ABOUT LOP BURI
The fascinating city of Lop Buri is a unique blend of East and West, ancient and modern, royal splendor and majestic ruins, all of which offer tantalizing glimpses into the city’s alluring history.
Located 155 kilometers north of Bangkok, Lop Buri is unlike many historical cities. Modern day Lop Buri has grown up and, for the most part, enveloped the remains of the old city, which had been a settled by various groups over the centuries. In recent years, Lop Buri was discovered by tourists who were interested in history and culture, and the city now offers a refreshing insight into Thailand’s history.
Visitors arriving by road might be somewhat surprised to be greeted by a giant pink wedding cake ‘kratong’ that sits brashly in the middle of a pond at the town’s main roundabout. However, those arriving by rail are given a sneak preview of the history awaiting them in the shape of Wat Phra Sri Ratana Maha Tat, the 12th century ruins of a Khmer temple complex that lies close to the rustic, little railway station. The temple has several important prangs, parts of which date back to the 10th and 11th centuries and attest to the influence of the Angkorian Khmers in the region.
The town is also overrun with monkeys, most of which take up residence around the ruins where they are honored each year with an enormous feast.
RECOMMENDED LOP BURI
PHRA PRANG SAM YOT
Located on Vichayen Road, approximately 200 meters from the railway station, Phra Prang Sam Yot is Lop Buri’s 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 corridors. The three laterite and sandstone spires, each decorated with classic stucco, are believed to have originally represented the Hindu Trimurti; Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Shiva (the Destroyer).
During the reign of King Narai, the shrine was converted into a Buddhist temple and a brick hall was built in the east to house a grand U Thong-style Buddha image. Buddha images were later added to the two Prangs.
The temple is located on a mound on the west side of the railway, near San PhraKan, another shrine.