Lopburi, in Central Thailand, is one of the oldest cities in the region. It stands by the ruins of the old Khmer empire and was even the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The city exhibits a peaceful and serene vibe and provides a glimpse into its glorious and powerful past.
Lopburi is divided into two regions – the old town and the new town. However, the place is more famous for the sights in the old town. The old town is filled with historic spots. All the places are well connected and since the place is not very big, you can even walk from one place to another. The accommodation services also give out free maps that make traveling around the city more easier. If you think walking is not your cup of tea, you can always rent a scooter to go around. This is an excellent way to explore the city without tiring yourself.
Top 10 Things To Do In Lopburi
The monkeys coexist peacefully along with their human neighbors. So, if you are tired with the hustle and bustle of the city, and looking forth to a relaxing vacation in Bangkok, head over to Lopburi without a second thought. If you thought, eating and sleeping are the only activities you can do in Lopburi, you are wrong. There are a lot of things to do in Lopburi, no matter the time of your visit. Here are the top 10 things to do in Lopburi.
1. Phra Prang Sam Yod
One of the most popular sights of Lopburi is the thousands of macaques that live in the region. Once you go to the ancient Khmer-era temples, you can see a lot more of them. They freely roam around in the streets and the surrounding regions of the temples. However, the macaques can also be quite mischievous. You need to be careful with your personal belongings, such as wallets, cameras, sunglasses, snacks, and drinks. It is recommended to keep a distance even though generally these monkeys are harmless. Do not let the monkeys climb up your shoulder or head if you do not have any protection. The temple in Phra Prang Sam Yod will provide you with tons of photo opportunities. Also, do not forget to take photos with the monkeys.
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The local people celebrate the monkeys every November with an all-you-can-eat buffet. There are tables laid out on the road, heaped with fruits, water, juices and soda cans for the monkeys. You can see the monkeys jump onto the tables, take the food and relish them at a distance. Large monkey statues are also put on display. You will find food stalls and street vendors at the banquet. Various competitions are also held during this festival.
3. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat
One of the best things to do in Lopburi is to go visit the historic site that is located directly across the railway station. The site is free from monkeys, so you can peacefully roam around the place and take photographs. The place is filled with 12th-century ruins that are quite well maintained. You can see the largest stupa in the city here. You can see the ruins of what was once grand facades, and take photos of the different statues of Buddha present all over the complex. The place has a very relaxing atmosphere so you can sit there and spend some time breathing in fresh air and letting all your worries take a back seat.
4. Sunflower Fields
Among the most popular things to do in Lopburi, Thailand, is the visit to the nearby sunflower fields that stretch up to the horizon. This Instagram worthy sunflower field is known as the Khao JeenLae Sunflower field. The field is located slightly in the outskirts of Lopburi, in the Kok Toom sub district. The long stretches of sunflower fields stay in full blossom from November to February. However, mid-December is the ideal time to visit the place. The mornings are quite comforting with the cool breeze that blows over the fields. During the golden hours, they provide an excellent photo opportunity. There is an entrance fee if you want to enter the fields. However, you can also choose to take cool photos from the road itself.
5. Wat Khao Wongkot
Even though it might sound odd, one of the more popular things to do around Lopburi is to watch bats fly out of a cave as the sun sets. While it may sound scary at first, this is a sight that cannot be seen elsewhere in Thailand. Wat Khao Wongkhot is situated near Ang, Sub Lek. This is a cave temple in the mountains and home to thousands of bats. However, during the day, you can only hear squeaking noises but when you visit the place right before the sun sets, you can actually see the bats come out. Initially, one or two fly out followed by thousands of others. You can see the silhouette of the bats against the sky as they fly out of the caves. The view is actually quite impressive.
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6. Wat Sao Paulo
During the 17th century, the Portuguese built the Wat Sao Paulo. It is located a few kilometers away from the town and taking some time off to visit the historic ruins is actually worth the trip. Only a few people go there and it is a great place for contemplation. There is a beautiful church in the location that is a lovely combination of European and Thai design. It is also a great place for astronomy and stargazing. So, if you have the gear for astrophotography, then this is a great place to visit.
7. Wat Sao Thong Thong
This is a holy place for Buddhists. Here, you can see a number of chedis, an alternative to Buddhist stupas. These are known to be built over a hundred years ago. There are different chedis in this place, having different shapes. There is a holy tree too. The locations are quite photogenic and you are bound to get great shots. There is also an interesting amulet market nearby. So, if you are a spiritual person who believes in amulets and charms, you can find interesting pendants and charms for sale here.
8. Phra Khan shrine
A shrine from the Khmer era, the Phra Khan Shrine has been reconstructed over the years. It is a place for prayers. Vendors sell incense sticks, garlands, and other spiritual products. You will also find some monkeys in this place, so stay vigilant with your belongings. This is one of the largest shrines in the region. It is built using lateral tiles, placed one on top of the other. The place has four front porches and that you can access after climbing up a flight of stairs. The shrine was acclaimed and registered as an ancient site by the Department of Fine Arts in 1936.
9. Phra Narai Ratchaniwet
Known as the King’s Place, the PhraNaraiRatchaniwet serves as the residence to a Siamese emperor. The architecture is a beautiful blend of Khmer and French designs. The place provides a glimpse into the lives of the kings in this region back in the 17th century. You can also see some of the personal belongings of Thai kings who ruled the region before the 17th century. If you are visiting this place during the rainy season, you need to be careful while climbing the exterior staircase since the stone steps can get quite slippery.
10. Ang Sub Lek
In the outskirts of the town is Ang Sub Lek. It’s a natural reservoir with a small island in the middle. There are bamboo huts that serve as restaurants exhibiting a rustic vibe. There are multiple towering limestone monuments that line the shore. You can chill by the lake or take a quad along the shore to explore nearby regions. For children, there are water slides as well as inflatable water toys in shallow water swimming pools. A lot of people often swim in the shallow waters. There is also a jet ski club nearby.
Even though Lopburi is popular for the historical regions, it has also gained a lot of popularity for the small monkeys or macaques that are present in thousands all throughout the city. Even though Lopburi is not frequently visited by tourists, it is still a serene place with a lot of history left to be explored. The city provides a glimpse into the forgotten past of Thailand. So if you are going to Thailand, then do spend some of your days at this splendid historic town.
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