Lopburi, Thailand: A Guide to the City of Monkeys
Lopburi is famous in Thailand for its monkey temple and is therefore often called the city of monkeys. This small town is located only about 140 kilometers from Bangkok and is one of the insider tips for a trip through central Thailand. Lopburi is especially known for its countless monkeys, and so a visit to the famous temple is usually a fixed program item of guided Thailand tours. Recently, however, more and more backpackers and individual travelers put the monkey city on their itinerary and come to explore the beautiful town away from the crowds. Because one thing is clear, this history-rich city has more to offer than just cheeky monkeys! Walking around the old town, you’ll discover ancient Khmer-style temple ruins, Buddhist temples with gleaming Buddha statues, and you’ll be deeply immersed in the unique Thai atmosphere.
In this travel guide you will find all the important information about the historic city of Lopburi in Thailand, about the best things to do, how to get there, accommodation and why a trip to the so-called City of Monkeys is really worth it.
Lopburi – The Monkey City
Lopburi is also called the monkey city by many, and not without reason. In some parts of the old town, especially around the Prang Sam Yod temple, cheeky monkeys are up to mischief. According to estimates, there are more than 1,000 monkeys that have their home right in the city. At first glance, these long-tailed macaques seem quite cute. But beware, these little ones are far away from innocent. They hang on the power lines, jump over cars, nibble on windshield wipers and are constantly on the lookout for troubles. Just to watch this monkey theater is a great fun and one of the best things to do while you are in town!
Tip: Especially along the Ratchadamnoen Alley you have the chance to see numerous monkeys playing around.
Best Things to Do in Lopburi
On a visit to Lopburi you can look forward to many small highlights besides the monkeys. Most of the attractions are located directly in the old town, which you can explore wonderfully on your own. So that you do not lose the overview, we have summarized the best temples and things to do in Lopburi at a glance:
The Prang Sam Yot, better known as the Monkey Temple, is probably the most famous attraction in Lopburi. Here at the “3 sacred Prangs” and at the San Phra Kann shrine opposite, the majority of the monkey horde lives. Who would like to have a look at this former Hindu temple from the 13th century, can enter the area of the temple for a small entrance fee of 50,- Baht and there also observe the monkeys more closely. In this area, feeding the monkeys is allowed, but we would not necessarily recommend it. Some of these little rascals are very cheeky, jump on your head and can also quickly steal something (food, glasses, cell phone…)! Inside the temple there is a small Buddha statue. This can be entered if you ask at the entrance.
Tip: Do not take food and drinks into the temple, then the monkeys leave you alone from their own experience and do not pay attention to you.
National Museum and King Naria Palace
The National Museum and 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
Highly 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 historic park is partly comparable with the magnificent historical park of Ayutthaya and definitely 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.
Tip: You can visit this historic park of Lopburi daily from 7:00 to 17:00. The entrance fee is currently 50 baht.
The Monkey Festival
This festival takes place annually in November. Then, as an offering, a huge feast is dished up for the monkeys of Lopburi. At this “all-you-can-eat” buffet, the little monkeys can fill their bellies with fruit and sweets.
A visit to the sunflower fields, the so-called Lopbiri Sunflower Fields, is an absolute highlight of the region around Lopburi, especially for local tourists. The sunflowers are about 40 kilometers from the city and tours are offered from Lopburi to this sight.
Tip: Be sure to check the inflorescence beforehand. Usually, the Sunflower Fields bloom from November to January.
Markets in Lopburi
One of the best things to do in Lopburi is to visit one of the typical Thai Night Markets. Every day there is a night market directly in the old town from about 16:00 along Na Sanprakan Street. Walking Street Market is especially recommended. Here, in addition to clothing, there are especially many exotic foods to taste! This takes place once a week, every Wednesday.
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 cafés and hip restaurants. We especially enjoyed our food at the Boom Café! 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! The owner offers private tours to the Sunflower Fields.
How to get to Lopburi
The distance from Bangkok to Lopburi is only 150 kilometres 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.
Guided Day Tours to Lopburi
Bangkok is about 150 kilometers away from Lopburi and if you don’t want to explore the monkey city on your own, you have the possibility to join a guided tour from Bangkok. On the online portal GetYourGuide you can find offers for this, whereby most excursions are even combined with a visit to the temple city of Ayutthaya.
The reviews, which you can compare before booking, are also really great.
Where to Stay in Lopburi
In Lopburi you will find a small range of accommodation. Most of the places to stay are backpacker hostels and simple guesthouses. If you are looking for a good accommodation in Lopburi, then we can give you these tips on the way…It’s worth a look!
- Small Homestay: The Pee Homestay Lopburi is a small, very simple homestay. This accommodation is only a 2-minute walk from the Monkey Temple.
- Nice Resort: The Windsor Resort is located just outside the old town and is a good choice if you are traveling by car, thanks to the free parking.
- Cute Guesthouse: The Noom Guesthouse is a small guesthouse right in the center of Lopburi’s Old Town. Guests love the restaurant and the cozy rooms.
Find the best accommodation in Lopburi:
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