Lopburi – A Guide to the City of Monkeys
The town Lopburi, often spelled Lop Buri, is located in central Thailand, only a 2 hour drive from Bangkok. With a population of about 20,000 inhabitants, this little town belong to the quieter places in Thailand. The old town is mainly known for its monkeys and so the visit of the famous monkey temple in Lop Buri is usually a fixed program of guided Thailand tours. Recently, however, more and more backpackers and individual travellers are putting the Monkey Town on their Thailand itinerary. Without a doubt, this historic city has more to offer than just cheeky monkeys and you will find plenty of amazing things to do in Lopburi! Stroll through the old town to discover ancient Khmer-style temple ruins, Buddhist temples with shining Buddha statues and inhale the unique atmosphere.
In this travel blog you will find all the important information about a visit to Lopburi, the best attractions and why a trip is really worth a visit.
What to see and what to do in Lopburi
The monkey town
Lopburi is often dubbed by many as the monkey city – and that’s not without a reason: in some parts of the old town, especially around the Prang Sam Yod Temple lots of cheeky monkeys are up to mischief. Estimated more than 1000 monkeys have their home right in the old town. At first glance, these long-tailed macaques seem to be very cute. But beware, these little ones are far away from innocent. They hang on the power lines, jump over cars, nibble on windscreen wipers and are constantly on the lookout for troubles. Just to watch this monkey theatre is a great fun and one of the best things to do while you are in town! Especially along the Ratchadamnoen Alley you have the chance to see lots of monkeys playing around.
The Prang Sam Yot, better known as the Monkey Temple, is the city’s ultimate landmark and the most famous tourist attraction. Here at the “3 holy Prangs” and at the opposite situated San Phra Kann Shrine lives the majority of the monkey horde. The former Hindu temple is dated back to the 13th century and you can enter the temple complex for an entrance fee of 50, – Baht. In this area the feeding of monkeys is allowed, which we would not necessarily recommend. Some of these little rascals are very naughty, so you should always take care while sightseeing. Sometimes they just jump on your head and can also steal something quickly (food, glasses, mobile phone …)! Inside the ruins is a small Buddha Statue and it can be entered on request.
Tip: Take no food and no drinks to temple, then the monkeys won`t pay you any attention at all.
Monkey Festival: This festival takes place each year in November. Then a huge party for the monkeys of Lopburi will be held as an offering. At this monkey buffet, things really get down to business and the little monkeys can fill their bellies with lots fruit and sweets.
National Museum and King Naria Palace
The National Museum and the King Naria Palace are located in a beautiful park located in the old town of Lopburi. In the palace of King Naria exhibit an interesting collection of statues and magnificent treasures from various eras. In addition, the palace of Lopburi includes several ruins that can be explored on a short walk. A visit to the National Museum and the beautiful park are definitely one of the best attractions of Lopburi and should not be missed. The National Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and entrance fee is 150 baht per person.
Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat
Absolutely recommended is the visit of the imposing temple Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, which is actually in its architecture much more spectacular than the Monkey Temple. Located with a short distance from the train station in Lopburi and the ruins are really easy to reach. The park is partly comparable with the magnificent historical park of Ayutthaya and for sure you will get some great photo opportunities. So it is almost surprising that you will have the most of the time the entire complex for yourself. You can visit this historic parc of Lopburi daily from 7:00 to 17:00. The entrance fee is currently 50 baht.
A visit to the Sunflower Fields is an absolute highlight of the things to do around Lopburi, especially among thai tourists. The sunflowers are approximately 40 kilometres from the city away and tours are offered from Lop Buri town. Before you go on a day trip you should make sure to inform yourself about the inflorescence. Most of the Sunflower Fields bloom from November to January.
Another awesome activity is to visit the traditional night market. Daily a night market takes place directly in the old part of town starting from approx. 16:00 o’clock along the Na Sanprakan road. Also, if you have any chance, we highly recommend you check out the Walking Street Market, which is only once a week at Wednesday. This night market offers a huge choice of typical thai clothes and lot of exotic foods can be tried there!
Where to eat
In addition to the typical Thai food stalls which can be found inside the old town you will also find some good cafes and hip restaurants. We especially enjoyed our food at the Boom Cafe! This hip little restaurant will surprise you with a delicious selection of amazing thai food and really yummy desserts. Give it a try and you will be amazed! Tip: The owner offers private tours to the Sunflower Fields.
How to get there
The distance from Bangkok to Lopburi is only 150 kilometre and can be easily reached by bus or train. Lopburi is connected to the Thai Northern Railway and it is best to travel by train from Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok or Chiang Mai. The small pretty train station is located right in the old town and so are the main attractions within walking distance. Whoever travels during the day should definitely buy a ticket in the third class. There you have open windows and you can admire the beautiful landscapes around Lop Buri. Also, day trips to the monkey temple are offered in Bangkok.
Where to stay in Lopburi
Inside the old town of Lopburi you will find some nice hotels and reasonably priced accommodation to stay. For backpackers there are also some cheap hostels such as the 63 Hostel. A small but lovely hostel that is located close to all the main attractions of the city. This place convinces with absolute feel-good atmosphere and the young owner provides a lot of travel information and a free city map of Lop Buri.
In Lopburi, there is a lot to see and and fantastic things to do. Also the tranquil Thai flair of the old town is unique. If you ask yourself how many days you should stay, we would recommend at least two nights for staying in Lopburi.
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