AMPHOE BAN MI
The village is well known for its carefully woven Mat Mi. The art of weaving Mat Mi has been handed down over generations for more than 135 years. The distinct features of Ban Kluais Mat Mi are its unique pattern and supreme quality.
Wat Khao Wongkhot (Bat Cave)
Covering an area of 30 rai, Wat Khao Wongkhot is situated approximately 4 kilometers from Ban Mi city. The temple is built in the middle of three mountains with the Reclining Buddha enshrined at the foot of Sanam Daeng Mountain. Visitors are encouraged to stop at a pavilion which keeps the un-deteriorated body of Charoen Ditsawanno venerable Bhikku, former abbot of Wat Khao Wongkot who passed away in 1963.
Within the compound of Wat Khao Wongkhot is a bat cave which is considered to be the largest in Lop Buri. With millions of bats inhabiting the cave, the temple receives substantial revenues from the sale of bat dung. The bats will fly out of the cave at 6 p.m. to seek food. It takes up to 2 hours to empty the cave.
The canal side temple located on the west bank of Bang Kham canal, Wat Thammikaram was formerly known as Wat Khang Khao (Bat Temple). This was due to the fact that many thousands of bats used to live there. Visitors to this temple usually marvel at its notable murals which can be dated from the mid 1800s.
AMPHOE CHAI BADAN
Nam Tok Wang Kan Luang
Located approximately 12 kilometers from Lam Narai Market is a waterfall that flows all year round. Perfect for people looking for a quite and refreshing retreat from the town, the waterfall is accessible via Chai Badan Tha Luang Road (Highway No. 2089). Look for the sign of the waterfall and proceed for approximately 7 kilometers.
Wat Khao Somphot
This temple is located 38 kilometers from Chai Badan District. There are 19 caves naturally decorated with stalactites and stalagmites in the environs of the mountainous temple. Recommended caves to visit include Tham Yai, Tham Chedi, Tham Phet, Tham Ram Wong, Tham Singto, and etc.
AMPHOE LAM SONTHI
Sap Langka Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Kut Ta Phet Sub-district, Sap langka Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 155 square kilometers or 96,875 rai of land. A flatland amidst a valley, the Sanctuary is 140-846 meters above sea level. This virgin and fertile jungle is where Maenam Lam Sonthi originates and where the nearly-extinct animals dwell.
There are two natural trekking trails which are easy to follow. The first is from Haui Prik to Tham (cave) Pha Pheung (a 3,200-meter trip with a total travel time of approximately 2.5 hours). The second is Haui Pradu trail which starts with a rafting trip to the 1,500-meter trail along Tham Samui Kui and Tham Phra Nok.
(total travel time is approximately 1.5 hours)
Places of interest along both trails include Namtok Pha Phueng, where water gushes down the high cliff all year round. The steep trail winds through the side of the mountain to another part of the waterfall. Nearby is the huge Pha Pheung Cave which is the home of thousand bats. Stalagmites and stalactites are found in the cave which ends at the high cliff. Other attractions include Pha Nam Yoi and Namtok Sam Sai.
To get there by car, use Highway No. 205 from Chai Badan to Lam Sonthi. Drive for 31 kilometers, turn to Kudtapetch Sub-district and proceed for another 37 kilometers.
Please note that visitors are admitted only to certain areas. Contact the Sanctuary Headquarters for more details on 02 562 0760 or visit www.dnp.go.th.
Ban Hin Song Kon
The village located between Tha-le Chupson and Thanon Yai sub-districts is famous for its chalk industry where Din So Phong (white clay) is produced.
Kachornvit Mushroom Farm
Location: 71/1 Mu 6 Nikhom Sang Toneng Sub-District, Mueang District, Lop Buri 15000
Since its establishment in 1981, the Mushroom Farm has developed its technology to grow high-quality organic mushrooms using EM microbe. Visitors can take a short tour of the farm or sample several kinds of preserved mushrooms which are also available for sale. Farm-stay accommodations are available but reservations must be made in advance. Call 036 652442 or 07 0710683 for more details.
King Narai National Museum
This museum was established in 1924 by with the Phra Narai Ratchaniwet as its exhibition halls. Currently, three historical buildings are used to display various art objects, including an impressive collection of Lop Buri-style sculpture and Khmer, Dvaravati, U-Thong and Ayutthaya arts. In addition, traditional agricultural tools, including ploughs, carts, grain separators and fish traps, are on display in different buildings. The Museum opens daily except Monday and Tuesday, from 9.00a.m. to 4.00p.m. Admission fee is 30 baht. Museum services include: lectures, tour guides, special exhibitions, slides, videos, postcards, books and a gift shop.
King Narai the Great Shrine
The Statue of King Narai the Great is located near the town entrance. It was built to honor King Narai the Great in forging ahead technological development, foreign relations and prosperity to Lop Buri and the Ayutthaya Kingdom. He was the first monarch to bring modern technology into use such as the use of terra-cotta pipes and construction of celestial observatory. He is also remembered for his neo-foreign policy as he established close diplomatic ties with the European powers.
Lop Buri Zoo
A 25-acre zoo is well known for its interesting residents: Asian and Australian birds and mammals. The most striking feature of the zoo is the unusual family of three tigers and four dogs who live harmoniously together in the same quarters. The zoo is located behind the Army Theatre near the Sa Kaew Circle. Opens daily from 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m.
Location: 85/2 Mu 13 Chong Sarika Sub-District, Phatthana Nikhom District, Lop Buri 15220
An agro-tourism farm covering an area of 50 rai, Oasis Agro-Farm was established in 2001 to raise imported ostriches from South Africa. The farm is divided into different zones including a butterfly farm, an ostrich ranch, a sunflower plantation, etc. Visitors can enjoy hand-feeding the ostriches and driving a mini-tractor along the sunflower plantation. Admission fee is 10 bahts/person. For more information, contact Mr. Somchat Singhapol at 01 7808928 or 01 9941256 or you can visit www.oasisfarm.net to get a glimpse of the farm.
Phra Narai Ratchaniwet (King Narais Palace)
The palace was built in 1665 and 1677, when King Narai the Great decided to make Lop Buri the second capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Although the buildings were designed by with the contributions of French architects, the Khmer influence was still strong. The Palace was a perfect blend of the both world, an awesome mixture of Khmer-European styles.
After the death of King Narai the Great in 1688, the palace was deserted. It was not until the reign of King Rama IV during the Ratanakosin era, that the Palace was restored and renamed Narai Ratchaniwet.
The Palace is located in the town center, between Ratchadamnoen Road and Pratu Chai Road. The whole complex has been turned into the Lop Buri National Museum (commonly known as King Narai National Museum).
The Palace can be accessed through the Pratu Phayakkha, which is currently a town park, located off Sorasak Road. The Palace opens Wednesdays through Sundays from 7.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Within the Palace lies a number of compounds containing pavilions, some built during the reign of King Narai and others constructed during the reign of King Rama IV.
Structures built during the reign of King Narai the Great include:
Chantara Phaisan Pavilion
The first Palace of King Narai the Great in Lop Buri, the Pavilion was subsequently turned into an audience hall after he moved his residence to the Suttha Sawan Pavilion. The fact that the building is of pure Thai architectural style indicates that no French architects were involved in the design and construction process. King Rama IV (King Mongkut of the Ratanakosin era) restored the building in 1863. The Pavilion was once used by the privy-council as a meeting hall. Now, it serves as a hall displaying archaeological and art objects, especially the Lop Buri-style stone Buddha images, historic paintings from the era of King Narai the Great and Buddhist art objects from the Ayutthaya and Ratanakosin period.
Phra Khlang Supharat
This compound was built as a place to store royal treasures and royal goods sold to foreign merchants during the late 1600s. It is commonly known as the Twelve Treasure Houses.
Elephant and Horse Stables
This compound is located close to the wall separating the outer and middle sections of the Palace.
The Water Reservoir
Constructed during the reign of King Narai the Great, the reservoir stored water which came from a freshwater lake Tale Chupsorn, through the well designed terra cotta pipes. Tale Chupsorn was the main lake supplying drinking water to Lop Buri residents.
The Dusit Sawan Thanya Maha Prasat Hall
Constructed under the royal command of King Narai the Great, the Hall was formerly used by King Narai as an audience hall receiving high-ranking foreign ambassadors. This was the place where the King received Chevalier de Chaumont, the representative of King Louis XIV of France. The Hall was built in a perfect blending of French and Thai architectural styles
The Suttha Sawan Pavilion
The Pavilion was once located amidst a beautifully decorated garden with ponds and fountains. This was the place where King Narai the Great resided and died on 11 July 1688. Apart from the Pavilion, which had been restored by King Mongkut, only the remains of man-made hills and fountains can be seen.
Kraison Siharat Hall
Commonly known as Phra Thinang Yen, the Hall is located on an island in a dried up lake, Thale Chupson, which once supplied fresh drinking water to the people of Lop Buri. Kraison Siharat Hall was used as the residence of King Narai, Jesuits and envoys of King Louis XIV of France when they came to witness a lunar eclipse on 11 December, 1685
Phra Chao Hao Building
Built by King Narai the Great, the building is located to the south of the outer section of the palace. Serving as the Kings private audience hall, the building featured Thai-style architecture of which it is currently possible to see only the remains of wall sections with visible decorative motifs at the doors and windows.
Surrounded on three sides by ponds, the Hall was built to entertain important foreign visitors. One of the remains includes a brick platform facing the Hall, which was used as a stage or theater possibly for shadow plays or dances indicating that the place was once used as an entertainment compound.
Phiman Mongkut Pavilion
This pavilion was a three-story brick building where King Rama IV (King Mongkut) resided when he visited Lop Buri during the renovation of the Palace. Connected to the pavilion are three other buildings namely Suttha Winitchai Pavilion, Chai Sattrakon Pavilion and Akson Sattrakhom. All of these buildings are now being used as the offices of the Lop Buri National Museum.
Phra Prathiap Building
A group of eight two-story buildings built behind King Mongkut’s residence (Phiman Mongkut Pavilion), which were used as residences for inner court officials.
Royal Guards Residence
This is located at the entrance of the middle court.
Phra Prang Sam Yot
Located on Vichayen Road, approximately 200 meters from the railway station, Phra Prang Sam Yot is Lop Buris best known landmark and provincial symbol. A former Hindu Shrine built in the 13th century in the classic Bayon style of Khmer architecture, the compound comprises three prangs (towers) linked by a corridor. The three laterite and sandstone spires decorated with classic stucco are believed to have originally represented the Hindu Trimurti; Brahman (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Siva (the destroyer). During the reign of King Narai, the shrine was converted into a Buddhist temple when a brick viharn located to the east which houses a grand U-Thong-Ayutthaya style Buddha image was probably built. Buddha images were later added to the two prangs. The temple is open at 8.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m., admission fee is 30 baht.
Prang Khaek is the oldest monument of Lop Buri and the oldest Khmer-style Hindu Shrine to be found in Thailands central region. A fascinating small compound of Khmer remains, it consists of the three brick prangs constructed without adjoining corridors. Prang Khaek was restored by King Narai the Great in the 17th century. Recently restored by the Fine Arts Department, it is located on Vichayen Road, near the Narai Ratchaniwet Palace.
San Phra Kan
Another former Brahman Shrine located next to Wat Phra Prang Sam Yot, across the railway station, is San Phra Kan. The compound is comprised of both old and new sections. The former can be dated back to the Khmer period, as attested by the laterite mound that was found. The new section, constructed in 1951, contains a famous object of worship a four-armed Vishnu figure fixed with a Buddha’s head. Located nearby is a guardian house in which various Buddha and Hindu images are enshrined. A troop of monkeys begging for food usually surrounds the Shrine. Sometimes, they can become offensive to visitors, especially those giving out food for their photographs.
The Vichayen House was built at the royal command of King Narai the Great. It initially served as a residence of Chevalier de Chaumont, the first French ambassador to Thailand during the reign of King Louis XIV. Later on, it was occupied by the Greek, Constantine Phaulkon, who later became King Narais advisor and was granted the position of royal minister Chao Phraya Vichayen. Located just 300 meters from Prang Khaek, the compound has many interesting visible ruins including the Roman Catholic Chapel, a hall of residence for ambassador and mission members, brick water tanks and fountains. Admission fee is 30 bahts.
Wat Mani Chonlakhan
Built during the reign of King Mongkut, the temple was originally called Wat Ko Kaew as it was located on a small island. Remains found in the compound include the Chedi Luang Pho Saeng, the ubosot, the viharn and a large Buddha image situated along the riverside.
Wat Nakhon Kosa
Located north of the railway station near San Phra Kan is Wat Nakhon Kosa which may have originally been a Hindu Shrine as the temple was built in 1157 by the Khmers. Later on, U-Thong style cement Buddha images were added on the prangs.
Wat Phra Si Maha That
The oldest temple with tallest Prang in Lop Buri, Wat Phra Si Maha That is located behind the railway station near the San Phra Kan. The Lop-Buri style prang in front of the temple was built around 1157 when the town came under Khmer rule. The U-Thong style Buddha images on the prang and the large viharn were later added by King Narai the Great. The laterite prang still has some original lintels and stucco work intact. A number of other chedis and prangs – most of which were restored were greatly influenced by both the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya styles.
Wat San Paulo
A Jesuit Church founded by the Portuguese during the reign of King Narai the Great, Wat San Paulo is situated approximately 3 kilometers east of town, off of Ramdaecho Road. The word San Paulo was probably dubbed by Thais especially when they pronounced Saint Paul or Saint Paulo in Thai style. Visible in the site are the remains of a brick wall and stucco tower, as well as an octagonal, 3-story, observatory.
Wat Sao Thong Thong
Situated on Rue de France, to the north of Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, this western style viharn was believed to have originally been built by King Narai the Great as a church for Christian envoys. It was subsequently restored by King Narai the Great, who ordered the replacement of Thai windows with Western-style windows with Gothic-designs in the secondary chapel. Later on, the viharn was converted into a Buddhist temple. It contains a large seated Ayutthaya-style Buddha image.
In addition, assorted Lop-Buri style Buddha images can be found on the surrounding walls.
Wat Yang Na Rangsi (Lop Buri Boat Museum)
Located on the bank of the Lop Buri River, 9 kilometers south of the town center along the Lop Buri-Bang Pahan route is Wat Yang Na Rangsi. The temple is famous for its Buddha images which were made of sandstone and quartz. It is also notable for its wooden sala (a wooden teaching hall) which was built in 1927 in a typical central region style. The sala has been converted into the Lop Buri Boat Museum, where a large collection of local vessels, in particular a one-seat barge, are exhibited.
AMPHOE PHATTHANA NIKHOM
Location: Soi 24 Sai Tri, Mo 9 Phatthana Nikhom District, Lop Buri 15220
The center distributes information and knowledge on Bee cultivation in Thailand. It is also a place where natural bees products including royal jelly, honey (from sunflower, natural honey extracts, etc.) and other honey-related products are on sale.
Khuen Pa Sak Cholasit
The biggest reservoir in Central Thailand, the Pa Sak Cholasit Dam was constructed as part of the Maenam Pa Sak Royal Development Project, an initiative of King Bhumibol. Constructed in 1989, the earth (soil)-filled dam with a clay core was granted the name by His Majesty the King who presided over its opening on 25 November 1999. The Dam stretches over Lop Buri and Saraburi Provinces. It is 4,860 meters long with a capacity of 785 million cubic meters.
Pa Sak Cholasit Dam is a major source of water for household, agriculture and industrial use in Lop Buri and Saraburi Provinces. Moreover, it helps prevent flooding on the Pasak riverside and Bangkok and its outskirts. The dam also provides large-scale, fresh-water fish for locals.
An emerging tourist attraction, Pa Sak Cholasit Dam offers a unique opportunity to travel across the reservoir by train. The railway was constructed along the dams ridge which leads to Pa Sak Basin Museum and a scenic lookout point above the dam. The journey offers a breathtaking and refreshing view of the reservoir, and also a bed of sunflowers.
Getting to Pa Sak Cholasit Dam is easy. By car from Lop Buri city, take Highway No. 3017 (Phatthana Nikhom Wat Mueang) for a total distance of 60 kilometers. It is highly recommended to take the trip by train during November January. The State Railway of Thailand operates a special route to and from Bangkok-Pa Sak Cholasit Dam every Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. For more information, contact tel: 02 223 7101 or 02 223 7020.
The largest sunflower field in Thailand is located in Tambon Chong Sarika, Phatthana Nikom District. The panoramic sunflower field has become Lop Buri’s major tourist attraction especially during November to January when they are in full bloom. To travel from Bangkok, drive along the Lop Buri-Saraburi Road for approximately 30 kilometers, then turn left into Highway No. 21 and proceed for another 15 kilometers. Traveling from Lop Buri town center, the sunflower field is located approximately 45 kilometers from the town.
AMPHOE THA WUNG
Located on the bank of Maenam Bang Kham in Tha Wung District, approximately 24 kilometers from town, the Ayutthaya-period temple is famous for its chapel. Decorated with stucco in various designs showcasing Buddhas previous life and his first sermon after attaining enlightenment, the chapel illustrates extraordinary Thai craftsmanship which is truly exquisite. There is also the Phra Si Ari Buddha image which local people have worshipped for generations.