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Ratings by backpackers :
The actual monkeys Capital of Thailand but previously the residence of King Narai.
Comments : If you do not like monkeys and already had your prescription of old ruins & museums, you haven't much to do here. But if you are interested with any of the above...
What to do ? Get a map of the area at the TAT Office north of the Wat
opp... the train station / Try to imagine where the King once lived / Get some help with some artifacts from the good museum / There, see also skeleton of prehistoric men or farming materials / Visit what is left of the former residence (Vichayen House) of Chevalier de Chaumont, the first French ambassador to Thailand / Check out a nice small Khmer Temple (B30 but free from the outside or if you are a monkey) / See how monkeys react at the approach of a train / Feed a few of them at the Monkey Temple / Visit other old ruins / Tour the zoo and see... guess what ? More monkeys !
What you may not like ? The high entrance fees to the ruins (B30) / Having seen too many ruins in Ayuthaya already / Having your bag stolen by monkeys, I suppose / The bat smell inside the Khmer Temple
How long ? Couple of hours is enough to see the attractions but it would not hurt to spend the night there as the old town is pleasant.
Where to stay ?
Asia Lopburi Hotel
(411555), opposite the Palace / Dbl w. shower 140, AC 250 / Go there for the big rooms with some charm and, if lucky, for the good view over the Palace complex
If full or prices increase, other hotels with acceptable clean rooms w. shower :
Nett Hotel (411738), one street East of the above / Dbl 160(2), 140(1) or
Indra Hotel, street opposite the train station, near the Monkey Temple / Dbl 140
Internet ? Just east of the Phra Kaan Shrine (Monkey Temple), on the road toward the new town, two places on the right charge 30B per hour with minimum charge of 15 or 20B.
How to visit ? If going by train to Chiang Mai, you could break your journey here for the day (leaving your bag at the station) before boarding an evening train (17:56 or 20:45). It is also (quite) easy to visit it as a day trip from Ayuthaya (see the Ayuthaya section)
A few sights ?
- The National Museum : Hosted within the ground of the former palace of King Narai (7 to 17:30 daily, free). There is little in terms of ruins' interest but the museum is rather nice & big if you do not forget to check all the rooms (quite a few behind about farm's way of life). Open Wed to Sund 9 to 16. B30.
- Wat Phra Phuttabat : 19km from Lopburi, 28km from Saraburi. The small complex, which houses a (near invisible) Buddha footprint, is about 15mn walk from the main road. It is nice and certainly worth to stop to be blessed by monks, stick gold on divinities or play the surroundings gongs but not that impressive and therefore not worth bothering too much.
Backpacker's Tips : Phil Mines, UK (Fev 05)
« Train station is smack bang in the centre of town. Bus station is
quite a way out from the monkey temples on the main Bangkok road on a big
roundabout. Coming out of the bus station (behind you at say 12 o'clock the town
centre is at 3 o'clock). You will need to hop on another bus. Coming from the
north buses pass the monkey temples so maybe ask to hop of. »
Discover some of the hosts
Bus schedules :
||5 to 19
||5 to 15
||5 to 18
||4:40 to 20:10
Note : to Saraburi via Wat Phra
The trip to Ayuthaya : SS / R / B6+B10+B20+B10 / 15+30+ 30+60mn / fan + fan + AC + ugly
The above is what I did but I do not really recommend it (see story in Ayuthaya section). The simplest way would be to take a direct bus to Ayuthaya via a nice countryside road (B25, 2 hrs)
or to wait for the first train at 11:18 (arr.12:42)
But you could complicate your life a bit more by visiting Wat Phra Phuttabat, in which case you will need to take a bus heading toward Saraburi and get off 19 Km later (B6, 15mn driving time but maybe an additional 45mn waiting time to fill up the bus). After your visit, you will board another bus, probably to well
developed Saraburi (B10, 30mn) from which (if you arrive before 4pm), you shall get a direct connection to Ayuthaya (B28, 1.5 hour).
The road is quite nice and sitting on the right will allow you to spot a few sights like a statue of the King or a botanical garden.
See also the trip from Kanchanaburi