After a couple days of activites in Bangkok I expected to jump on a plane for the quick flight to Chiang Mai rather than the train. That changed pretty quickly though. I decided to join my friend for a day of adventures in Lopburi before getting a late train for the overnight journey to Chiang Mai.
A three hour journey by train from Bangkok I can’t say I had even heard of the city. Though soon enough I discovered this place is also known as ‘Monkey City’.
After a sweet train ride (the DRC train was luxury in comparison to 3rd class) we quickly checked in, got food and went exploring.
The first place to go was the National Museum. As another former capital (yes, Ayatthaya was too), this was a massive space with ruins, exhibitions and beautifully manicured grounds. The ruins were my favourite part and we actually returned here again later in the day. It was surprising to see no locals chilling out here, it’s a great picnic/read a book spot. But I guess they do not spend time leisurely in the old city.
After this we were off to track down the most popular attraction, the Lopburi monkeys. The old city is tiny compared to that of Chiang Mai so soon enough we found them everywhere. After a brief pause assessing the situation (checking the pants were still dry), we walked – ensuring all our belongings were secure. The ole wallet, phone, keys pat down every 7 seconds. They were running all over cars, the power lines and chilling on the footpath as they scoped us out. Once we got to the monkey temple we decided that was enough monkeys for us, preferring for them not to jump on us. Was crazy to see them though, people later told us they had upwards of 10 clinging on to them at a time, Lopburi monkeys be crazy – PASS!
The afternoon was chilled out as we decided to jump on a trip to the bat caves at 4pm. I went to a bat cave in Battambang and thought it was pretty cool and was looking to see if there was any difference. Before the bat caves, we went to one of the best temples I have seen. Nicknamed the Peacock Temple, there were peacocks of all colours everywhere. The driver dropped us off at the base of some stairs and said ‘seeya in an hour’. Turns out we were about to climb 400 stairs, not easy in flip flops!
The climb was worth it, the views at the top were stunning. Our group of 6 were the only ones there making it an awesome chance to reflect in silence looking out to the awesome views as the sun came down. I even managed to get some mediation done which I love to do when I get a chance!
After clambering back down the stairs, we drove 10 minutes or so to a rather random spot. We could not see the cave itself from where we were but a few minutes later (right on sunset), bats started pouring out of the cave like….well, like bats. They were exactly like the Battambang bats, small, streaming out in one line before going in there separate groups to where ever it is they feed at night! After 5 minutes or so, the repetitiveness kicks in so we headed back to the old city.
After dinner (found a random girl selling vegan food from a basket!) and some beers I went to get the 8.30pm train. Sold out, as was the 9.40pm. I got a third class seat on the 12:30 am train which arrived at 2.30am which was annoying (funny watching the Thai’s pass out at the train station) but overall I was stoked to take a day to explore Lopburi.
- If you plan on taking the overnight train from Lopburi, definitely book the train when you arrive.
- If you do stay overnight, Noom Guesthouse had a great atmosphere and the team are very helpful. They do not take bookings but if they are full, they can help you find other suitable Lopburi accommodation.