Bangkok Thailand Tours

Bangkok Thailand Tours, Looking out across Bangkok`s skyline, it is difficult to imagine the days when canals (klongs) were the favored transport route and life was a leisurely affair, spent sipping cool drinks on open teak verandas. But there are still a few old houses, which have been preserved, with their stilts, leaning walls and airy interiors. A visit to any one of them gives the visitor a taste of what gracious living was like in the days before the building boom started in Thailand in the late 1950s.

by Wayne Burns

Wang Suan Pakkard: This beautiful palace compound is located on Sri Ayutthaya Road, just down from the Victory Monument, east of Phya Thai Avenue. Wang Suan Pakkard, meaning Lettuce Farm Palace, is a collection of five old teak houses, which were dismantled at their original locations and reassembled at the current site. The home of Princess Chumbkot until her death in 1988, the palace was set up to house and display the extensive art collection that she and her husband assembled over the years. These are special exhibits of Ban Chiang ware, unearthed at a prehistoric site in the northeast of Thailand, and an extensive collection of seashells. Set in the midst of the late princess`s favorite flowers and shrubs, this oasis of serenity is the picturesque home to ducks, swans and a picturesque pelican or two.

Jim Thompson`s House: Just off Rama I Road, on Soi Kasem San 2 and within easy walking distance of Mahboonkrong Shopping Center, this house, like Suan Pakkard, has been created from several old teak houses, dismantled in Ayutthaya and re-erected in the gardens on Klong San Saep in the heart of Bangkok.

Would you like to stay in a riverside cottage near Hakone and Hot Springs?

Spacious Cottage near Hakone

Minamiashigara shi, Kanagawa, Japan
Is located near the Kari River, across the street from a supermarket, and 3 minutes walk from Iiwahara Station (Daiyuzan Line). It is near a pleasant river walk with nearby rice fields and Iiwahara...

But these old buildings, besides housing artifacts and offering another glimpse of life during days gone by, have an air of mystery. They retain an added mystique, being the former home of the "Thai Silk King" Jim Thompson, who, one morning in 1967, went out for a walk in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, and was never seen or heard of again. The book, The Legendary American - The Remarkable Career & Strange Disappearance of Jim Thompson, by William Warren, gives a well documented account of Jim Thompson`s life, up to the point of his disappearance. It describes how he built up his silk business, introduced Thai silk to New York and assembled his art collection and houses.

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