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.
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