Bangkok: Lumpini Park and Jim Thompson House
Lumpini Park is Bangkok's version of Central Park. It is filled with joggers, cyclists, mommies with strollers, and elderly couples tossing bread crumbs to the ducks. The park is meticulously groomed, with palm trees and bright flowers. We walked through the park and then took a sky train to the Jim Thompson Museum.
Jim Thompson was an American entrepreneur and architect who is credited with re-building Thailand's silk industry after World War I, for which he was awarded the Order of the White Elephant. He is legendary because he mysteriously disappeared one night while on a holiday in Malaysia in 1967 and nobody ever heard from him again. That he was one of the most well-known, well-connected men in the Far East at that time, with ties to the Office of the Secret Service (precursor to the CIA), made his unsolved disappearance all the more intriguing. His house is a work of art -- and filled with works of Chinese art.