Everything You Need To Know About The Lopburi Monkey Festival

Macaque Monkey
Macaque Monkey | © Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr
Kelly Iverson

Lopburi is one of the oldest cities in Thailand. It is home to some spectacular ruins and top attractions, including King Narai’s Lopburi Palace and Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, a historic temple. Visiting Lopburi is often left off many traveler’s itineraries, being that it is off the usual trail of cities that lure tourists to Thailand in the first place. This might change, however, when tourists hear about one of Thailand’s biggest festivals being held in Lopburi: the Monkey Festival. Here, everything you need to know about the Lopburi Monkey Festival.

What Is It?

Visitors of Lopburi may feel like they have stepped right into the filming of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. While James Franco might not be visiting Lopburi anytime soon, there are plenty of monkeys and apes to make up for his absence in this part of the country.

Hanging Out in Lopburi

During the 11th century, the Khmers took over Lopburi. Many significant buildings were constructed during this time. In the 17th century, however, the Khmer Empire fell and King Narai of Ayutthaya rejuvenated the city. The festival takes place at old Khmer ruins. Monkeys are a common sight all over the city of Lopburi, and many will gather for the feast offered to them during this festival.

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat

The most important guests of the evening are, of course, the long-tailed macaques. They have certainly become members of the city in their own way and have intermixed with locals in everyday life. It is not uncommon to see these mischievous creatures roaming the streets and intermixing with Thais and foreigners alike, though not many foreigners call the city of Lopburi home.

Bad Monkey

In addition to one too many monkeys, the festival also has live performances and dances, with monkeys participating throughout. Long tables are filled with food too, all offered to the monkeys. This apparently bring people good luck, which is most likely why they are treated with such high respect in the city. Some of the food included in the feasts includes sticky rice, fruit, and salad. Just hope you do not get caught in the crossfire of a monkey food fight, which is a common occurrence at this festival.


The Lopburi Monkey Festival, also known as the Monkey Banquet, is not necessarily the best attraction for all tourists of Thailand to attend. Monkeys can be aggressive, and they have been known to steal purses, bags, and whatever else they can get their paws on. The town is overrun and home to many monkeys and apes, and it will be difficult to escape them once visitors arrive in Lopburi … you’ve been warned.

The Monkey Town (Lopburi)

Where Is It?

The provincial capital of Lopburi is located in central Thailand. It is about 155 kilometers north of Bangkok, and it takes about three hours to drive there from the city.

The Monkey Town (Lopburi)

When Is It?

The exact date of the monkey festival has yet to be determined. It usually occurs on the last Sunday of November.


How To Get There

Visitors can get to Lopburi by either bus or train. Many prefer taking the railway to get to this historic city, as the journey provides for some pretty stunning scenery along the way. By train, the journey to Lopburi takes about two hours. The train station is found at Hua Lamphong Railway Station, otherwise known as the Bangkok Train Station. Trains leave about every hour. Tickets are fairly affordable, though the price does differ depending on the train and the seat visitors get. Some trains are faster than others, as well.


Visitors of the festival can also get to Lopburi by bus from the northern bus terminal in Bangkok, otherwise known at Mochit 2. You can take the BTS Skytrain to station Mochit and get a short taxi or motorbike taxi from there.
By Kelly Iverson

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article