We got the train to Lopburi from Ayutthaya. It was very reasonable and easy to find our way! When we arrived we had pre booked to stay at ‘Lopburi Palm Resort’ which very nice and fairly new! We got off the train and couldn’t see any onward transport. The accommodation was slightly out-of-town so we couldn’t walk. Outside the station was two pedal tuk-tuk’s. Thinking it would only be about 5/10 minute ride we both got into one each due to our back packs and after a while realised that the ride was about 30 minutes! Although we felt very guilty so of course we tipped them, but at least they got a good leg workout from it.
We arrived at ‘Lopburi Palm Resort’. The newly renovated bungalows you stay in were great! For £16 Per night with breakfast included, it was a bargain! Realising we were out the way slightly we asked the accommodation if they rented scooters. Luckily they did, so we ended up renting our first scooter. Leila was a bit nervous due to the horror stories you hear with scooters but Harry promised to take it slow and steady!
Our first stop on the scooter was to ‘Phra Prang Sam Yod’ Temple. This is what Lopburi is famous for. You arrive at the temple and it has been taken over by monkeys. You can buy food from the locals outside the temple, but be warned you must hide it as the monkeys aren’t stupid! When you walk through the gate there is a guard that tells you to remove any loose jewellery and to the left there’s a tiny ticket office. Entry is 50 Bhat. We ended up spending quite a lot of time here enjoying the monkeys, they come and eat the food from your hands, but be careful because if you hold it high they will just climb on you to get it! Most of them are very gentle and there is the guard that helps you out if you get into trouble (monkey on your head ect!) but you must remember they are still wild and all they want is food! Harry had one grab the food from his pocket while he was distracted taking photo’s!
On the way out Leila felt a tug on her bag and as she turned around she had noticed the monkey had stolen her lipsil which was attached to a key ring hanging from her bag and then even started to apply it! She had totally forgot it was dangling! It just shows how cheeky they are! They will just go for anything they can find! We walked back to our scooter and a monkey had taken a liking to it and decided that he/she wanted to sit on it for a while. Not wanting to disturb it (as they can be quite viscous) we just waited and after 5 minutes he finally got down!
That evening we went for dinner at ‘Ma Tini Restaurant’ Where Leila had a Thai green curry, the taste was amazing but it was so spicy! The waiter even asked if Leila would like it spicy or not spicy and it was definitely the spiciest curry she has had since arriving in Thailand. Both of us believe there could have been a slight mis-understanding. We had a quick walk around the town and then back to the accommodation to relax and sleep.
The next morning we decided to ride the bike to the zoo and then to the reservoir. The zoo was only a 5 minute ride away and it was really good. Going to a Thai zoo we didn’t really know what to expect. Most of the animals cages were spacious and seemed well looked after. You could buy food to feed the animals but the most amazing part was the chimpanzees.
While walking past we heard a whistling and to our left was 3 chimpanzees. One had a stick and they seemed to be calling us over. After trying his hardest to get Leila’s sunglasses with his stick and then our go pro we showed him the only thing he could have was a carrot. With this he guided us to a hole in the cage which he could put his arm through so he could take the carrot from our hand. While taking the carrot he held Leila’s hand for ages and just looked at her and kept feeling the graze on her hand to check it was okay. It was like a real life Tarzan moment! It made us both question if zoo’s are right for these creatures who have so much emotion and intelligence. We spent a while with them and during this time, Thai tourists came over too and we realised the chimpanzee could understand Thai as they were replying with sign language. It was incredible! We had a short walk around the zoo afterwards and then it was back on the scooter to ride to the ‘Sap Lek Reservoir’.
The reservoir was about a 45 minute ride but the roads were smooth and scenic. When we arrived we realised there was no one but locals but we got stuck in and ordered our food hoping it was what we wanted! Then we sat in a little bamboo hut on the reservoir enjoying the views. Our food arrived and it was tasty! Halfway through eating a Thai man appeared off his scooter asking us for 50 Bhat, confused and without him being able to speak English and us unable to speak Thai, we asked the lady from the restaurant who came out to explain we have to pay to eat in the bamboo huts! Realising it wasn’t a scam we paid up and he was on his way. We carried on enjoying the view and the local boy playing the guitar next to us, then we jumped back on the scooter back into town.
That evening we explored the night market as we had planned to leave the next morning by train to Phitsanulok, then hopefully Sukhothai. Once up for breakfast and asking the staff at our accommodation if they could arrange a taxi to the station one of them kindly took us the station free of charge!
When arriving at the station we realised there was only 2 trains a day to Phitsanulok and we had just missed one! Being told the next once wasn’t due for another 4 hours, it was quite frustrating but we just bought our tickets, left our backpacks in the storage room and walked around town. We arrived back at the station with 30 minutes to wait and heard an announcement that our train was delayed by another hour! Fed up of waiting we went to the ticket office as earlier we were offered a faster train ticket. Although it was roughly 800 baht more we asked if we could upgrade but she explained this train was delayed too. So we just had to wait! After waiting for over an hour, our train finally arrived and we boarded.
Tip: Make sure to check train times the night before as there may not be as many as you think!