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Lop Buri: History, Culture and Monkeys

Lop Buri is a charming city in Thailand that offers a range of activities and attractions for tourists. Visitors can explore ancient ruins and temples, witness the famous macaque monkey population, and indulge in local cuisine. The city is easily accessible by train or bus, and there are different areas to stay in depending on your preferences. Guided tours are a great way to experience the best of Lop Buri, with options for monkey tours.

Lop Buri


Located just a few hours north of Bangkok, Lop Buri is a city with a rich cultural and historical heritage, dating back to the Khmer Empire period. But it's not just history that draws visitors to this charming city - it's also home to an incredible number of monkeys that have taken over the streets and temples, making life miserable for the locals but great for tourists! Here are some of the top things to do in Lop Buri

Visit the Ancient Ruins of the Khmer Empire

Lop Buri was once an important city in the Khmer Empire, and there are many ancient ruins in and around the city that are worth exploring. One of the most impressive is Prang Khaek, an ancient Hindu shrine located in the centre of Lop Buri that dates back to the 11th century. Another must-see attraction is Wat Phra Prang Sam Yot, a historic temple with cone-shaped tops that belonged to the Khmer Empire period and is now home to a large population of monkeys. You can feed the monkeys here.

Image by Valeriy Ryasnyanskiy

Monkey festival

Every year, on the last Sunday of November, the city hosts a Monkey Festival to honour and feed its furry friends. You can join the celebration and watch the monkeys enjoy a feast of fruits, vegetables, and other treats.

The festival was started by Yongyuth Kitwattananusont, a local businessman who wanted to promote tourism and show respect for the monkeys. He organizes an opening ceremony in the morning, where he offers prayers and blessings to the monkeys. Then, he lays out a huge buffet of food for them to eat.

The monkeys are not shy and they will happily climb on you, grab your food, or play with your hair. The festival also features other activities, such as parades, dances, and contests.

It is worth mentioning once again that you can feed the monkeys any time of year, so don't worry about missing this festival if you can't make it.


Wat Phra Si Ratana Maha That is a peaceful and historic site in Lopburi that you can easily access because it's directly opposite the train station. It dates back to the 12th century and features a magnificent stupa that is the largest in the city, as well as many incredible carvings. It is a serene and scenic atmosphere that contrasts with the rest of the city, which can be crowded and noisy due to the presence of monkeys. If you want to experience a different side of Lopburi, this is a place you should not miss.

Image by Norbert Braun

Searching for a breathtaking and picturesque location in Lopburi? You definitely need to visit the gorgeous sunflower fields of Khao JeenLae. This beautiful sunflower field is located in the Kok Toom sub-district, just a short drive away from the city centre. The ideal time to visit is between November and January when the sunflowers are in full bloom. You can relish the pleasant morning weather and the golden light in the afternoon. While the field charges a small fee for visitors who want to walk among the flowers, you can still capture some stunning pictures from the roadside.

Image by Kent Banes

Wat Khao Wongkhot is a temple complex located about 4 kilometres from Ban Mi in Lop Buri province. It is surrounded by three mountains and has a Reclining Buddha statue at the base of Sanam Daeng Mountain. The temple also preserves the body of Charoen Ditsawanno, a revered monk who died in 1963, in a pavilion.

One of the attractions of Wat Khao Wongkhot is the bat cave, which is the largest in Lop Buri province. Millions of bats live in the cave. Every evening at 6 p.m., the bats fly out of the cave to find food, creating a spectacular sight that lasts for two hours.

Image by Clément Falize

Wat San Paulo is a historic site that traces its origins to the Portuguese Jesuits who established a church here during the reign of King Narai the Great in the 17th century. The name San Paulo is a Thai adaptation of Saint Paul or Saint Paulo, the patron saint of the missionaries. The site, located about 3 kilometres east of town features the ruins of a brick wall and stucco tower, as well as a unique octagonal observatory that stands three stories high. The observatory was used by the Jesuits to study astronomy and astrology and to assist King Narai in his diplomatic relations with foreign powers.

The former residence of Ayutthaya King Narai, known as Phra Narai Ratchaniwet or Wang Narai, is a historical site in the heart of Lopburi town. The palace was built by King Narai, who ruled Ayutthaya in the late 17th century and made Lopburi his second capital. He hired French architects to design the palace, which blended Thai and European elements. The palace took 12 years to complete, from 1665 to 1677.

The palace was deserted after King Narai's death in 1688. It was not until the reign of King Mongkut in the 19th century that the palace was restored and some new buildings were added. Today, the palace serves as a museum that displays various artefacts and exhibits related to the history and culture of Lopburi.

Lop Buri is a true gem of a city, boasting a rich history, diverse culture, and a unique natural environment that will leave visitors in awe. If you're looking for stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside, head to Khao Wong Pra Chan, a locally renowned hill in the western part of the province.


The city is home to a variety of attractions, from ancient ruins and beautiful temples to vibrant markets and charming streets filled with curious monkeys. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a new adventure, Lop Buri has something exciting in store for you.


By train: The most popular option is to take a train from Bangkok's Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station, which takes about 2 hours and costs around 30-100 baht depending on the type of train you choose. There are also trains from Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai.

Use the Asian Public Transportation widget below to book this, change Bangkok if you're not coming from Bangkok.

By private car or taxi: This option provides the most flexibility but can be more expensive. It takes about 2 hours from Bangkok to Lop Buri by car, and prices can vary depending on the type of vehicle and driver. You can also book this below.

Once you arrive in Lop Buri, it is easy to get around by tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi, or you can rent a bicycle to explore the city at your own pace.

Yes, you can rent a car in Bangkok. There are many car rental companies in Bangkok that offer car rental services to tourists and locals alike. Some of the popular car rental companies include Europcar, Avis, Sawasdee Rent a Car, and Lumpinee Car Rent Centre.

You can rent a car in Bangkok by visiting one of these car rental companies or by booking online. The cost of renting a car in Bangkok varies depending on the type of car you want to rent, the duration of your rental, and other factors.

You can use this widget below to compare the cars available.


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One of the best areas to stay in is the city centre. It is conveniently located close to many of the city's main attractions, such as the Khmer ruins, the Monkey Temple, and the local markets. Moreover, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area, making it a great place to stay for tourists who want to explore the city without having to travel far.

If you're looking for a quieter atmosphere and more affordable accommodation options, Phatthana Nikhom is a great option. Although it is slightly outside of the city centre, it still offers easy access to the main attractions by taxi. Plus, you'll be able to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a more peaceful stay.


Monkey tours: As the city is famous for its macaque monkey population, many tour operators offer guided tours to the monkey temple and other areas where you can see the monkeys up close. Some tours also include a visit to the monkey festival or the monkey training center.

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Lop Buri

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Driving option: Khao Yai

If you are looking for a memorable and enriching travel experience, you might want to consider customising your own tour to the north of Thailand. This tour will take you on a fascinating journey through the historical and natural wonders of central Thailand, before ending in the lively city of Chiang Mai.

You will begin your tour in Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam, where you will marvel at the ancient ruins of temples, palaces, and monasteries that testify to the glory of the past. Then, you will travel to Lop Buri, a city with a unique Khmer-style temple and monkeys that live among the locals.

From Lop Buri, you will head to Nakhon Sawan and visit Bang Mun Nak, a town that preserves the traditional wooden architecture and culture of Thailand. You will enjoy the authentic Thai cuisine and hospitality as you explore this quaint town.

Your next destination is Phitsanulok, the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great, one of the most revered monarchs in Thai history. You will visit Wat Maha That, a temple that houses one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. Then, you will continue to Sukhothai, the first kingdom of Siam, where you will admire the beautiful ruins of the Sukhothai Historical Park.

After Sukhothai, you will visit Lampang, a town known for its exquisite ceramics and rich heritage. You will learn about the history and culture of this region and see how the locals make their pottery.

Your tour will conclude in Chiang Mai, the cultural capital of northern Thailand. You will explore the vibrant city and its historic temples, as well as enjoy the nightlife and shopping options.

This tour is a perfect way to experience the diversity and beauty of central and northern Thailand. You will discover the amazing history, culture, and nature of this region and create unforgettable memories.


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Nakhon Ratchasima

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