Business Traveler (USA) - - 4 HOURS -

Catch the ferry back to the left bank, then jump into a tuk-tuk – those bas­tions of Bangkok street travel – for a THB100 ($2.80) blast through the ve­hic­u­lar chaos and within half an hour you’re in a small soi, or side street, that runs north from Rama I Road.

Hid­den away in this“back­wa­ter”of the city cen­ter is Jim Thomp­son’s House, ac­tu­ally a col­lec­tion of teak houses built along­side a small klong, or canal, in the tra­di­tional cen­tral Thai fash­ion.Thomp­son was a NewYork ar­chi­tect who spent World War II in Thai­land work­ing for the OSS (which be­came the CIA). He fell in love with the coun­try and stayed on after the war, re­viv­ing and de­vel­op­ing Thai­land’s now fa­mous silk in­dus­try.

A 30-minute guided tour through the main house – which is made al­most en­tirely from golden teak and other trop­i­cal hard­woods, and filled with an ex­quis­ite col­lec­tion of Kh­mer sculp­ture, Chi­nese porce­lain, Burmese carv­ings and Thai scroll paint­ings – is a won­der­ful an­ti­dote to the noisy bed­lam of the 21st cen­tury out­side. At the en­trance a large shop sells all man­ner of splen­did silk prod­ucts from the Jim Thomp­son Com­pany, and there is now a bar and restau­rant on site to serve the thirsty and hun­gry as well.

Soi Kasem­san 2 (op­po­site the Na­tional Sta­dium Sky­train ter­mi­nus); open daily 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; en­try THB150 ($4.20);

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