Day 3 of our honeymoon trip began by meeting our good friend, Viwan, who I work with in Switzerland. She was home visiting her family in Bangkok for the Winter holidays and graciously volunteered to be our wonderful tour guide for the day. And by the end of the day, we were whooped!
Since we had already toured the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (read more about that here) she decided to take us to a a few places that were a bit more off the beaten track. Visiting the Jim Thompson House was our first stop of the day.
visiting the Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson was an American who briefly served in the Office of Strategic Services (pre-CIA) in Thailand during WWII. While in Bangkok, the potential of silk caught his business eye and he decided to make the City of Angels his home. He singlehandedly revitalized the entire Thai-silk industry by making it popular in fashion capitals such as Milan, London and Paris.
Guided tours of the house start every 20 minutes, so if you have to wait like we did, I highly recommend having a drink and snack at the restaurant on the property.
Thompson purchased 5 traditional Thai teak wood homes from Ayuthaya (the old royal capital) and had them reassembled together in downtown Bangkok in 1959. In his oasis of a home, he displayed his impressive Asian art collection and also added a few western touches such as moving the staircase inside of the home.
While visiting a friend in Malaysia in 1967, Thompson mysteriously disappeared. He went out for an afternoon walk and never returned. His sister was also murdered the same year leading many to believe that the CIA was not pleased with Thompson’s anti-American views and therefore had him killed.
This tiny house above is a spirit house which is a shrine to the protective spirit of the property. Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in a location often determined by a Brahmin priest. The best way to maintain harmony with the spirits is through the daily ritual offerings of fruits, incense, garlands, and pleasant words.
The Thompson House opening hours: 09:00-17:00 (last guided tour at 17:00)
Closest BTS station: National Monument
Cost of entry: Adults -150BHT | Students – 100BHT
visiting the Snake Farm
The Snake Farm is a Red Cross and World Health Organization sponsored research center for snake anti-venom located in downtown Bangkok.
At 14:30 on week days and 11:00 on weekends, visitors are invited to take a seat for the main event; the snake-handling demonstration. Professional snake handlers showcase many species of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, and we learned that there are over 200 species in Thailand. The show concluded with the audience being invited to hold an albino boa constrictor. I may have been first in line… and that guy was HEAVY!
Snake Farm opening hours: Monday – Friday, 9:30 – 15:30, Saturday- Sunday and Public Holidays, 9:30 – 13:00
Cost of Entry: Adults – 200BHT | Children – 50BHT
Closest BTS station: Sala Daeng
I can’t thank our friend, Viwan, enough for taking the time out of her holiday to show us around her lovely hometown. We’re looking forward to one day giving her the biscuit n’ gravy, fried chicken and sweet tea welcome to the South!
OTHER BANGKOK HIGHLIGHTS
If you’d like to see our full month-long honeymoon itinerary, click here.
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