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Lopburi Old Town

Lopburi Old Town

Lopburi Old Town

Let’s visit one of the oldest cities of Thailand

Lopburi is most known for the monkeys occupying the old part of town. Once you arrive the historical town you are being welcomed by thousands of monkeys populating streets, parks, and rooftops. The ancient town is located about 150 km. north of Bangkok on the  Lop Buri Alluvial plain in the Pasak river basin.


 

A bit of history

Due to a very human-friendly environment, the town and region have been an economic, political, cultural, and religious center for over 4500 years now.

Historical sites have been found from the prehistoric period back 4500 – 1500 years in places around Lopburi.

The Dvaravati period lasted about 400 years beginning in the 7th century and still was before the actual town was built. The oldest ruin from this period can be seen behind the Lopburi train station. Sadly the sites are quite ruined and I think plundered as almost all Buddha statues have lost their heads and faces. Some of these sculptures can still be seen in the Lopburi Museum.

Wat Pra Sri

Wat Pra Sri

From the 11th – 13th century, the urbanization of Lopburi town began adapting the Khmer culture. Buddhism, Brahaminism, and Mahayana were practiced and left ruins we can see still today. The most famous remain of the Lop Buri period is the Prang Sam Yod, which is located right in the central Plaza near the train station.

The Ayutthaya period lasted from the 14th to the 18th century. During that time Lop Buri was an important trading and political center and during the reign of King Narai the Great, the town was promoted the second capital of Siam. Since the Rattanakosin period in late 1700, the town has been restored continuously until today.

 


 

Check out this video, it is in Thai language but still very informative

 


 

Lopburi Old Town, a relaxed place to spend some time

The old town center I find is a great place to do some strolls and enjoy a laid-back atmosphere. Some very low price guesthouses right in the center are perfect to stay a few days amongst backpackers from all over the world and the very friendly hosts.

Mr Dee's Gguesthouse

Mr. Dee’s Gguesthouse

There are several interesting sites one can easily visit by foot located all over the old town. Many buildings in town are built in all kinds of architectural styles, from traditional two-floor wooden buildings to tree, four-story concrete buildings built in some kind of European influenced manner.

There are remains of an ancient city wall, Kings Palast, water canals, all within a town with lots of big old trees leaving many places quite fresh and nice to look at. Of course, there are great markets to visit as well as the famous monkey center.

Lopburi is an intellectual city with many universities. Large areas are also occupied by the Thai army. There is a lively nightlife happening in the quarter behind the train station. Not like smaller places, here you can enjoy the cool evenings hanging in garden restaurants, play a pool with relaxed background music. Or you can even see Thai life rock shows at one place every night of the week.


 

Out of town you can see more attractions

If you feel like seeing more than what can be visited on foot you can do several trips out of town. Minibus operators offer tours to the different locations just behind the train station or even organized by the guesthouse you stay at.

Only about 7 km from Lopburi old town is the Wat Yang Na Rangsi, hosting an antique boat and lifestyle museum. The wat is located nicely at a lake in a quiet environment where you can see antique wooden boats, all kinds of old tools used in the area and beautiful old wooden traditional buildings. Its a nice place for a picknick day in nature.

Another center of interest, about 22 km away are the sites around Chin Lea (peacock) mountain. There are a lake, some temples, a bat cave and even a rock climbing area. The place is also famous for the huge sunflower fields planted around the steep limestone rock

Pasak Jolasid Dam

Pasak Jolasid Dam

If you miss the beach, you can visit the huge Lake Pesak Jolasid. The area near the dam, about 56 km from town, is formed into a nice park where many Thais come to have a picknick weekend day. The area has a fresh climate due to the wind coming from the big lake. Unfortunately, there is no watersports nor swimming allowed in the lake but the scenery and the many foods served, let you have a relaxed afternoon after visiting the sites around peacock mountain.

The place is well organized, you can rent a floormat to sit comfortable and guys on bikes come and take orders. Fresh grilled fish, iced water or beer and all kinds of Thai dishes are served wherever you choose to sit down. Toilets and even four-wheeled electro mobiles for rent are provided.

A little bijou, I found on the way to the Pesak Jolasid Dam (see here), the market is only open on weekends but the pottery is open every day.


Lopburi Uni Town

Lopburi Uni Town

Lopburi an almost must see if you travel around north of Bangkok.

Depending on your time schedule, you can spend one whole day or up to one week in the Lopburi town and province. I had a great time and met some very nice people there. Although I actually came to see the Monkeys Banquet, which unfortunately wasn’t held this year and probably won’t be repeated anymore, I had a great time and stayed a whole seven days.

If you don’t have too much time you can just visit all the historical sites downtown in one day, have an experience with the many monkeys and a relaxed evening in one of the garden restaurants.

Lopburi is located on the route to the from Bankok to the north, Ayuthaya, Lopburi, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, which is all connected with the same train lane, Bangkok-Chiang Mai. (see map)


Lopburi an inexpensive place to live,  Lopburi Pictures#1

Some interesting stuff for you

Places where its not so hot

Thai Cave Promo

Best time to visit Thailand


Check out more of central Thailand

From A to B with Me, Khao Kho to Umphang


 

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10 Comments

  1. My brother just recently visited Thailand, and when he came back he showed me pictures and told me about the trip. It made me want to visit Thailand for my next vacation, but I’m not sure where I’d like to visit.

    It sounds like Lopburi would be a great first destination, but would I be able to travel here as an English speaking Canadian? Are there a lot of English speaking people there that would be able to accommodate me?

    • Hello and welcome Isaya.
      For sure Lopburi is a great place to come for the first time in Thailand. Many people speak English there. Once you arrive in Bangkok you can take the train and hop off in Lopburi. From the airport, you take the take the airport rail link to the Makkasan station and there you look for the MRT and take that one to Hualampong station which is the main train station of Bangkok. There are many trains leaving to Lopburi in the morning and afternoon.

  2. It sounds like there is an interesting mix of culture at Lopburi. Three different religions were practiced there and it was shuffled between world powers. You can learn a lot there.

    I have a question though. Whenever I visit a place, I like to learn about its history. Are there any museums in Lopburi to visit? Thank you in advance and I hope you have a great day!

    • Hi Alex and thanks for looking in again. Yes, Lopburi is a very interesting place. I am not finished writing posts about it. There is indeed a nice history museum inside the historic Royal Palace, I will post a separate article about this very soon. I will also write a post about the most important historic sites to be visited in old Lopbury, so stay in tune and learn more if you like. Lopburi has been an important center of Thailand for thousands of years and things are discovered until today in this region.
      I wish you a great day and see you. Stefan

  3. My friend is going to Thailand for the holiday and I’m definitely sending this site along to her, to help her figure out everything to see. two weeks should be enough time, right? I LOVE love love the thai architecture, it’s truly unique in the world and even in the region.

    • Hi Penelope, nice to meet you. Thanks for introducing my website to your friend. I think a two week trip to Thailand is a nice thing to do but if you want to see something of the country you need to have a plan. Thailand is very big and if you only have two weeks you have to decide what your priorities are. Checking out my website can definitely help making decisions. If you need any advice you are welcome to contact me per Email or phone.
      exploringrealthailand@gmail.com / +66 (0) 96 151 5943.
      I wish you all the best and look forward to hear from you or your friend.
      See you, Stefan

  4. Hi Stefan,
    Great post, well written, very informative. You actually took me to Lopburi. I was already imagining myself touring the city. We (my husband and I) might visit Thailand one day.It’s included in the places I want to visit. It will be very nice if we could meet you and you can tell us more about the city. Btw, you got a beautiful website built here, plus tons of information about Thailand. I will be visiting here more often.

    • Hello Arline, and thanks for the compliment, I try my best to describe Thailand as I find it due to I not see many websites going into details very much. You are very welcome to see me once you come to visit the country, you got all the contact information on this website. You and your husband might also consider visiting my Dragonfly Farm Resort from where we offer trips to many different places near and far.
      I hope you have a great time and look forward to hearing from you again.
      See you, Stefan

  5. Hi Stefan, Lopburi seems like a great place to chill. You mentioned the fact that it is an inexpensive place to live. Do many digital nomads live there? I may look into visiting it.

    • Hi Nadia, thanks for the dropping by. I can only tell you how I felt, but the one week I have been in Lopburi just last week is something I will not forget that fast. It is chill, cool people, and very cheap rooms are there too. If you want to live on a low budget you will have to eat the local food though, which is very tasty anyway but the western dishes offered can quickly use up quite some money, more expensive than the rooms:)
      I don’t know what you mean by digital nomads, but all the visitors use their mobiles quite a lot lol.
      I wish you all the best and hope to hear from you again sometime.
      See you Srefan

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