Jim Thompson's legacy lives on in one of my favorite sites in Bangkok
: the Jim Thompson House. As you wander this unusual mansion, marvel at the architecture and treasures contained within. American writer Thompson settled in Bangkok
after World War II and in a few short years turned the fashion world on its head. He revolutionized the textile industry in Thailand
by bringing exotic Thai silk designs to the global marketplace. While he was obsessed with Thai fabrics, his true love was for the people and the history of his adopted country. He sought to preserve relics of its culture at any cost—going as far as to buy and move several traditional Thai houses to the center of Bangkok
. Now the unique oasis he constructed is known as the Jim Thompson House. In his house he displayed precious examples of Thai design, art, and culture. His collection contains relics that would have been lost had he not saved them. Sadly, Jim Thompson met an untimely and bizarre end in 1967. He disappeared while on a hiking vacation in Malaysia. His body was never found and he was assumed dead. When I visited it was another hot and humid afternoon. I walked down the alley, turned a corner and found myself in front of the famed house. I was surprised to find it as it's in an unlikely location—just as it probably was when Jim Thompson himself assembled the house in the middle of the Thai capital.