist down…


I think we can all agree that this is an improvement.

Jim Thompsons House, Finally

In all seriousness, Jim Thompsons House is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours and a great insight into what traditional Thai houses we like. Thompson made his home in Thailand after serving in the American army during world war 2. In 1948 Jim set up the Thai Silk Company and began exporting Thai silk to the rest of the world. He soon fell in love with the Thai culture, its art and its traditional craftsmanship and began building his own house in 1958 in the classic Thai style. One aspect I found interesting was that the house is raised off the ground due to the regular floods that Bangkok used to suffer. The house is made entirely from wood with much of the building and the furnishings made from teak.

It’s a beautiful building which if you can ignore the crazy shorts in my photo’s, you’ll see for yourself.

Sadly and yet understandably, you are not allowed to take photos of the inside of the house. It makes sense but it’s a shame as it houses some pieces of fine art, and the furniture is beautiful. I don’t know much about Jim Thompson, but one thing I can tell you is that the man loved teak!

I would recommend visiting Jim Thompsons House, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend 3/4 length shorts.

Getting To Jim Thompsons House

For more information and travel routes to Jim Thompsons House, follow the link

Thank you for reading my blog, if you liked it please stay and have a look around. Take your shoes off and make yourself at home. Why not start by reading about a horrific trip to a Thai Immigration office – My Nice, Relaxing, Calming and Soothing First Visit To A Thai Immigration Office

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