Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the skyscrapers of Bangkok is the quiet town of Lopburi. At first glance, this is just another pit stop on the long trip north from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. But stop for an hour or two and look a bit closer… Soon you’ll discover that Lopburi is in fact one of the most unique little towns in Thailand!
Scattered throughout Lopburi are hundreds of monkeys, known in the Thai language as “ling” (ลิง). In fact, these are macaques, but whatever name you use, these little guys and their energetic playfulness will surely put a smile on your face.
The monkeys wander freely throughout the city but are concentrated at a handful of temples near the city’s train station. Entrance to the temples is free and, once inside, you will be surrounded, not only by wonderful Thai history and culture, but also by dozens of curious monkeys!
Be careful! The monkeys love to steal. On my last trip there, I thought I was being smart and I stashed all of my belongings in my backpack. But the monkeys snuck up on me, unzipped my bag, and ran off with my 1,000 Baht headphones! I couldn’t help but laugh and wave goodbye as the monkey clamoured up the side of the temple with my headphones clutched tightly in his little hands.
Lopburi is easy to visit and makes for the perfect day trip away from Bangkok. You can travel either by van (2 hours), departing from any of Bangkok’s major bus stations, or by train (3 hours). Either option will cost you less than 100 Baht. Once in Lopburi follow the signs to the temples in the centre of the city, or just follow the other sightseers! A great aspect of Lopburi is that it’s not overrun with tourists and can be quite peaceful.
Once inside the temple areas you can wander around freely and watch the monkeys play and fight with each other. Or you can ask one of the Thai guides to help you pose for a photo with the monkeys. They’re more than happy to crawl all over you and are usually quite calm. So if you can handle having a few wild animals hang off of your body, you can get quite a funny photograph!
Lopburi is a great place to see if you’re traveling north of Bangkok. It makes a nice pit stop on your way to Chiang Mai or an even better day trip if you’re planning to return to Bangkok afterwards. Make your friends at home laugh when you show them the photos you took with these funny little monkeys!