Lopburi is a fairly small province in Central Thailand some 150 kilometers North of Bangkok. The province with the capital city bearing the same name is mainly known for its historical sites such as the Khmer style Prang Sam Yot and King Narai’s Palace, as well as for the large number of very cheeky monkeys hanging around in various parts of the city.
Lopburi is one of Thailand’s oldest cities, being inhabited continuously since the Dvaravati era, that started 15 centuries ago. During the 10th century Lopburi became part of the Khmer empire that was expanding towards the West. The Khmers built a number of impressive monuments, many of which still exist today.
Later the city came under the influence of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, that was founded around the middle of the 14th century. During the reign of King Narai the Great in the second half of the 17th century, Lopburi was made the second capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
To do & see in Lopburi
Lopburi is best known for its historical sites from the time it was under the influence of the Khmer empire. Lopburi’s most famous landmark is the Phra Prang Sam Yot, a typical Khmer architecture shrine with three huge prangs built during the 13th century. Other Khmer remains are the Prang Khaek prangs, the San Phra Kan shrine and the Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat temple.
When King Narai ruled the Ayutthaya Kingdom at the height of its power, Lopburi became an important city in the Kingdom. In 1655 the King built his Palace in Lopburi where he stayed much of the year. The Kraison Hall and the Wichayen House were also built by King Narai and still remain today in various states of repair.
Lopburi province is home to the biggest sunflower fields of Thailand. Thousands of acres are filled with this beautiful bright yellow flower, that is in blossom between November and January. The largest field is located in Phatthana Nikom district, a little over 40 kilometers East of the provincial capital. Although a beautiful sight that has become a tourist attraction, the sunflowers are grown to produce sunflower oil used for cooking and for their seeds, that are eaten as a snack.
Visit the Sunflower Fields
Private tour including transfers
Another attraction of Lopburi town is the presence of large numbers of monkeys. Most of them hang out at several Khmer monuments, like the Phra Prang Sam Yot and the San Phra Kan. They are extremely cheeky and constantly on the lookout for food. Often they will wait on roofs or poles for unsuspecting passers by, looking for an opportunity to snatch something. Take care of your bags when they are around.
Every year during the last weekend of November the Monkey Festival is held at the San Phra Kan monument in Lopburi town, when a large number of tables is set up with food like a buffet, proving a rare feast for the animals.
This year the festival will be held on November 26th 2017.
Visit the Monkey Festival
Private tour including transfers
Getting to Lopburi
Lopburi is well connected by train with Bangkok. The State Railway of Thailand offers daily train services multiple times per day to the province. The Northern line with trains leaving from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station has stops in the capital Lopburi town and a number of smaller towns. The trip takes around two to three hours from Bangkok, depending on the type of train.
Another cheap way to get to Lopburi is to take a bus from Bangkok’s Northern bus terminal Mo Chit. The trip by air conditioned bus takes around 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a van from Bangkok’s Victory Monument which is a little quicker, however luggage room is limited.
A private taxi should take around two hours. Agree on the fare before leaving or make sure the driver uses the meter.