Jim Thomp­son, the mys­tery be­hind the man

In the 1960s, one of Asia’s most iconic fig­ures van­ished in Cameron High­lands. a walk through the for­est past the site of his dis­ap­pear­ance of­fers a glimpse into one of his­tory’s strangest tales.

YTL Life - - Contents - Words DIANA HUBBELL

To this day, Jim Thomp­son’s life and dis­ap­pear­ance re­mains one of the great­est un­solved mys­ter­ies in South­east Asia, per­haps the world. Born in Delaware to a wealthy tex­tile mer­chant fam­ily, the en­ter­pris­ing busi­ness­man trav­elled from Thai­land to Sin­ga­pore to Malaysia as he built up a silk em­pire that ex­ists to this day.

Yet while much is known about the in­tri­cate fab­rics he pro­duced, the man him­self re­mains some­thing of an enigma. In 1967 in Cameron High­lands, he told his cook that he was go­ing for a stroll, but that he would like to have fish head curry for din­ner that night. He waved jaun­tily to his gar­dener, walked into the jun­gle and was never seen or heard from again.

For those hop­ing to dis­cover more about his legacy and the the­o­ries swirling around his life, Cameron High­lands Re­sort’s nat­u­ral­ist S Madi leads a com­pli­men­tary Jim Thomp­son Mys­tery Walk twice daily from the re­sort that plunges deep into the heart of the for­est. Along the way, he stops to point out na­tive plant species and ex­otic blooms im­ported by Bri­tish colo­nial­ists.

The nar­row trail, which he forged him­self through the brush, leads past quaint English-style cot­tages, in­clud­ing the one where Thomp­son spent his last days.

While the fi­nal pieces of the puzzle sur­round­ing Thomp­son may never be found, it is fas­ci­nat­ing to delve into the lore that swirls around this fa­bled re­gion. Walk­ing through the misty jun­gle where it all hap­pened, it is im­pos­si­ble not to be cap­ti­vated by what might have been.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.cameron­high­land­sre­sort.com

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