Lopburi, the city of the monkeys

Prang Sam Yod

Lopburi is a small village in the center of Thailand. It is also known as “the city of the monkeys” because of the huge presence of those curious animals. Even if it isn’t usually included in the first-timers’ itinerary in the Land of Smiles, it surely worth the visit for 3 main reasons:
1) it’s easily reachable
2) it’s out of the great flow of tourists, so it preserves its authenticity
3) monkeys!

The route (credits to bangkokforvisitors.com)

I reached Lopburi when I was in Ayutthaya. The route by train takes less than 1 hour (+ delays!). The village is quite small and it is fully visitable in less than 5 hours, so it’s perfect for a day trip, as I did.
As you can see from the map above, it’s possible to do a round trip starting from the train station, visiting the temples and returning at the station.

I arrived there after the more touristic Bangkok and Ayutthaya, so Lopburi was a welcomed surprise. The village is really characteristic and the local life flows across every street, with markets, people praying at temples, etc.
Most of the temples are free of charge and well preserved. The “hot” zone is the one in the surrounding of the Prang Sam Yod and the Phra Kan Shrine, where there are literally more monkeys than people.
Monkeys there are used to the human presence, but they’re still wild animals, so be careful: especially if approaching the puppies because mothers are very jealous. Also leave food out of their view, unless you want to feed them, you will literally get assaulted.

Monkeys wander freely in the streets

I didn’t, but it may be good to rent a bike or a motorbike to visit also the surroundings of Lopburi if you have more free time.

The last advice, probably the most important! Be aware to check the return trains before going there, because they are sporadic and scheduling it in advance will permit you to better organize your time.

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