Monkey business in Lopburi
Lopburi is a nice getaway from Bangkok city. Just 1 hour by mini-van from the capital, this little town is home to several valuable Khmer-style temples and the interesting King Narai National Museum, situated on the grounds of the former royal palace.
But if Lopburi is famous nowadays among tourists, it’s because of its hairy population. .. and by that I mean the hundreds of Crab-Eating Macaques populating the city-center, especially around Prang Sam Yot and Sarn Phra Karn. In November is held a festival, where the monkeys are fed by the local population and the amateur photographers.
Be careful not to be too friendly with the cheeky animals, they aren’t as cuddly as they may look. The macaques will do anything to get more food, from opening your bags to attacking your hairdo.
How to go there?
From Ayutthaya: local buses run every 20 min, take around 2 hr, and cost ฿35.
From Bangkok: air-conditioned buses leave every 20 min and take either 2.5 hr and cost ฿117, or take 3 hr and cost ฿96. Take the air-conditioned bus from the Bangkok Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) which departs every day 05:00–20:30 every half hour. It costs ฿80 per person.
From Kanchanaburi: it’s necessary to take a local bus to Suphanburi taking 2 hr and costing ฿50, then another from there to Lopburi taking 3 hr and costing ฿52.
From Sukhothai: take a bus to Phitsanulok and then to Nakhon Sawan.
From Bangkok, air-conditioned vans leave from Victory Monument, take about 2 hours and cost 120 baht. There are multiple van services in the area, if the timing of one service is not convenient then try another.
Air-conditioned vans also leave from the main Mo Chit (northern) bus station for the same price. The last minivan normally departs around 18:00.
Trains from/to Bangkok’s main Hualamphong station take about 3 hours. Take the Northern Line from Hua Lamphong Railway Station everyday, many rounds per day.
Trains from/to Ayutthaya take about one hour and cost 43 baht for third class (Sept 2012}.
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.