Flag of Thailand

Thailand forum

Jim Thompson House - BK Tourist Trap?

  • altmtl

    Click here to learn more about altmtl
    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Location Earth
    Posts: 835
    Total reviews: 5

    As issues of age and comments regarding posts have come up recently maybe I should point out - http://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g293916-d447276-r140544378-Jim_Thompson_House-Bangkok.html#REVIEWS - this tourist attraction gets glowing reviews and attracts many older visitors, personally this place is of no interest to me - It's a tourist trap as far as I'm concerned. Same Same, but different as we all like to say - as the FMP for the "tourists"

    #1 Posted: 26/9/2012 - 22:33

  • Advertisement

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2089
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    It's funny that you say that because I also had written it off as a tourist trap, and never bothered going. But a recent thread on this site also had favourable comments from people that kind of surprised me. Will be interested to follow this discussion!

    #2 Posted: 26/9/2012 - 22:51

  • altmtl

    Click here to learn more about altmtl
    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Location Earth
    Posts: 835
    Total reviews: 5

    Many touts about I hear & akin to the gem scam...

    #3 Posted: 26/9/2012 - 22:58

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2408
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    most of the regular contributors here are old enough to be the parents of your average backpacker, and most of us are either currently expats or have been long-term SEA residents. our views are going to be different that most backpackers. that's fine, but at least try to keep that in mind.

    as for jim thompson's house? i guess by definition is it a tourist trap, because it is designed to attract tourists. but all the people i saw at the puppet museum in jakarta and the j.e.a.t.h. museum in kanchanburi were tourists too. you could say the same about the gateway arch in st. louis, chitchen itza, and the eiffel tower. exit through the gift shop. but they are still worth visiting, don't you think?

    maybe it is mostly older folks who enjoy jim thompson's house because of their interest in history. nice link to tripadvisor by the way. i noticed that well over 90 percent of the reviewers said the experience was very good or excellent. tourist trap and all. regards.

    #4 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 00:35

  • altmtl

    Click here to learn more about altmtl
    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Location Earth
    Posts: 835
    Total reviews: 5

    This given there are also many people who say the FMP was their greatest experience ever. I think off the beaten track travellers are something different, no FMP, no Thompson house, just experiencing everyday life, like locals and avoiding tourist traps.

    #5 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 00:58

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    OP:
    As issues of age and comments regarding posts have come up recently

    which thread is this referring to? (not been on Tfish much of late, too many 'please plan my entire itinerary & everything else for me' type of queries :P)

    not old enough to be a parent of any backpacker yet :P anyway i visited Jim Thompson House in my early 20s (typical backpacker age?) with my younger sis & both of us liked it.

    some scattered thoughts:
    we come from a big sterile city filled with concrete high rise housing, so we like looking at wooden houses in a garden setting with interiors full of beautiful traditional art objects, the more intricate/ornate the better...stuff we can only dream of in our country & look at in the pages of architecture/interior design magazines.

    found the idea of a guided tour rather restrictive, though it did give some useful info, the guide was good & we didn't feel hurried (we were afraid that we'd be rushed through with 'automated parrot' style commentary, given the no. of times the guides have to repeat the same thing day in day out), & turns out that we were free to explore on our own after the tour was over.

    i like textiles & didn't come away feeling disappointed even though have seen more amazing stuff elsewhere in Thailand & Laos. but the only thing i could afford from the souvenir shop were 10-baht a piece postcards :P overall you feel that it's a place targeted at those with pockets deeper than a backpacker's.

    somehow, JT House doesn't seem to be a place that registers on Thai peoples' radar? been going to Thailand since i was 6 & my Thai folks had brought me along to Muang Boran, Bang Pa-in, Phu Ping, Grand Palace (several times), etc, but they'd never mention JT House. & i don't recall seeing many (or any?) Thai visitors at JT House when i was there. maybe the JT story is more well-known among foreigners? & maybe Thai people are more into visiting places associated with Thai royalty, so no Thai school groups here? so i got to step into JT House only when i was old enough to wander around Thailand on my own without my Thai folks getting paranoid, even though i've been to that part of Bangkok countless times.

    not that i would return for a second visit, it's the 'once is enough' kinda place. but i wouldn't advise others against visiting the place, especially if it's their first time to Thailand. though i found JT House rather crowded, so maybe Suan Pakkad or M.R. Kukrit Pramoj's House would be better for those who want a quieter experience?

    #6 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 04:16

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    "I think off the beaten track travellers are something different, no FMP, no Thompson house, just experiencing everyday life, like locals and avoiding tourist traps."

    I agree. But there aren't many of those altml. Most want to either hit the beach, chase the nookie, or go see things like Angkor Wat. The number of people who want to interact with your average Thai, make Thai friends, experience urban or rural Thailand in a place like Sakhon Nakhon, are few and far between. They talk about it, but they don't really want to do it. Which is why they don't.

    #7 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 04:55

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Are the poor old timers starting to feel their age? Come on, there's surely life in the old dog yet...

    #8 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 05:52

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    I agree with Wandering Cat's remarks. You're in one of the noisiest busiest parts of Bangkok but you feel you've somehow left central Bangkok when you walk down the soi leading to Jim Thompson's house. It's quite magical how all the roaring traffic noise suddenly stops after just a few meters. So I'd say it's a very good place to go and recharge your batteries after a stressful morning spent shopping in MBK or something, very peaceful and tranquil atmosphere considering the location.

    Like WC says, it's a "don't need to visit twice" kind of place, but it's pleasant enough. The shop is indeed rather expensive and so is the restaurant, but the surroundings are very agreeable and the food at the restaurant was quite good.

    If you're not cash strapped and counting every penny then I'd say it's worth a visit if you're in the vicinity. Touristy? Yes of course it is, but I wouldn't describe it as the kind of tourist trap you come out of feeling you've been totally ripped off. You don't even have to take a tour if you don't want to. I sat and read a book in the courtyard while my son and his GF did the tour once and nobody hassled me to buy anything or pay for a tour ticket ... so I'm not sure what gem scam style touts you're talking about altmtl, I didn't notice any!


    I've never been to the Damnoen Saduak floating market (another touristy "must see") but from what I've heard it sounds far more of a tourist trap than Jim Thompson's house.

    #9 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 06:53

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    As SBE says, it is strangely quiet and pleasant, even though you are right downtown. I never thought of it, but now that she writes it, it has occurred to me that that's an amazinginteresting fact.

    #10 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 08:28

  • Advertisement

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    I was bored with JT's house after 5mins. Really who cares? There's millions of houses made from teak in Thailand. National museum and Suan Pakkard are far more interesting if you want history.

    #11 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 10:25

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "I've never been to the Damnoen Saduak floating market (another touristy "must see") "

    I've never been to any floating market. I'd rather walk around a normal Thai market in the suburbs than visit some overpriced tourist trap.

    #12 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 10:27

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    Leonard the Jim Thompson house is unique for a couple of reasons, starting with Jim Thompson. Much of what is in that house was collected from within Thailand. And much from without. It's an interesting place. Of course there are other interesting places as you mentioned. Bangkok is a huge, fairly old, city. So it should have lots of interesting places. But I liked the Jim Thompson house and I'm glad I went. My wife and daughter enjoyed it too.

    #13 Posted: 27/9/2012 - 11:43

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
Phuket - tourist trap or worth a look? ... By Sparkle on 6 Jan 2007 7 2291 13 Mar 2007
Halong Bay: Tourist trap or worthwhile travel experience? ... By sdevlin on 20 Feb 2009 8 3607 24 Mar 2009