This is what you came to Lopburi for right? A temple filled with thousands of Monkeys who basically run the place? Find out everything you need to know about visiting Lopburi Monkey Kingdom in this quick read.
Getting There: 5 minute walk from the train station in Old town.
Costs: ฿50 entrance fee for foreigners
Suggested Time: head here early in the morning for the 10am feeding, about an hour or so depending on how sick you are of monkeys in Southeast Asia.
Nearby Attractions: after spending the morning here head over to Phra Narai Ratchaniwet Palace
Additional Information: BE CAREFUL… these monkeys are wild and will climb all over you and steal anything not tied down if you let them. The big one’s have sharp claws and if one accidentally scratches you and draws blood you may well find yourself needing rabies shots, so DON’T LET THE BIG GUY’S CLIMB ON YOU. The babies don’t have sharp claws so try and play with them, just be careful not to enrage the mothers as they have been known to attack.
The 12th Century temple Phra Prang Sam Yod has remarkable similarities to Angkor Wat; built in the same style by the Khmer it consists of three ‘Prangs’ (basically pillars) interconnected by corridors. The temple was originally a Buddhist site with Hindu elements which you can see from the intricate stone detailing. It was King Narai, who also built a massive palace in Lopburi that turned the site into a Theravada Buddhist monument.
I found the history of the temple fascinating but realistically what everyone comes to see is the mischievous monkeys. They laze in the shade surrounding the temple and when you enter into the grounds the groundskeeper may well give you a stick so you can shake it at them when they get too close. If you aren’t afraid of monkeys then feel free to let them get close, they’ll try and jump on you and will steal sunglasses, headphones and even cameras so just make sure you don’t have shiny objects on show.
Also don’t forget that the big ones are massive and have sharp claws. An easy way to land yourself a hospital visit is by getting accidentally scratched by one of these guys and having to get rabies shots. The shots are expensive, and a series of 5 shots which are very expensive, so if you really want to get those photos with monkeys climbing on you, just be careful. I of course wanted photos with the monkeys like everyone else, but I only let the babies climb on me. While I was there an American girl got scratched in the neck by a fairly big monkey who was trying to steal her earring, so just be careful of what you are wearing and don’t let the big guys climb on you.
At 10am and 4pm everyday the locals come out to feed the monkeys and this is pretty fun to watch. Watching a monkey peeling a banana, or pulling the lid off of a yogurt drink still amazes me. If you don’t want to pay the ฿50 entrance fee then you can see the temple clear enough from the road and if you are there at feeding time there are plenty of monkeys on the street outside.