Cooling Off in Jim Thompson's Teak House in Bangkok, Thailand
In 1967, American businessman Jim Thompson—famous founder of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company—disappeared after going on a leisurely stroll in the jungles of Malaysia. His gorgeous teak home, a complex of six traditional Thai-style houses on a soi, or alleyway, not far from National Stadium, reflects his appreciation for Thailand's simple but elegant architecture. When the heat and tuk-tuk exhaust of the city become unbearable, take a tour of Thompson's serene grounds—a hidden oasis in ever-crowded central Bangkok. Meander the rooms of his open-air home, from the painting pavilion to a drawing room leading out onto a terrace. Being surrounded by dark teak wood walls and panels is strangely calming, while the open corridors and shaded spots in the garden help you cool down. Be sure to take your time—when you leave, you must deal with Bangkok's chaotic streets once again.