King of Thai Silk
An emblematic figure of Bangkok. An American businessman who in the ’50s and 60s gives a new life to the silk industry in The Kingdom. He was an agent during the world war 2 of The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) at that time, a predecessor of the modern CIA. After North Africa and Sri Lanka, he moved to Thailand and was close with the Free Thai Movement after the Japanese left.
He quit the army in 1946 and returned to Thailand, in 1948 after a failure investing in the Oriental Hotel, he founded in partnership with the Thai Silk Company. In 1951 became famous when Thai Silk fabric was used in the movie, The King and I.
Later, 20,000 weavers would work for him, putting an end to the misery of thousands of people, and by allowing women working at home, they kept their housewife role and economic support for the family as well. A collector of antiques, and as ex-architect, after bringing together parts of old houses as old as a hundred years, in 1959 built a masterpiece which is a mixture of Thai and Western architecture. Despite all the years spent in Thailand Jim Thompson never learned to speak Thai.
All of his collection can be seen at what is today a museum.
Easter day in 1967, Jim Thompson went for an afternoon walk in the Cameron Highlands hills in Malaysia and was never seen again.
One of the oldest mysteries in Asia has been solved. In a documentary by Adventure Film Productions, he was killed by Malay communists.
The first shop was open in 1950, it is today a well established, and distinguished worldwide luxury Thai silk company with more than 3,000 employees. The production is located close to the city of Nakhon Ratchasima. Boutiques are planned in London (has a showroom), Paris (showroom since 2013), New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore, where a restaurant and wine bar is open. High-class restaurants will be opened in London and Paris.
How to get there
BTS National Stadium. Exit 1 and go into Soi Kasem San 2, 150 meters left-hand side.
By boat express to Hua Chang Pier
Entrance 150 baht – 100 under 22 years old
Restaurant, cafe, and wine bar
Open from 09.00 to 18.00
Ban Krua Silk Village
Nearby is a Muslim community still weaving Thai silk. This is the place where the silk used in the movie The King and I is from. He will also be one of the suppliers of the costumes for the film Ben-Hur
Forgotten by the tourists, an interesting visit.
Easy to get there
When out of the front gates, walk to the canal. Turn left and keep going to the pedestrian bridge, cross and turn left till you see the signs.
By boat Baan Krua pier
Open. 09.00 – 20.00
If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help you out