0. Travelling from Ayutthaya to Lopburi
We board the 1.05pm train from Ayutthaya station to Lopburi station. Most of the trains passing through are third class carriages, meaning it will be stopping at all stations and it is free sitting. The journey is comparatively cheaper than buses costing only 13Baht for this 1 hour 15mins journey. Take a sneak peek at the interiors of the train.
1. Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat
Directly out of the train station is the Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat. The entrance costing 20Baht. It is quite a large ruin occupying a prime position. This temple consist of both Ayutthayan and Khmer style architecture.
Here is the main temple hall.
The main shrine of the hall.
Khmer-style architecture towers.
2. Phra Narai Ratchaivet (King Narai's palace)
Just a 5 minutes walk further west is the King Narai's palace. He was an Ayutthayan king who used Lopburi as his summer palace. As renovation work is going on at one section of the museum in the palace, we were given free entry in. Here is the wide park with a long pathway leading to the main palace gates.
Just next to the park are the elephant stables. As the elephants are no longer there, it has been replaced by elephant-shaped like bushes.
One of the temple shrine in the palace. The smell of incense permeats through the air in this shrine.
There are a few fascinating museums in this palace. The descriptions are given both in Thai and English. There were several exhibits mentioning about the period of the Ayutthaya history and their openness to foreign trades and ambassadors.
There is a large pond within the palace grounds.
3. Vichayen Palace
We arrived at Vichayen Palace around 3.50pm. As the ticket staff was preparing to close the place for the day, we were allowed free entry around the ruins for 10 minutes.
Here is the main building in the palace ground, a chapel. This place was home to a Greek adventurer named Constantine Phaulkon who was very close to King Narai.
4. Phra Prang Sam Yod
From Vichayen eastwards 10 minutes walk away is the Phra Prang Sam Yod. Entrance charge is 30Baht with a 10Baht tip given to a young guide that kindly brought us around. This is also where the monkeys territories began. It is said the monkeys cross the road to this temple and hang out during the day. There are just lots of them. Lopburi is famous for its monkeys.
The 3 Khmer looking tower is the centrepiece of this sight. It is said that it used to be a hindu temple but is converted into a buddhism temple by the Khmers.
Here is a small shrine of the Buddha with monkeys around.
The guide playing with the monkey king. The monkeys look intelligent and is able to react instinctively to the attack.
5. San Phra Karn
This temple is located in the middle of a round-about. Crossing the road to the temple requires quite a bit of a patience. It seems to be quite popular with schoolgirls as there are lots of them in there. There are two large monkeys statue at the entrance with many ladders spanning the length of the trees. This is where the monkeys go back to in the evening until the next day.
After San Phra Karn, it is a short walk to the train station. Along the way, we grab a few bites at the stores around the station.
We boarded the 5.30pm train from Lopburi to Ayutthaya. The train duration and cost is similar to the one coming to Lopburi. As the sun is setting soon, I have the opportunity of taking the sunset scene against the foreground of Thai rice fields - the ricebowl of Asia and all Singaporeans.