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    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 4

    Sunday, June 7, 2015
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Tofu soup at Prachachon Khao Pat Pu in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Tofu soup at Prachachon Khao Pat Pu in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The entrance to Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    The entrance to Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Bundles of silk at Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Bundles of silk at Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A man spools silk at Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A man spools silk at Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A woman looms silk at Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A woman looms silk at Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Ticking off another item on the list of sights to see in Bangkok that I’d never visited before, today I rode the trusty old bus 15 down to Siam Square to Jim Thompson’s House. Born in 1906 in the United States, Jim was a colorful character: at various times an architect, OSS (pre-CIA) operative, silk magnate and collector of Asian art, some of which is many hundreds of years old. He moved to Thailand near the end of World War II, formed the Thai Silk Company Limited, and in the 1950s assembled a traditional Thai home out of teak wood on stilts mixed with Western influences.

    The garden at Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    The garden at Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A door to another realm at Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A door to another realm at Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A display of art objects under Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A display of art objects under Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    An elephant carving under Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    An elephant carving under Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    More art objects under Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    More art objects under Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Today, the home and smaller surrounding structures form a museum complete with guided tours and a buttery restaurant and store that sells Jim Thompson branded silk items. For some strange reason, you’re allowed to shoot photos around and even under the house, but not inside, which is a shame, because its lovely all-hardwood interior–including the entire walls–is chock-full of beautiful statues, paintings and furniture. Outside, artisans produce silk on a loom and spool, and offer up a little bit of traditional Thai dance occasionally throughout the day. If you ever find yourself in Bangkok, Jim Thompson’s House is definitely worth a look-see.

    A Thai spirit house outside Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A Thai spirit house outside Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Floating flowers outside Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Floating flowers outside Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Traditional thai dancers outside Jim Thompson's House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Traditional thai dancers outside Jim Thompson’s House near Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Yellow curry with noodles and rice at a restaurant on Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Yellow curry with noodles and rice at a restaurant on Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    In the evening, I took a long trip via river boat and SkyTrain way down to the night food stalls of Sukhumvit Soi 38. The plan was to try out an amazing spot called Pad Thai Fire Look I had read about on a Thai food web site. The only problem was I couldn’t find a stall by that name, even after searching the whole area several times. The fact that most of the food stall names were written in Thai only didn’t help much. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all! Instead, I just sat down in one packed shop for a bowl of yellow curry with vegetables and rice. It was yummy, but not worth traveling over an hour for. I’m going to come back down here to visit the dentist when I return to Bangkok at the end of June, so maybe I’ll find Pad Thai Look Fire then.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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