province in the central region of Thailand, Lop Buri Province is
located approximately 154 kilometers north of Bangkok. Covering an
area of 6,199 square kilometers, the province is situated on the
western end of the Khorat Plateau. It borders Chaiyaphum and Nakhon
Ratchasima Provinces on the east, Phetchabun and Nakhon Sawan
Provinces on the north, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya and Saraburi
Provinces on the South. Lop Buri Province is one of several
provinces in central Thailand where many significant historical
artifacts and prehistoric settlements have been discovered.
Formerly known as Lawo, Lop Buri had for centuries been ruled by
several Kingdoms. The remains of Lop Buri, dating over 1,200 years
attests to the strategic significance of Lop Buri to many rulers.
These relics, ranging from the Bronze Age to the Ratanakosin period,
have made Lop Buri a blend of east and west and ancient and modern,
revealing the citys turbulent and alluring history and a glimpse of
Thailands extraordinary past.
Lop Buri was first developed into a major town during the Dvaravati
Kingdom (6th 11th centuries). Most historians believed the first
settlers of the town were the Lawa (an ethnic group related to the
Mons) which is the reason for naming the town Lawo. In 10th century,
the town came under absolute sovereignty of the Khmers who made it
one of their oldest provincial capitals. The Khmer Mahayana Buddhism
style was a major influence on the towns architecture and was later
commonly referred to as Lop Buri Style. Remains of KhmerHindu
architectural motifs found in the city include the Shivas Shrine
(Prang Khaek), San Phra Kan, Phra Prang Sam Yot, and Wat Phra Si
was in the late 13th century when the Thais, who migrated from the
North, fought against the Khmers and declared their independence.
Since then, Lop Buri has been ruled by Thai Kings.
Lop Buri first became known when King U-Tong,
who established the Ayutthaya Kingdom, sent his son, Ramesuan the
Crown Prince, to govern the city. The Prince commanded the building
of moats, city walls and battlement towers.
Lop Buri reached its height in 1664 when King Narai the Great of
Ayutthaya named Lop Buri the Kingdoms second capital, which came
after a threat of invasion from Hollanders. King Narai the Great
rebuilt Lop Buri with the help of French architects and ruled the
Kingdom from there, instead of Ayutthaya., Thus the citys
architecture mostly reflected a mixture of Thai and Western styles,
which can be seen today in the remains of the Royal Palace, the
Royal Reception House etc.
Lop Buri gradually faded from the political
scene with the death of King Narai the Great. It, however, made a
comeback approximately 200 years later when King Rama IV of the
Ratanakosin Era decided to restore the city. He also commanded the
restoration of the old Palace and named it Phra Narai Ratchaniwet (Narai
Ratchaniwet Palace) in honor of King Narai the Great.
After Thailands democratic revolution,
Marshall Poh Pibulsongkram rebuilt a military camp near the citys
railroad, therefore, dividing the city into the old (ancient) and
Lop Buri is administratively divided into 11 Amphoes (Districts)
including Muang, Ban Mi, Chai Badan, Khok Charoen, Khok Samrong,
Phatthana Nikhom, Tha Luang, Tha Wung, Sa Bot, Lam Sonthi and Nong
Apart from historical attractions, Lop Buri provides opportunities
for nature lovers to visit its famous Sap langka Wildlife Sanctuary
in the north.
Another special landmark of Lop Buri is monkeys. To tourists, the
city is known as the land of monkeys. To the people of Lop Buri, the
monkeys are descendants of Hanuman who, according to the Ramayana,
built Lop Buri as his kingdom. The food offerings in San Phra Kan
drew the monkeys from nearby forests. These mischievous monkeys have
taken over several attractions such as San Phra Kan and Phra Prang
Sam Yot. A big feast for the monkeys on the last Sunday of November
is held annually at Phra Prang Sam Yot and is one of the most
attractive and most talked about tourist events in Thailand.
Distances from Amphoe Muang to Other
Tha Wung 15 kms.
Ban Mi 32 kms.
Khok Samrong 35 kms.
Phatthana Nikhom 51 kms.
Nong Muang 54 kms.
Sa Bot 65 kms.
Khok Charoen 77 kms.
Tha Luang 83 kms.
Chai Badan 97 kms.
Lam Sonthi 120 kms.