Lopburi in Central Thailand
Where Monkeys own the Town
Wat Kroen Kathin Temple
A traveller sees what he sees, the tourist
sees what he has come to see
G. K. Chesterton
Lopburi was once the former ancient town of the Khmer from the
10th to the 13th century and lies 150 kilometres (90 miles) north of
Bangkok. Should you be visiting
any time during your vacation, then you only need to drive a short
distance further to the northeast and you will be here in this small
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is a historical 12th century archaeological site that was constructed during the time of the Khmer reign. And what stands out most about this particular place is its strikingly tall Prang, said to be the tallest in Lopburi.
Though much of the decorative detail on the Prang was constructed entirely out of laterite, it had corroded, but much of the lintels and fine stucco details are still unmistakably present. Nevertheless, a fair amount of restoration work has been carried out by the Thai Fine Arts Department.
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat
Places of Interest - Vichayen House
Vichayen House was originally built by King Narai in Lopburi
as the official residence for Chevalier de Chaumont, the first French
ambassador to Thailand during the reign of King Louis XIV. Constantine
Phaulkon, the famous Greek advisor to the king had also at a later stage
become a resident at Vichayen House. Constantine Phaulkon was later
assassinated in 1688 during a time of struggle for power when the king
was close to his death.
Although the house no longer has its roof anymore, the grounds are surprisingly in good condition and well worth the visit. The distinctive French architecture that remains throughout the grounds, houses the original residence formally occupied by the ambassador to the left with a Roman Catholic chapel in the middle and a hall of residence for members of the foreign mission.
Narai Ratchaniwet Palace
Narai Ratchaniwet Palace
Narai Ratchaniwet Palace was partly designed by the French and
built between 1665 and 1677. The Palace is surrounded by high walls and
although most of it is in ruins, the surviving remains are well cared
for. The grounds were divided into three sections enclosing government
offices, ceremonial buildings and the private residence of the king.
These ruins also show traces of the Suttha Sawan Pavilion where the king
was believed to have died. The complex is open daily from 7.00 am until
Phra Prang Sam Yot
Phra Prang Sam Yot
Phra Prang Sam Yot, known as the Temple of Three Prangs,
is considered one of Lopburi's most important archaeological sites. Originally these ruins were built as a Hindu monument and later
converted to a Buddhist temple during King Narai's reign.
The three laterite-sandstone structures seen here are said to
represent the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. And the Prang on the
right as you enter the complex, is considered the best preserved of the
Monkeys are the order of any day at Phra Prang Sam Yot, therefore it would be in your best interest to keep all your valuables
close to your person. There's no way you can avoid these primates. They are everywhere. They wander throughout the city, the streets, the ruins, and nobody seems to mind at all.
Though these monkeys are relatively harmless and seemingly quite tame,
they do have the freedom of the town and are allowed to run wild all
over the place, including many of the archaeological sites in town.
Monkeys on Buddha Phra Prang Sam Yot
Exploring Lopburi - The Monkey Banquet
A monkey banquet is held in Lopburi every year in the last week of November. Unfortunately, I arrived during the month of October before this event took place, but nevertheless I did enjoy the day wandering around taking in all the sites, sounds and smells while having scores of monkeys running all around me.
I'm told that the monkey banquet is financed by a local businessman every year at this time affording a huge treat for these friendly primates. Other local Thai's who come to pay their respect during these festivities, often bring heaps of food themselves, including of course all the monkeys favourite snack.
Monkeys rule in Lopburi
Exploring Lopburi - The Monket Banquet
To those of you who saw one of the episodes of the "The
Amazing Race" on television a while back, you may have noticed that at some
point, participants of the race, after arriving in Thailand, headed for
this central town where they had to prepare various banquets for the
monkeys. It was absolutely hilarious.
Tables are laid with lots
of goodies, especially fruits of many kinds for the picking or should I
say gorging. Apparently it is one fat feeding frenzy. Photojournalists
from all around the world take advantage in order to get the best
pictures which I believe are then posted all over the local newspapers
in the area.
Should you be in the neighbourhood of Ayutthaya in
central Thailand around this time, you may want to take advantage of
this once in a lifetime event. It's only a short drive away. Various local activities surround these colourful events.
Monkey Banquet in Lopburi
Places of Interest - San Phra Kan
San Phra Kan which is also known as the Kala Shrine consists
of two divisions. One section dates back as far as the Khmer period
while the other section was recently built as early as 1951. This former
Brahman shrine, now a location for worship, houses the four-armed deity
of Vishnu on which sits a Buddha's head.
The entire statue is
covered in gold leaf. While the area around the compound is now enclosed
to prevent the large group of monkeys who inhabit the grounds from
being run over on the streets around the site, you are advised to take
care of all your belongings. San Phra Kan lies adjacent to Phra Prang
San Phra Kan
Places of Interest - Prang Khaek
Prang Khaek is a small Khmer ruin which, much like that of Prang
Sam Yot, was originally constructed as a Hindu shrine. This historical and archaeological site consists of three small brick Khmer Prang's, said to
be the oldest in central Thailand. Much of the site has been restored
several times. The ruin is located in close proximity to the Phra Narai
Ratchaniwet Palace and the marketplace on Vichayen Road.
Places of Interest - Wat Nakhon Kosa
Wat Nakhon Kosa is another fine Khmer temple ruin said to be
built around the 12th century. This historical site was also originally
considered to be that of a Hindu site constructed by the Khmers, with
the Prang out in front. Buddha images found on the site are predated by
the rest of the edifice. The shrine is in a fair state of disrepair, although some restoration has been attempted.
Wat Nakhon Kosa
Return from Lopburi to Central Thailand
Return from Lopburi to the Home Page
Visit Luxury Thailand Travel's profile on Pinterest.
Sep 24, 16 07:36 AM
Bangkok Escort Chanel is offering hot blooded males a once in a lifetime opportunity to make their erotic fantasies a reality, but you'll need to strike the iron while it's sizzling hot.
Sep 24, 16 04:32 AM
Asian girls don't come more fresh faced than Bangkok Escort Chrystal. Not only does this bubbly babe sport a smooth and flawless skin tone, she has an exceptional hourglass figure to match.
Sep 23, 16 07:26 AM
Look no further than Bangkok Escort Ivy as your perfect dinner date, dance companion and bedroom babe as this bubbly lass has more than enough energy to make all your erotic pleasures come true.
Sep 22, 16 08:41 AM
While the planet Venus may be the second brightest object in the night sky, Bangkok Escort Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is the brightest star in the city of angels.
Sep 19, 16 12:25 PM
Look no further than Bangkok Escort Pam for a truly unforgettable girlfriend experience. She cordially invites you to join her for a wild ride that's sure to bring the whole house down.
Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.
Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page and or book your hotel reservation to amazing Thailand using the HotelTravel search box below. Have a happy holiday and a safe trip.