Jim Thompson's House
Amidst a lush, tropical landscape, be amazed by this compound of six teak structures that were the home of the silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson. In 1958, Thompson decided to purchase a number of antique houses from villages around Thailand. Together, they create a one-of-a-kind complex that still houses his extensive holdings of rare Buddhist sculpture, blue-and-white Chinaware, Sawankhalok Pottery, and Benjarong porcelain. While Thompson disappeared forty years ago, his house remains one of the most beloved museums in Bangkok.
The Prasart Museum
An ornate Chinese temple and a Sukhothai period teak library set over a lotus pond are but two of a dozen replica structures that surround the grounds of the Prasart Museum. By private appointment, venture to the eastern suburb of Bangkok for a tour of this extensive collection of artifacts that chronicles art from prehistoric times through the Ratanakosin era of Thai history. Though some of these structures have been assembled from the ruins of buildings found all over Asia, the Prasart provides a flavor of Southeast Asian architecture.
Depart by private car to the ancient city of Ayutthaya province, located 71 miles north of Bangkok. The former capital of Thailand from 1350-1767 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient Siam's splendor and its ruins. A myriad of reconstructed sites abound in the area. Begin at Bang Pa In Summer Palace, a residence of King Rama V, a century ago. Then continue onto Ayutthaya, the Siam Ancient City to explore its Elephant Kraal, the old Royal Palace compound, Ayutthaya Island, a replica of Angkor Wat, and Wat Phra Si Sanphet, three outstanding Ceylonese-style pagodas built during the 15th century to enshrine the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant at the Krungsri River. Then visit Wat Yaichai Mongkol, the large pagoda built to celebrate the King's victory of his single-handed combat on an elephant's back, a perfect way to end the day in Ayutthaya.
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