Lopburi Province

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Lopburi

ลพบุรี
Lopburi City Gate, from old to new city
Lopburi City Gate, from old to new city
Official seal of Lopburi
Seal
Map of Thailand highlighting Lop Buri Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Lop Buri Province
Country Thailand
CapitalLop Buri
Government
 • GovernorChatchai Phromloet (since October 2009)
Area
 • Total6,199.8 km2 (2,393.8 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 37th
Population
(2014)
 • Total758,406
 • RankRanked 30th
 • Density120/km2 (320/sq mi)
 • Density rankRanked 38th
HDI
 • HDI (2009)0.742 (medium) (35th)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Area code(s)036
ISO 3166 codeTH-16
Vehicle registrationลพบุรี

Lopburi (Thai: ลพบุรี) is a province in the central region of Thailand. Many historical structures, artifacts, and prehistoric settlements have been discovered.

History[change | change source]

Known as Lavo during much of its history, Lopburi probably dates to prehistoric times.[1] The name Lavo originated in the Dvaravati period (6th–11th century CE). The Khmer Empirewould build many impressive temples in the city during its rule.

In 1856, King Mongkut of the Chakri dynasty ordered King Narai's palace to be renovated. The city finally regained its importance in 1938, when Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram chose Lopburi to be the largest military base in Thailand.

Geography[change | change source]

Lopburi is on the east side of the Chao Phraya River valley. It is between the Lopburi River and Pa Sak Rivers. Most of the land is mixed plains and hills.

Education[change | change source]

Tourism[change | change source]

Prang Sam Yot, a symbol of Lopburi
The famous monkeys of Lopburi
Lopburi sunflower field

Sights[change | change source]

  • Wat Sao Thong Thong (วัดเสาธงทอง) The temple's shrine hall is believed to have originally been constructed as a religious site for another religion.[2]
  • King Narai National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติสมเด็จพระนารายณ์) was established in 1923.[3]
  • Wichayen House (บ้านหลวงรับราชทูต หรือ บ้านหลวงวิชาเยนทร์) Christian church.
  • Phra Prang Sam Yot (พระปรางค์สามยอด) Buddhist temple.[4]
  • Lop Buri Zoo (สวนสัตว์ลพบุรี)[5]
  • Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ
  • Phra Narai Ratchaniwet (พระนารายณ์ราชนิเวศน์) King Narai built this palace in 1666 as a royal residence in Lopburi.[6]

Structures built during the reign of King Rama IV include: Phiman Mongkut Pavilion (หมู่พระที่นั่งพิมานมงกุฎ) was constructed at the command of King Rama IV in 1862 as his private residence when he came to renovate Lopburi.

Phra Prathiap Buildings (หมู่ตึกพระประเทียบ) Composed of two single storey buildings and a group of eight two-storey brick buildings, constructed for being residential quarters for court officials who attended King Rama V when he visited Lopburi.

Thim Dap or Royal Guards Residence (ทิมดาบ หรือที่พักของทหารรักษาการณ์) Passing through the entrance to the middle court, the buildings on both sides of the lawn were the barracks of the royal guards of the palace.

Wat San Paulo (วัดสันเปาโล) A Jesuit church, constructed in the reign of King Narai. At present, only a side of the wall and an observatory remain.

Wat Chi Pa Sitaram (วัดชีป่าสิตาราม) Within the compound of the temple is a bell-shaped chedi representing Ayutthaya art.

Kraison Siharat Hall (พระที่นั่งไกรสรสีหราช) This hall is another residence of King Narai.

Wat Yang Na Rangsi and Lop Buri Boat Museum (วัดยาง ณ รังสี และพิพิธภัณฑ์เรือพื้นบ้าน) Lopburi Boat Museum is at the temple sermon hall, constructed in 1927 on the bank of the Lopburi River. The hall was granted an award for Best Architectural Preservation in 1993. It reflects the rural Thai temple hall's style in central Thailand.

Tha Khae Scripture Hall (หอไตรวัดท่าแค) Dharma Scripture hall of the "Lao Lom" community. Normally, a scripture hall is constructed on high columns in a pond. However, the one at this temple is a wooden house with a cruciform plan located on high columns.

Ang Sap Lek (อ่างซับเหล็ก) A natural ancient reservoir. In 1977, Lopburi improved Ang Sap Lek to be a natural tourist attraction by building roads around the reservoir, planting trees, as well as, erecting a summer relaxation pavilion.

Wat Lai (วัดไลย์) There are remaining ancient stucco reliefs on the Jakata stories and the Buddha's life. Maitreya Bodhisattva's image is another object that has been highly respected by the people from the past. Besides, there are other objects such as an old wihan with slit windows, which is the architecture reflecting the early Ayutthaya style.

Khao Samo Khon (เขาสมอคอน) A mountain range which has been important historically. There are four important temples on this mountain range: Wat Bandai Sam Saen, Wat Tham Tako Phutthasopha, Wat Tham Chang Phueak, and Wat Khao Samo Khon.

Amphoe Ban Mi (อำเภอบ้านหมี่) Famous for Mudmi silk. Most of the locals are Thai Phuan who migrated from Laos around 130 years ago. They named their new settlement as "Ban Mi" after their former Laotian village.

Wat Thammikaram or Wat Khangkhao (วัดธรรมิการาม หรือ วัดค้างคาว) Mural paintings at the four sides of the ubosot depict the life of Buddha. The paintings incorporate Western techniques such as the shading of trees.

Wat Thong Khung Tha Lao (วัดท้องคุ้งท่าเลา) The entrance of the temple is in the shape of Hanuman with its mouth wide open, decorated with glass in distinctive colours.

Wat Nong Tao (Wat Phanit Thammikaram) (วัดหนองเต่า หรือ วัดพาณิชธรรมมิการาม) The ubosot on the back of a turtle, "tao", considered the symbol of the sub-district.

Wat Khao Wongkot (วัดเขาวงกต) There is a bat cave on the shoulder of the mountain above the ubosot. It is the largest bat cave in Lopburi, inside which live millions of bats. The bats' droppings generate an income for the wat of more than ten thousand baht a year.

Khao Wong Phrachan (เขาวงพระจันทร์) At the summit of Khao Wong Phrachan visitors can see the panoramic scenery below. Khao Wong Phrachan is the highest mountain in Lopburi.

Sunflower fields (ทุ่งทานตะวัน) Lopburi is the leading sunflower province. Some 200,000–300,000 rai are planted with sunflowers. They are usually in full bloom from November–January. Sunflower fields are scattered throughout Mueang District, Phatthana Nikhom District, and Chai Badan District.

Wat Phrom Rangsi (วัดพรหมรังษี) This temple has an ubosot with four porches. The bell-shape chedi is similar to the Phra Borommathat, a chedi containing a Buddha relic, in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Pa Sak Jolasid Dam (เขื่อนป่าสักชลสิทธิ์) It is the longest clay-core dam in Thailand. The Pa Sak River Basin Museum presents information about nature and culture.

Ban Pong Manao Site Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์เปิดบ้านโป่งมะนาว) A pre-historic archaeological site dating from around 2,500–3,000 years ago or the late-Ban Chiang Period. Thirteen ancient human skeletons were found here.

Khao Somphot Non-hunting Area (เขตห้ามล่าสัตว์ป่าเขาสมโภชน์) A high and steep limestone mountain range stretching along the southwestern direction, full of caves and cliffs. There are two plains in the valley and a plateau, with many spots of water seepage around the area, making it a significant watershed.

Sap Langka Wildlife Sanctuary (เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าซับลังกา) The significance of the area is that it is the source of the Lam Sonthi River, as well as, a source of food for wildlife. At present, there are still goat antelopes which are protected animals living in the sanctuary.

Special Warfare Command (หน่วยบัญชาการสงครามพิเศษ) (Mueang District) Demonstrations of how to survive in the forest, a 34-foot tower jump, parachute from a balloon, shooting, cliff climbing, and a military jungle tour. An Army Special Forces Museum displays photos, equipment, background, evolution and pictures of various activities of the special forces.

Local products[change | change source]

  • Metal Casting (Brass) (การหล่อโลหะ (ทองเหลือง)) Casts of brass Buddha images in various shapes and replicas of antiques.
  • Khao Phra Ngam Diamond (เพชรเขาพระงาม) The gemstone of Lopburi.
  • Mudmi Fabric (หมู่บ้านทอผ้ามัดหมี่) tie-dyed fabric woven by people.
  • Som fak (ส้มฟัก) Preserved fish with fish, salt, cooked rice, and pickled garlic
  • Pla som (ปลาส้ม) A preserved fish
  • Coconut jelly (วุ้นน้ำมะพร้าว) A well-known souvenir of Lopburi, produced as a dessert to be eaten with ice. The jelly is produced by fermenting coconut juice. In the fermentation process, white fungi float on the surface and gradually coalesce into a mushroom-like jelly, which will enlarge due to its fermentation. This jelly is called "coconut juice jelly mushroom" or "coconut jelly". The jelly is mixed with various flavours of syrup and bottled.
  • Sandstone sculpture (หมู่บ้านแกะสลักหินทราย) Garden decor, Buddha images, stone boundary markers, and consecration marking balls for temples.
  • Corn husks (ผลิตภัณฑ์จากเปลือกข้าวโพด) Produced in Phatthana Nikhom District, where a large amount of corn is planted. After the harvest, the corn husks will be dried in the sun, dyed, and fashioned into handicrafts such as flowers, dolls, key chains.

Culture[change | change source]

Festivals[change | change source]

  • King Narai Festival (งานแผ่นดินสมเด็จพระนารายณ์มหาราช) Organised in February every year. To honor the good actions of King Narai.[7]
  • Monkey Buffet Festival (งานเลี้ยงโต๊ะจีนลิง) On Sunday during the last week of November, where a large number of monkeys stay.
  • Sunflower Festival (งานทุ่งทานตะวัน) Takes place around December every year as it is when sunflowers are in full bloom.[8]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Lopburi". Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  2. "Wat Sao Thong Thong". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  3. "King Narai National Museum". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  4. "Phra Prang Sam Yot". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  5. "Lopburi Zoo". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  6. "Phra Narai Ratchaniwet". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  7. "King Narai Festival". Festivals in Thailand. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  8. "Sunflower Festival". Festivals in Thailand. Retrieved 21 June 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]