Lopburi

Lopburi (ลพบุรี), also Lop Buri or Lob Buri is a historic city 3 hours north of Bangkok in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Lopburi has a mountain called Khao Chan Daeng.

Understand

Lopburi is very laid back, and its convenient location less than 3 hours (~180 km) from Bangkok makes it a good place to escape the stress and pollution of the capital.

History

Lopburi is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, a former capital and the second capital after Ayutthaya was established in 1350. It was abandoned after King Narai passed away in 1688, but parts were restored in 1856 by King Mongkut (King Rama IV) and in 1864 it was made the summer capital.

Lopburi has been an important part of the Khmer Empire, later a part of Ayutthaya kingdom, and Ayutthaya's second capital under the reign of King Narai, the great, who used to spend eight months of a year in Lopburi. Later on King Mongkut of the Bangkokian Chakri Dynasty used to reside here. Thus the remains of almost all periods of Thai history can be found.

Orientation

There are two central areas in Lopburi: New Town and Old Town. Most of the important sites, plus the train station, are in the Old Town; buses arrive and depart from the New Town.

Monkeys

Lopburi is famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun the Old Town, especially in the area around Phra Prang Sam Yot and Phra Kaan Shrine, and there's even a monkey temple/amusement park where you can buy snacks to feed to them.

Keep an eye out for monkeys hanging from trees and wires and sitting on roofs and ledges, and be aware that they have some unpleasant bad habits including defecating on unsuspecting pedestrians from their overhead perches, jumping on people to snatch food and stealing bags that they suspect may contain something edible.

Dogs

At night nothing much is going on in the Old Town, thus the street dogs consider everybody running around after midnight very suspicious. While most of them will just look at you, some might bark, run behind you and jump at you. While common at night, it is very rare during the day.

Get in

By bus

From Ayutthaya, local buses run every 20 mins, take around 2 hours and cost 35 baht.

There is a minibus service from Mo Chit to Lopburi.

From Kanchanaburi it's necessary to take a local bus to Suphanburi taking 2 hours and costing 50 baht, then another from there to Lopburi taking 3 hours and costing 52 baht.

From Sukhothai take a bus to Phitsanulok and then to Nakhon Sawan first.

By minibus

From Bangkok, air-con vans leave from Victory Monument, take about 2 hours and cost 110 baht. There are multiple van services in the area, so if the timing for one service does not work try another.

Air-con vans also leave from the main Mo Chit (northern) bus station for the same price. The last minibus normally departs around 18:00.

By train

Trains from/to Bangkok's main Hualamphong station take about 3 hours. Take the Northern Line from Hua Lamphong Railway Station everyday, many rounds per day.

Trains from/to Ayutthaya take about one hour and cost 13 baht for third class.

By car

Get around

The blue local bus (8 baht) circles constantly between the bus station about 2 km from the town centre, passing Phra Kahn Shrine, going south on Sorasak Rd, and ending up in front of the TAT office on Phraya Kamuad Rd.

See

Do

Buy

If you are going to be in Lopburi long-term, you will need the services of the two department stores. There is a Big C mall in town, with a KFC, along with a Tesco Lotus in the Monkey Mall further down. The latter has a very large outdoor market in the evenings.

Eat

The street vendors in the Old Town are very nice and have all kinds of tasty things. In the evenings, a lot of street food stalls are set up on a road in front of railway station.

Drink

You might find the nightlife in Lopburi fairly quiet for a town of its size but there are a selection of places to catch a drink in the evening. Old Town has a few curbside bars, which are excellent for those who are still new to Thailand, as there are usually some foreigners about. There is also a small club (look for the large "Ben More" sign) next to a local park near the train station in the Old Town, but it is a little pricier than average.

The centre of town has a variety of places, from hole in the wall local dives, to "The Bank", a disco that is frequented by Lopburi's young crowd, but is not recommended for foreigners unless you know your way around well. Uptown has few drinking establishments on the main road, but there are a variety of karaoke bars and such down the back roads. Some of these out-of-the-way places are OK for a drink and some offer short-term female company but this not recommended for the newcomers.

Sleep

Old Town

Hotels in the Old Town offer generally similar medium scale standards for 140-500 baht. The monkeys run around freely, but usually stay in just one small area. Depending on your preference you can choose a place with lots of monkeys running (and hanging) around, or opt for somewhere with low or no monkey presence.

Places with lots of monkeys

Places with few monkeys

New Town

Go next

Routes through Lopburi

Chiang Mai Nakhon Sawan  N  S  Ayutthaya Bangkok
Chiang Rai Chainat  N  S  Saraburi Bangkok


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, August 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.