Around Bangkok: Lopburi
Bangkok Attractions | Attractions around Bangkok
Lopburi is located about 154 kilometers north of Bangkok. The Lopburi Province is the home of some amazing historical sites, which will give you a better understanding of Thailand. The Lopburi was formerly known as Lawo, Lop Buri in Thailand. It was under the control of many different kingdoms because of its strategic location. It was the "feather" in the cap to all of the conquering armies.
The ruins of past city life dates back over 1200 years have been found in the region with relics dating back to the Bronze Age and up to the current Ratanakosin period. In Lopburi the past is blended with the modern calm atmosphere making Lopburi an interesting place to visit.
Lop Buri was first noted during the Dvaravati Kingdom that existed between the 6th and the 11th centuries. The Lawo was the name of the town at that time and the people known as the Lawa who are believed to be related to the Mons of China. The Khmers whose distinctive architectural style is still seen today was in command of this area during the 10th century.
The Thai people came from the north in the 13th century fought the Khmers and Lopburi came under the control of the Thai people. During the reign of King U-Thong, he established the Ayutthaya Kingdom and sent his son Ramesua to rule the city. The Pince oversaw the building of the moats, fortifications and towers. The city was at its peak in 1664, when King Narai the Great named Lopburi as Thailand's second capital city and even lived there. He blended the Thai and the European style of architectures.
There are many ruin sites dotting the area of Lop Buri, however some of the main ones worth seeing include Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, which is the palace of the former king, dating from the 17th century and restored during the 19th century. The grounds of the palace are extensive and interesting to wander through. Wat Phra Ratana Mahathat is located in Lop Buri directly across from the train station and once was the largest temple in the city. Today the towers, the wihaan and a few chedis are all that remains. One of the more interesting prangs is the Prang Khaek, it is one of the most obvious Khmer structures, and has recently been restored. Another of the distinctive prangs is Prang Sam Yot. The towers, which remain of the Prang Sam Yot, are some of the better preserved. The Prangs originally represented the Hindu gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, but has since had Buddha added to them. There are a number of other temple ruins around the historic town of Lop Buri tell more of the story behind Lop Buri's fortunate past. The growing of the modern city of Lop Buri has obscured the ruins, which makes it difficult to take photographs of the ruins.
Along with the architectural sites, which permeate the city, Lop Buri is also known for its Sap Lanka Wildlife Sanctuary just north of the city. Another attraction to Lop Buri is the monkeys. Food offerings took place in San Phara Kan drew the monkeys from the forest and have made a home around the popular attraction of Phra Prang SamYoy. The fields of sunflowers are also attractive and add to the notoriety of Lop Buri.
You can get to Lop Buri by car. The drive will take you about 2 hours and you will stay on the highway. The air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok every 20 minutes from 5:30 to 20:30 and tickets will cost about 85 baht. Trains leave Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station at 7:05 and 8:30.
Once you have reached Lop Buri you will want to head west to reach one of the minibuses, which will take you to the various locations you wish to visit.
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