Introducing Lopburi Province
Lopburi Province may not be as popular with visitors to Thailand as other areas of the country, but its capital (Lopburi) is well worth a look-see for its interesting mix of traditional culture and friendly small-town life. The monkeys guarding the town's ancient ruins are renown for their adorably cheeky ways - with the occasional antisocial exception. Like Thailand’s legions of stray dogs, Lopburi’s monkey population survives in part due to Buddhist discouragement of killing animals. Moreover, many locals say that Lopburi’s monkeys are the 'children' of the Hindu god Kala and that to harm one would bring on misfortune. For the most part, however, residents seem to agree that the monkeys’ delinquent behaviour is outweighed by the tourist dollars that they bring in.
While monkeys frolicking on stone temples make for great photo opportunities, visitors to Lopburi should keep in mind that these are wild animals whose natural fear of humans has diminished over time. Monkeys have been known to attack people, especially would-be photographers who use food to lure monkeys within the range of their camera lenses.