Historical travel guide to the ruins and archaeological sites of ancient Lopburi, famous for the monkey temple and one of the oldest cities in Thailand.
The Story of Ancient Lopburi
It’s a modern town that has been known by many names by many people throughout its long history. Lavo. Lavapuri. Locach. Lo-ho. And most recently officially named Lopburi by the Thai government. All these are clearly interrelated and appear in many significant chronicles throughout history, pointing out the significance that this small town once had.
The ruins of Lopburi are unique from most ancient sites that I had visited up to this point. The modern town has been built up literally on top of and around the existing ruins. While this brings a vast ease of accessibility and an interesting character seeing several-hundred year-old ruins randomly popping out from a modern street, it also takes away from some of the remote and intriguing aura that more removed ruins have. It also begs the inevitable question of what was destroyed and built over, leaving only these ruins standing.
The easiest answer to this is the Dvaravati are what was built over. Lopburi was the first encounter I had with the legacy of the Dvaravati (pronounced twar-a-wat-ee) culture. Historically, they’re the first step in what created modern Thai culture. [Click here to read more…]
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