©Heloise Bergman / Time Out
The revival and global fame of Thai silk owes much to Jim Thompson, a US architect who came to Thailand at the end of World War II with the OSS (now the CIA) and settled. He spotted the marketing potential of the declining silk weaving then still practised by the Muslims of Baan Khrua. Influentially, in 1959 he adapted six reassembled teak houses to modern living. Now a museum in lush grounds, it exhibits Thompson's Asian artefacts and looks much like it did when he disappeared in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands in 1967. Conspiracy theories abound.
After the guided tour, relax in the canalside bar/restaurant Thompson, browse the silk shop and view the Jim Thompson Center for the Arts. It holds world-class exhibitions on regional textiles and culture. Nearby, the William Warren Library, named after Jim's friend and biographer, also hosts talks.