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Lopburi (Part 2)

(Part 1)

On these two pages I present some of the pictures I made in Lopburi (also spelled as "Lop Buri"). Lopburi is famous for two things: King Narai, who lived there long ago, and the monkeys, that still live there. King Narai lived in the seventeenth Century and had a palace in Lopburi. MOst of these page is about King Naai and therefore the pages belong to the pages of this site about Thai history.

The monkeys are everywhere in Lopburi and some people say they are being trained to rob tourists. Having been there, I do not believe that. But they are not shy at all, so take care of your belongings anyway! My wife's Kipling bag (with a small monkey belonging to it) was almost nicked by one of the monkeys!

The Monkeys at Kala Shrine

Dancers at the Kala Shrine

The Kala Shrine is an old monument, probably originating from the 11th Century, although little of the original building is left over now. The building itself, as you will find it today, is nothing special. Nevertheless it is seen as a Holy place by the Lopburians. Regularly you will see dancers there, performing Classical Thai dances, more or less as you can see them at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.

Macaques at the Kala Shrine (1) Macaques at the Kala Shrine (2)

The big attraction of the place, however, are the monkeys, that are fed very well by the locals. Once a year they (the monkeys) get a large buffet, for which they have to pay nothing. You, as a spectator, have to pay an entrance fee, however, to see them eat on that day!
The pictures here were taken on just an ordinary day. As you will notice the food is abundant. People believe they make merit by feeding the monkeys. You can cross the nearby street with your eyes closed: A driver that would hurt one of these macaques would be doomed forever, so hardly anywhere in Thailand you will see such careful driving as in Lopburi near the Kala Shrine!

Macaque at the Kala Shrine Macaques youngster at the Kala Shrine

Two more pictures of the famous macaques of Lopburi. They seem to be happy there: Many babies and youngsters are among them. Travel guides say that there are around 1000 monkeys in Lopburi. Whatever the right number, by far the largest number can be found here and across the street at Prang Sam Yot.

Wat Yang Na Rang Si

Wat Yang Na Rang Si Rubber tree

Not far outside Lopburi, still in Lopburi province, is a Temple called Wat Yang Na Rang Si. The complete meaning is not clear to us, but the Thai word yang means rubber. And one of the objects you can't miss there is a 400 years-old rubber tree, as shown on the right hand side picture above. Somebody is standing near it. This will convince you of its huge size.

Antique boats Antique boat

Another attraction of this Temple (Wat), hardly ever visited by tourists, is the boat museum. Above this text you see a few examples of the antique boats there. You can buy a small book with details about the boats at the Wat, but it is mainly in the Thai language.

Decoration of the Wat

Before you leave, do look up once more at the old wooden building of the Wat. The decoration is of a great beauty, like the decorations on many other Temples in Thailand, by the way.

I was inspired to visit Lopburi and to visit the places there, connected to King Narai, after having read the two novels "The Falcon of Siam" and "The Falcon takes Wing" by Axel Aylwen. These novels tell the story of the Greek Constantin Phaulcon. It appears that there is also a third book in this series, called "Last Flight of the Falcon", I discovered that book in 2016 on the site of Amazon, as a Kindle ebook. I will read this third book in 2016 or 2017.
Before I published these pages about Lopburi, I checked the facts I wrote here, as well as I could, in a (translated) Thai History Book.



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