Jim Thompson is the person credited with reviving the silk trade in Thailand. He was an architect, gifted designer and colourist. He fell in love with Thailand after being sent here as a military officer at the end of WWII and decided to stay. He used his knowledge of architecture and his love of Thai structure to build his own home. This building now forms part of the Jim Thompson museum. Our lovely guide took us on a tour of his house, explaining the details and the thinking behind it with pride and emotion. He took a lot of the traditional ideas, for example building the house on stilts, the design of the windows and the use of a red paint as a preservative for the walls and incorporated his own style into it. The finished result is a beautiful mix of Thai and more contemporary features amalgamated to create a home.
We enjoyed a lovely time exploring the house and finding out about how the craft of hand weaving silk is produced.
Next we took a river taxi to the Golden Mount. The taxi was an adventure on its own as we had to navigate a quick jump under the ropes and over the boat side to lower ourselves down onto the deck. The speed and navigation skills of the driver is both hair raising and mesmerising as they navigate the narrow canals.
The Golden Mount is a Buddhist temple that is still used today. A winding staircase takes you to the top, where you get to see 360 degree view of Bangkok. The walk up is a mix of statues, trees and different glimpses of the city. At one point you are met with a line of big bells that each create a different sound as you ring them and a large gong that reverberates when struck with its large wooden beam.
This temple is well worth the visit and even with my own fear of heights a pleasant walk to see amazing views.