Phra Narai Ratchaniwet

Top choice in Lopburi

Plan to spend a few hours at this former royal palace, now the Somdet Phra Narai National Museum, which houses excellent displays of local history. Built from 1665 with help from French and Italian engineers, the palace was abandoned after King Narai’s death, but reclaimed by King Rama IV (r 1851–68), and the main displays, including prehistoric jewellery and Khmer-era statues, are in his residence. Many of his personal belongings are displayed on the 3rd floor.

Next door are displays in memory of King Narai; out back are the Phra Pratiap Buildings (used primarily by queens, consorts and other women who travelled with the king), used for temporary exhibitions and storage.

After seeing the museum displays, take some time to roam the manicured palace grounds full of trees and ruins, including King Narai’s elephant stables and a banquet room for receiving foreign visitors.

Enter through Pratu Phayakkha gate on Th Sorasak.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lopburi attractions

1. Prang Khaek

0.14 MILES

The oldest monument in Lopburi, this 10th-century trio of brick towers was built by the Khmer, probably for the Hindu god Shiva. King Narai had it rebuilt…

2. Wat Sao Tong Thong

0.17 MILES

North of the palace, this working temple site is remarkable for its unusual wí·hăhn (assembly hall) with Gothic-style windows and split roof. King Narai…

3. Wat Indra

0.19 MILES

Just a small, almost totally ruined wí·hăhn (assembly hall).

4. Ban Wichayen

0.21 MILES

This compound, built in European style by King Narai, served as the residence of foreign ambassadors. It got its present name from the mistaken belief…

5. Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat

0.23 MILES

Although almost every building at this large temple complex across from the train station dates from the Ayuthaya era; the 31m-tall prang (Khmer-style…

6. Prang Sam Yot

0.23 MILES

As well known for its resident monkeys as its looming towers, this is Lopburi's most famous attraction. The three linked towers were built from laterite…

7. Wat Puen

0.24 MILES

Wat Puen may have been built in the time or King Narai and its name may refer to the arrow of Rama. There's little left other than the four walls of a wí…

8. San Phra Kan

0.26 MILES

Lopburi's holiest place sits in the old town's roundabout. It has a modern (1951) shrine in front of a Khmer-era laterite base from a toppled prang (Khmer…