Suan Pakkad Palace Museum
In 1952 H.R.H. Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu, son of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn, Rama V and Her Majesty Queen Sukhumala Marasri converted their private home and antique collection to a Museum. Really the prince wanted to be a musician, so the more modern portion of the museum includes musical instruments, and you can buy the scores or CDs of the music he composed
The museum consists of eight traditional Thai houses, surrounded with a well tended tropical garden with pools and fountains. Each of the buildings is filled with archaeological treasures, arts, and antiques, many belonging to the Prince and Princess. A modern building was added in 1969 as the entrance, office, and to exhibit prehistorical artifacts. Unfortunately there were NO PHOTOS ALLOWED of the exhibits – just a few pictures of the outside.
Like so many places we have been in Southeast Asia, we are shocked at the state of the communications wiring
Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson was an American Architect, born in Delaware in 1906. He served in the US Army in Europe in World War II, then was sent to Asia. The war ended before he saw action, but he was sent to Thailand as a military officer, and fell in love with the country. After leaving the service he relocated to Bangkok.
His home consisted of 6 historical Thai houses, living quarters on the upper floor, some disassembled and moved from long distances. Following local traditions, astrologers determined that a spring day in 1959 was auspicious, and he moved in. His collection of antique art was so noteworthy that he often opened his house to the public with the proceeds going to Thai charities.
On March 26, 1967 Jim Thompson disappeared on a visit to the Malaysian highlands, without leaving a clue. In 1976 the court appointed administrator established a foundation to support his house and work.
One of Thompson’s major contributions to Thailand was the development and promotion of the silk industry, moving it from a cottage industry to a major international status.
How do you unwind the half mile or so of thin silk from a cocoon (that took the silk worm 3 days to spin)? They had a live demonstration.
We walked through Bangkok’s Chinatown. The part we saw was much more a wholesale market of imports than a tourist destination, but still interesting. It was soon after the Chinese new year, so lots of lanterns.
No question that Thailand is a kingdom. It is illegal to criticize or make jokes of the royal family. In many places he is honored, such as this 3 story tall homage at one of the malls.
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