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* '''Lopburi Zoo''', ซ ศรี สุริโย ทั ย วงเวียน สระแก้ว ต ทะเล ชุบ ศร อ เมือง, Tambon Tha Hin, Amphoe Mueang Lop Buri, Chang Wat Lopburi 15000, GPS 14.801557 N, 100.636076 E (14°48'05.6"N 100°38'09.9"E), on the north east corner of Srisuriyothai Circle (Srakaew).
 
* '''Lopburi Zoo''', ซ ศรี สุริโย ทั ย วงเวียน สระแก้ว ต ทะเล ชุบ ศร อ เมือง, Tambon Tha Hin, Amphoe Mueang Lop Buri, Chang Wat Lopburi 15000, GPS 14.801557 N, 100.636076 E (14°48'05.6"N 100°38'09.9"E), on the north east corner of Srisuriyothai Circle (Srakaew).
  
* '''Wat Phra Phutthabat''', 17 km south-east of Lopburi. Take any Saraburi minibus to the town where is the side road on the right hand side 1 km from the Wat. Is well worth a look, and you can walk up the mountain via a couple of hundred steps. There are a couple of interesting caves here also.
+
Nearby, in Saraburi:
 +
 
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Wat Phra Phutthabat Saraburi (Thai: วัดพระพุทธบาท ราชวรมหาวิหาร ), Soi Somdet, Tambon Phra Phutthabat, (บ้านพระพุทธบาท หมู่ 8 ตำบลขุนโขลน) Amphoe Phra Phutthabat, Chang Wat Saraburi 18120, GPS: 1.4.718980 N, 100.788837 E (14°43'08.3"N 100°47'19.8"E). 17 km south-east of Lopburi. Take any Saraburi minibus to the town. There is the side road on the right hand side 1 km from the Wat. Is well worth a look, and you can walk up the mountain via a couple of hundred steps. There are a couple of interesting caves here also.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==

Revision as of 07:45, 5 December 2018


Lopburi (ลพบุรี), also Lop Buri is a historic city 3 hours north of Bangkok in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. It is the Capital City of the Province of this name.

Understand

Lopburi is very laid back, and its convenient location 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 the year in Lopburi. Later on, King Mongkut of the Bangkokian Chakri Dynasty resided here. There are remains from almost all periods of Thai history.

Orientation

There are two downtown 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.

As you come here from Bangkok, you usually go via Saraburi and will come past the Tesco Lotus and HomePro, past two Big C's on your right about 2Km apart,to the first roundabout which has mainly Government offices, then you go about 2Km to the second roundabout (the New City) which has many shops and some restaurants (as well as street eats), and then a further 2Km to the Old City. Note that nearly all buses and minibuses go only to the bus station in the New City.

Most of the decent hotels are between the Homepro to the first roundabout, down streets to the side, and there are a couple between the first and second roundabout. One is between the second and third roundabout, and there are others in the Old Town (most are mainly backpacker style in this area)

Monkeys

Lopburi is famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun the Old Town, especially in the area around Phra Prang Sam Yod and Phra Kaan Shrine.

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. Monkeys also have a penchant for stealing eyeglasses, hats, cameras, cigarettes, water bottles and anything they can rip from a bag or pockets. Some guesthouses lend brooms to tourists to take with them to the locations that are overrun with animals. It is best to take turns shooting photos while others look out for swift moving opportunistic monkeys. Take care not to get scratched or bit. Should this happen, a prompt visit to a clinic for shots is advisable. It is best not to feed the monkeys. If you feed one, you will become the center of attention for many others, and you will eventually run out of things to distract them with.

There are two feeding periods a day at a small playground that was built for the monkeys at the intersection of the rail line and the traffic intersection adjacent to Phra Prang Sam Yod. The Na Sanprakan Monkey Playground is at GPS 14.801792 N, 100.614459 E (14°48'06.5"N 100°36'52.1"E). Local volunteers provide an opportunity to get photos of a monkey feeding frenzy at 10:00 and 16:00.

The annual Monkey Festival is held the last Saturday and Sunday of November at the Phra Prang Sam Yot shrine. More than 10,000 people come to see the monkeys eat on Sunday from a massive buffet of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is believed that the monkeys bring good luck. As many as 3,000 crab-eating macaque monkeys live in the area. This festival also falls close to the lunar Loi Krathong Festival. Hotels in Old Town sell out completely. Songtheaws such as Route 6189 and Route 2467 that run from the Sri Suriyothai Circle pass through Old Town. The fare for a songtheaw is 10 Baht.

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. However, whilst common at night it is very rare during the day.

Get in

By bus

Below are the only buses into the City as at March 2016.

There are no buses from Bangkok or Ayuttaya. You will see Bangkok - Lopburi buses at the bus station, but these are now used for private hire.

If you want to come here by bus from Bangkok, then take a bus from there to Saraburi and then a Nakhon Sawan bus from there. These run regularly, and drop off at the in town bus station.

From Sukhothai: take a bus to Phitsanulok and then to Nakhon Sawan from where regular buses come to here.

From Singburi: A non aircon bus will cost 18 Baht and take 45 minutes.

From Ang Thong There is a non aircon bus from here.

From Phetchabun There are daily aircon buses from there at 05:30, 07:00, 09:00, 11:50, 12:50, 13:50. These take 4 hours, and one of these goes from Lomsak to the north of Petchabun and takes 5 hours.

From Nakhon Sawan There are six daily buses and they take about four hours.

By van

From Bangkok, Minibus 12 air conditioned vans leave from Mo Chit, transit through Saraburi, and take about 3.25 hours and cost 120 baht, depending on the service you use. There are multiple van services in the area, if the timing of one service is not convenient then try another. Most terminate in the bus station in the new city, and some terminate in the Old Town. The last van leaves around 18:00. They also leave from Rangsit, opposite Future Park. They bypass Saraburi and take 2 hours. Cost 90 Baht.

From Rangsit, a minibus leaves regularly and cost 100 Baht. It goes directly to the City.

From Saraburi, a minibus from the bus station will cost 35 Baht. It terminates inside the bus station.

From Singburi, minibus 11 from Platform 16 at the Sing Buri Provincial Transport Station (สถานีขนส่งจังหวัดสิงห์บุรี) will cost B25. It terminates on Srisuriyothai Circle (Srakaew)วงเวียนศรีสุริโยทัย (สระแก้ว) near the Lopburi bus terminal. The first minibus departs Singburi at 04:30. This also will pick up passengers waiting on Route 311 at 14.874566 N , 100.437131 E (14°52'28.4"N 100°26'13.7"E) adjacent to the Tambon Muang Mu - km 84 + 000 AH 1 / AH 2 / Route 32 stop.

From Chiang Mai, with prior arrangement with the driver, Bus 18 from Chiang Mai drops off south of the PTT Gas Station at the Tambon Muang Mu - km 84 + 000 stop at GPS coordinates 14.874469 N, 100.436888 E (14°52'28.1"N 100°26'12.8"E). The stop is a shelter on the side of the highway. This shelter will not be the place to wait for onward travel to Lopburi. This stop is just past the overpass for Route 311 from Singburi. Ticket sales agents in Chiang Mai will be reluctant to sell a ticket with Lopburi as the final destination. A ticket to Bangkok costs the same, and it is best to purchase a Bangkok fare and then tell the bus crew that you will get off at Tambon Muang Mu - km 84 + 000.

There is a shelter that looks like a traditional Thai wooden house on the offramp from AH 1 / AH 2 / Route 32 that splits off adjacent to the Mitsubishi Motors showroom before the Route 311 overpass. This is marked "1364 024", located at 14.874369 N, 100.437351 E (14°52'27.7"N 100°26'14.5"E). This will not be the place to wait for the minibus from Singburi. If you choose to sit here to wait, you may not be able to run fast enough to flag down the minibus as it crosses over on the Route 311 overpass.

The minibus to Lopburi will stop on Route 311 at the end of the overpass next to three plastic benches that have huge white flower designs on them. This will be the middle section of road, of the three roads running parallel at the junction of AH 1 / AH 2 / Route 32. There is no permanent covered shelter for the Route 311 stop at this time. This spot is in between the two permanent bus stops that were mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs.

Of note, if you are waiting at Singburi late at night, the power outlets at the bus station do not work. There are two power outlets outside the 7 Eleven next to cell phone top off machines that you can discretely use to recharge your devices.

From Ang Thong a minibus from the bus station there will cost 50 Baht and goes every 30 minutes. It terminates inside the City bus station.

From Ayuttaya a minibus from the City center will cost 80 Baht. It terminates inside the City bus station.

From Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat, there are now minibuses as at Nov 2016.

By train

Trains from/to Bangkok's main Hualamphong station take about 3.5 hours. Take the Northern Line from Hua Lamphong Railway Station everyday, many rounds per day. Fares range from 13 baht in ordinary class (which is fine) to 370 baht in aircon coach with a meal.(March 2014) The expensive train is also a little faster.

Trains from/to Ayutthaya take about one hour.For more info on Thai rail travel, see [1]

By car

  • From Bangkok, take Hwy 1 (Phahonyothin Rd) passing Phra Phutthabat District, Saraburi, onto Lopburi. The distance is 153 km.
  • From Bangkok, take Hwy 32 which separates from Hwy 1, passing Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. There are three routes as follows:

1. Enter Bang Pahan District, passing Nakhon Luang District into Hwy 3196. Then, pass Ban Phraek District into Lopburi.

2. Enter at the Ang Thong Interchange to Tha Ruea District and turn left into Hwy 3196, passing Ban Phraek District into Lopburi.

3. Pass Ang Thong, Sing Buri, and take Hwy 311 (Sing Buri–Lopburi), passing Tha Wung District into Lopburi.

Get around

There are no tuk tuks at all here, only a few motorcycle taxis. To go to anywhere along the road from roundabout one to New Town then Old Town there are numerous songteows (two bench pickup trucks) in various colours which do the rounds. The red/brown ones are the most common. There are also green ones and white ones with a green stripe. All three go from somewhere outside the Old Town and through there towards the New Town, then to the third roundabout, where the white with green stripe turns left, and the other two continue on towards and past the two Big C's. A ride on one of these will cost you B8 irrespective of distance. If you want to board one, just hold out your arm with your hand towards the ground as they approach. Press the roof buzzer to stop, and pay as you exit the vehicle.

Note that these stop running around 7pm, so if you see one, you may need to negotiate the price to where you want to go.

See

For more information contact The Fine Arts Department 4th Regional Office (Thai: กรมศิลปากร), Phraya Kamjat Road, Tha Hin, Muang District, Lopburi, 15000. Tel 036 412 510. This is the agency that administers the historic sites and museums. They have an excellent brochure which is given out when purchasing the foreigner 150 Baht combination ticket, which provides details about the ten major historic sites in the city.

The primary attractions in Lop Buri have been listed to connect all of these in the shortest walking tour possible as follows:

  • San Phra Kan (Phra Kan Shrine - Pronounced "Pra Gaan") (Thai: ศาลพระกาฬ), GPS 14.802300 N, 100.615171 E (14°48'08.3"N 100°36'54.6"E). A Hindu sanctuary build of laterite with a high indented cornerbase and stairs on four sides, the body or chamber part of the Prang has collapsed. Several ancient objects have been discovered on the grounds of the shrine, such s the 19th Inscription, now exhibited at the National Museum, Bangkok. A Vishnu statue, reclining Vishnu lintel, now exhibited at Somdet Phra Narai National Museum, and Avoalokitesvara Bodhisattva, now enshrined at the new San Phra Kan shrine.
  • Prang Sam Yod (พระปรางค์สามยอด ) is a Khmer-style temple known for its three linked towers. GPS 14.802579 N, 100.614070 E (14°48'09.3"N 100°36'50.7"E). Full of crab-eating macaques. Phra Prang Sam Yod is a monument built of laterite, comprised of three Prangs standing in a row connected by corridors. The main Prang is 21.5 meters in height. The monument is of Lop Buri style, dated circa the early 13th century. Originally, enshrined inside the Prang was a Buddha in Nak Prok posture seated under Naga shelter, a Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and Prajyaparmita. At present, the statues are exhibited at Somdet Phra Narai National Museum. Entrance fee: foreigners 50 Baht and Thais 10 Baht, or part of the combination foreigner 150 Baht ticket.
  • Na Sanprakan Monkey Playground, GPS 14.801792 N, 100.614459 E (14°48'06.5"N 100°36'52.1"E). Twice daily feedings by local volunteers provide an opportunity to get photos of a monkey feeding frenzy at 10:00 and 16:00. Free. Take care to keep an eye out for monkeys who like to shop in from bags, purses, backpacks, or who may be looking for new eyeglasses or hats to add to their collections.
  • Wat Nakhon Kosa (Thai: โบราณสถานวัดนครโกษา), GPS 14.801147 N, 100.615553 E (14°48'04.1"N 100°36'56.0"E). Located at the train station, is a temple which had undergone three periods of construction, beginning with construction of the large pagoda in the Dvaravati period, followed by the Prang in Lop Buri style, and the latest period was the restoration and establishment of the place as a temple in the Ayutthaya period. It is hypothesized that Chao Phraya Kosathibodi (Lek), a high ranked official in the reign of Kin Narai the Great was the person who had carried out the restoration, thus the temple has been called "Wat Nakhon Kosa". Free.
  • Train Station, an English built 10 wheel Type 4-6-0 steam locomotive, number 161, which was in service from 1913 until 1967 is displayed here. There is also a small exhibit case with excavated pottery displayed in the waiting area inside the station. Free.
  • Wat Phra Sri Rattanamahathat (Thai: วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ) Built in the 13th Century, this is one of the town's most important monasteries; visitors can view a bas relief illustrating the Buddha's life on the central prang. The Wat Phra That comprises of a large Prang 30.7 meters in height situated at the center of the temple grounds, flanked by smaller Prangs to the north and south, only the bases of which remain nowadays. From the style of the decorative stucco surroundings the remain structures, it is believed that the monument was built circa the early 14th century. In the reign of King Narai the Great, pagodas, galleries and Vihara were built along with reconstruction of the temple. No monkeys. Entrance fee: foreigners 50 Baht and Thais 10 Baht, or part of the combination foreigner 150 Baht ticket. Take a shortcut by exiting out the gate at the north west corner of the part, where the maintenance staff enter with their motorbikes. This will be the most direct walk to the Phra Narai complex.
  • Somdet Phra Narai Ratchanivet National Museum Lopburi (Thai: สำนักงานพิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ สมเด็จพระนารายณ์ ลพบุรี ) or King Narai's Palace, entrance on Thanon Sorasak on east wall. GPS 14.800347 N, 100.611967 E (14°48'01.3"N 100°36'43.1"E). Built from 1666 - 1677 by French, Italian and Portuguese engineers, the palace was used by King Narai to host receptions for foreign envoys until the king passed away here in 1688. After he died, no other monarchs resided here. Restored in 1856 by King Mongkut, it was converted into a museum in 1924. The palace grounds consists of the remains of various buildings in an enclosed park, with the central palace serving as the Somdet Phra Narai Museum, which houses prehistoric exhibits, along with Buddha images of Dvaravati, Lopburi and Khmer styles; and King Mongkut's bedroom in its entirety. The Museum is open Wednesday - Sunday 08:30 - 16:00, and the museum exhibit buildings are closed Monday - Tuesday, and on national holidays, but the eastern half of the palace grounds are accessible. Entrance fee: foreigners 50 Baht and Thais 10 Baht, or part of the combination foreigner 150 Baht ticket.

Phra Narai Ratchanivet is divided into three areas:

Outer Royal precinct: comprised of important structures such a Tuek Phra Chao Hao building, Sip Song Thong Phra Khlang (The 12 Treasuries), Tuek Liang Khaek Muang (State Visitors Reception Hall), Water Reservoir, and Royal Elephant Stables. Entrance fee - foreigners 150 Baht and Thais 30 Baht.

Middle Royal precinct: comprised of two pavilion built in the reign of King Narai the Great namely, Phra Thinang Chantharaphisan and Phra Thinang Dusitsawan Thanyamahaprasat. In the Rattanakosin period, King King Rama IV had constructed Phra Thinang Phimanmongkut complex and Thim Dap (Swordsman House).

Inner Royal precinct: comprised of Pha Thinang Sutthasawa, which was the private residence of King Narai the Great, and the Phra Prathiap group of eight buildings build by King Rama IV.

  • Prang Khaek (Thai: เทวสถานปรางค์แขก ), on Narai Maharat Road at the intersection with Vichayen Road near Ban Vichayen. GPS 14.802255 N, 100.611695 E (14°48'08.1"N 100°36'42.1"E). This Khmer-style Hindu Shrine is thought to be the oldest structure in Lopburi. Priang Khaek is a Hindu sanctuariy with Lop Buri art style. The sanctuary dates circa the 10th century. This comprises of three Prangs (Khymer style structures with a high spire). These stand in a row, facing east. In the Ayutthaya period, King Naria the Great constructed the Vihara (chapel), Brahmin Hall, and a water tank. Free.
  • Ban Chao Wichayen (Thai: บ้านเจ้าพระยาวิชาเยนทร์ ), on Narai Maharat Road. GPS 14.802682 N, 100.610242 E (14°48'09.7"N 100°36'36.9"E). The remains of Constantine Phaulkon's residence for ambassadors, built in the reign of King Narai the Great (1656 - 1688 AD). Only the outer walls of the three main buildings remain, in a small grassy area. It is in the Old City, a couple of blocks west from the railway station. Daily 08:30-16:00. Entrance fee: foreigners 50 Baht and Thais 10 Baht, or part of the combination foreigner 150 Baht ticket.
  • Wat Puen (Thai: วัดปืน), GPS 14.803163 N, 100.609742 E (14°48'11.4"N 100°36'35.1"E). A placard at the site tells that is not entirely clear whether the word "Puen" is from, but it is assumed that it might refer to the arrow of Rama since the temple is situated next to the city shrine. It can also refer to a gunsmith place that was on the same land. According to the art of the hall in the temple, there are lotus shaped bud arch and the window channels which can indicate that the temple was built or restored in the reign of King Narai. It was mentioned as an unknown temple on a map from that time period, but it was previously on this land prior to 1687. It was restored in 2007 - 2009. Wat Puen was situated among the residences of foreign envoys. From recent renovations, there is evidence to suggest that the area was in use since the Dvaravati Period, a Khymer culture that existed before the establishment of any Buddhist temples which came during the Ayutthaya period. Free.
  • City Pillar Shrine (Thai: ศาลลูกศร), GPS 14.803180N , 100.609077 E (14°48'11.5"N 100°36'32.7"E). Reconstructed following a fire that destroyed the original. 28 Bon Mueang Alley, Tambon Tha Hin, Amphoe Mueang Lop Buri, Chang Wat Lopburi. Free.
  • Wat Sao Tong Tong (Thai: วัดเสาธงทอง ), GPS 14.801656 N, 100.610135 E (14°48'06.0"N 100°36'36.5"E). A Viharn belonging to a working Wat, on Rue De France, also has a small amulet market in the grounds. Previously used as a Christian chapel and a mosque, it has now been restored and features a large Buddha figure, with several smaller Lop Buri era Buddhas in wall niches. The entrance is on Ratchadamnoen Alley, 120 meters south of Ban Chao Wichayen, and is also close to the morning market in the Old City. Free.

If you have more time to range further, the following four locations are close to each other:

  • Pratu Chai City Gate (Thai: ประตูชัย) , GPS 14.795218 N, 100.614436 E (14°47'42.8"N 100°36'52.0"E), The old City Gate. Free.
  • Pratu Chai Fortifications, GPS 14.794878 N, 100.617456 E (14°47'41.6"N 100°37'02.8"E). Free.
  • Lopburi Ghost Gate, GPS 14.794798 N, 100.618193 E (14°47'41.3"N 100°37'05.5"E). An old stone archway. Free.
  • Wat San Paolo, Ruins of a Jesuit church built by King Narai the Great. Access is either from the north at the entrance to the property off of Ram Decho at 14.7957073 N, 100.6195496 E (14°47'44.6"N 100°37'10.4"E) or from the south from Chana Songkhram at 14.794181 N, 100.619361 E (14°47'39.1"N 100°37'09.7"E). Thailand's first observatory was also constructed here. Free.

Additionally there are the following:

  • Kraison Siharat Palace - Yen Palace (Thai: พระที่นั่งไกรสรสีหราช - พระที่นั่งเย็น), GPS 14.811463 N, 100.645084 E (14°48'41.3"N 100°38'42.3"E). This is 33 minutes walk, 2.6 km to the north east from the bus station. Built by King Narai the Great, this pavilion was in the center of the Thale Chupson lake as a place of rest and as a guest reception hall. This building is Thai architecture of four-porched style. Its central porch has a balcony for the King to receive audience. Window and door frames are Sum Ruen Keaw style (Thai pointed arch with decorations). King Narai the Great observed an eclipse of the moon on 11 December, 1685 and a solar eclipse on 30 April, 1688. Free.
  • Lopburi Zoo, ซ ศรี สุริโย ทั ย วงเวียน สระแก้ว ต ทะเล ชุบ ศร อ เมือง, Tambon Tha Hin, Amphoe Mueang Lop Buri, Chang Wat Lopburi 15000, GPS 14.801557 N, 100.636076 E (14°48'05.6"N 100°38'09.9"E), on the north east corner of Srisuriyothai Circle (Srakaew).

Nearby, in Saraburi:

Wat Phra Phutthabat Saraburi (Thai: วัดพระพุทธบาท ราชวรมหาวิหาร ), Soi Somdet, Tambon Phra Phutthabat, (บ้านพระพุทธบาท หมู่ 8 ตำบลขุนโขลน) Amphoe Phra Phutthabat, Chang Wat Saraburi 18120, GPS: 1.4.718980 N, 100.788837 E (14°43'08.3"N 100°47'19.8"E). 17 km south-east of Lopburi. Take any Saraburi minibus to the town. There is the side road on the right hand side 1 km from the Wat. Is well worth a look, and you can walk up the mountain via a couple of hundred steps. There are a couple of interesting caves here also.

Do

  • Rock climbing - at Cheen Lair (จีนแล) Mountain, near Suwannahong Temple (Cheen Lair 2), Baan Nong Kham
  • Mountain Climbing - Khao Chan Daeng. From a look at the internet, this appears to be a mountain climbing place, amidst other mountains.

Buy

In New Town, there are a couple of small supermarkets, but if you head towards Saraburi you will find two Big C's, about 2 kilometres apart on the left hand side. These are some 4 KM from the New Town centre. They are both very large, with plenty of restaurants including Western ones, as well as shops selling clothing and many other things. Also banks, phone companies etc. On the second floor is the huge supermarket which sells just about everything imaginable. Use a songteow to get to and from (see Get Around)

Eat

  • Street Eats

Old Town - Evenings, a lot of street food stalls are set up on a road in front of railway station. The street vendors in the Old Town are very nice and have all kinds of tasty things. Don't be afraid to stop and check them out.

New Town - there is an entire street of these in the evening up a circle street to the right just beyond the New Town roundabout towards the Old City. Many different dishes, some written in English, with tables and chairs. Also within the New Town, are street eat stalls in scattered locations both morning and evening with both tables and chairs. If you want alcohol, buy it at a 711 and drink at the stall table.

  • Bua Luang - in the New Town, about 6 km from Old City. 46/1 Moo 3, Tasala A. Muang. Tel +66 36-614-227/8/9/30. Cash only.
  • Louis Steakhouse - on Phahon Yothin east of the large traffic circle 1/2 km or so from Big C under the pedestrian overpass. A great restaurant owned by a fellow from Belgium. A great change if you are looking for something a little different from normal Thai food.
  • New World Steak House - Great if you like good English cuisine. Run by Barry and Noi, an Englishman and his Thai wife. This spot is just west of Sakal (the huge centre of town with the fountains) just to your left before you cross a bridge, at the lights (look for a rather large hotel next to it). The prices are higher than typical Thai food, but the steaks are huge, the Shepherd's pie is awesome.
  • School Milk, Next door to Noom Guesthouse. Located next door to Noom Guesthouse. Large variety of Thai/Western food, snacks, shakes and coffees. Excellent quality and huge portions for low prices. Caters to mostly students and young people. Update March 2013: portions are definitely not huge and unfortunately the quality is poor. Food was served lukewarm and staff seem more interested in their own lunch rather than the customers'.
  • White House is located just behind (north of) the tourism office (TAT). Romantic western architecture with a beautiful yard and second floor, offers nice food. Crab meat, fried rice and red curry is very good. The owner, Mr Piak, speaks English and gives good advice.

Drink

You might find the nightlife in Lopburi fairly quiet for a town of its size but there are places for 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. 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 younger crowd (not recommended unless you know your way around well; foreigners are rare in the Bank). 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 decent for a drink and some offer female company (also not recommended for the newcomers).

  • Butterfly Bar, Phayakamjad Rd ((across street from Narai Palace)). 12:00. Nice little streetside bar with beer, whiskey and food. Right across the street from the Narai Palace (east gate). Gung and Steve are great hosts and the bar stays open until there is no one remaining. There are usually a few westerners. 50 baht.
  • Come On Bar. No-frills bar located in the old town just a one minute walk from Noom's Guesthouse. Locally known as Toby's after the Thai guy that owns the place, it's frequented by both Thai locals and most of the town's expat community, especially at weekends. Only beer available is Chang, but they also serve a variety of spirits and basic food dishes. There is a mixture between the typical live Thai music and occasional DJ's that play the place.

Sleep

Old Town

Hotels in the Old Town offer generally similar medium scale standards for low 140-500 baht range prices. Do not expect upmarket facilities in most of these hotels (Oct 2015) 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:

  • Lopburi City Hotel - probably the best of the hotels within the monkey area, and enclosed in a big "cage" that keeps the monkeys out, so you can open the windows. All rooms are air-con. Prices from 300 baht.
  • Muang Tong Hotel - this is the least likable hotel in the monkey area. It's not enclosed in a "cage", so opening the windows isn't a good idea. However, it does have the best view of the monkey area and the Phra Prang Sam Yot Temple. Rooms have Thai-style bathrooms with squat toilets.
  • Sri Indra Hotel - enclosed in a big "cage" that keeps the monkeys out, so you can open the windows. The rooms are neat and clean, but don't expect more. Prices from 200 baht.

Places with few monkeys:

  • The newly opened "Ruan Thai Guest House" is located in a renovated wooden house behind the King Narai Palace, close to the river and overlooking the Wat Chering temple. Spacious upstairs rooms with gleaming hardwood floors and balconies; with or without A/C, WiFI. Clean, cheap restaurant downstairs. Run by enthousiastic women. From 350 to 500 baht.
  • Lopburi Asia Hotel - very close to the King Narai Palace. Rooms are low to medium standard. Prices from 270 baht.
  • Nett Hotel - good location, with a small food market in front, and no monkeys running around. Rooms range from medium standard to very likable medium standard (after recent tiling). Prices from 180 baht. Update: As of 4/16 (off season) cheapest option (single room): 250 baht, which was lowered to 200 baht without negotiating (I just turned away). This room could accomodate 2 persons and got bathroom en-suite, small TV and fan (though noisy and on the ceiling).
  • Noom Guest House, 15-17 Phayakamjad Rd, Thahin Maung www.noomguesthouse.com - has fan rooms, also offers motorcycle rental and rock climbing. Serves English breakfast, 08:00-11:30. Single room 200 bahts. Double bed room with bathroom 350 bahts.
  • Suphon Phong Hotel - has only two good points: its location (very close to the train station and to Wat Phra Sri Ratanamahatat) and the price, from 140 baht.

New Town

  • Holiday Hotel ( โรงแรมฮอลิเดย์) Soi Saiuriyotai 2.

036 411343, 413601. There is a large pink sign on the left hand side as you approach the second roundabout from Saraburi. The sign is in Thai only. The hotel is about 100 metres along the lane, on the left hand side, and appears to be about a B500 hotel. Be careful, because the footpath coming from the main road is in very poor condition, with several concrete slabs missing from the underground drain. You will need to carefully watch your step or risk a serious injury.

  • Lopburi Inn, 28/9 Narai Maharat Road, Phone 0364123/412802- holds an annual November dinner party each year for the monkeys. The hotel has a shuttle and may be willing to pick you up from the train station.

This hotel is quite decent although close to the first roundabout from Saraburi, which means that if you do not have your own transport, you walk 2Km to the bus station. There are no restaurants nearby, so again, 2Km to the bus station area. For B590 walkin price you get a decent room - lift,aircon,hot water, bar fridge, TV etc and buffet breakfast (Thai or American). The staff are very friendly but speak little English.

  • K P Place, the name is written in English at the hotel and also the laneway which leads to it. It is located before you come to the first roundabout from Saraburi, and you pass the first Big C on the right hand side. About half way to the second Big C also on the right hand side, (they are about two kilometres distant from one another), you will see a Nissan dealer on the left hand side, with a Honda dealer next to it. In the lane separating these two is the hotel, some 100 metres along on the right.

The hotel is modern and clean, of three storeys. No lift. It is B500 per night and has clean rooms, with hot water, flat screen TV, aircon, and a full size refrigerator. Reception does not speak much English, but are very friendly and helpful. If you want to rent a room for one month, it will cost you about B200 per day, plus water and electricity. (it finishes at about B300 per day). You sign a contract and pay about B6000, plus about B4000 security deposit, from which your water and electricity are deducted. Definitely no ripoffs - they are totally honest. You will need to provide you own towels and shower mat. Basic bed linen is available. Ideal for English language teachers who do not want to stay in an old hotel fan room.

  • Lopburi Inn Resort - The only hotel in town with a swimming pool. It is located about six kilometres towards Saraburi from New Town. There is a sign on the right hand side as you come from Saraburi, and before you come to the Big C.
  • Lopburi Residence Hotel - Route 3196, (217 หมู่ 1, ตำบลนิคมสร้างตนเอง อำเภอเมือง จังหวัดลพบุรี) Tambon Tha Hin, Amphoe Mueang Lop Buri, Chang Wat Lopburi 15000, 14.794842 N, 100.635818 E (14°47'41.4"N, 100°38'08.9"E). More upscale hotel with buffet breakfast and a pool. Two double beds, fridge, air conditioning, flat screen TV, plenty of power outlets, large rooms, elevator, swimming pool. 750 meters from the Lopburi bus terminal, a nine minute walk.
  • Thep Thani, This hotel is actually closer to the Old Town than The New Town, and is on the left hand side as you go from New to Old, about three quarters of the way along. Looks decidedly upmarket from the outside.
  • Youth Hotel

Across the river from the Old Town

  • Ramda Resort
  • Sabai Hotel

Get out

At the bus station, there are minibuses to all of the surrounding destinations (also Bangkok) and non aircon buses to both Ang Thong and Singburi. Minibuses to Bangkok also go from the Old City, and these are located close to the railway station, and also close to the roundabout. There are aircon buses to three destinations only from the bus station.

Minibuses as below:

Will cost B110/B120 and take anything from 2.5 to 4 hours depending upon which one you use. They leave from the bus station. They go hourly from 5 am.

These go regularly and cost B100.

Costs B80, and stops in the City centre there.

Costs B50 and stops in the bus station there. They go every 30 minutes from 0700 to 1700.

Costs B60 and stops in the bus station there.

Leaves from the rear right of the bus station.


The only aircon buses go as below (March 2016): Buy your tickets inside the terminal at the appropriate window.

  • Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima).

An aircon bus to here goes from the bus station 0925, 1125, 1355, 1520, 1725. They come from Nakhon Sawan and then head via Saraburi to Korat. Bus is first class, and costs B153. It takes 3.5 hours. These go via Saraburi, so if you want to go to Bangkok other than by train or minibus, then this is your only option.

Aircon buses to here 0925, 1125, 1355, 1520, 1725.

Aircon buses to here 0700, 0900, 1040, 1240, 1400, 1500. The buses have "Lopburi - Lomsak" written on the outside, but only the 1400 bus goes on to Lomsak, north of the City. All of them stop in the distant bus station in Phetchabun, and all but the 1400 bus terminate here.


Routes through Lopburi
Chiang MaiNakhon Sawan  N noframe S  AyutthayaBangkok
Mae SaiChainat  N noframe S  SaraburiBangkok


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