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Bangkok Travelbug Feb 2022 Scenic Beauty in Lopburi
February 09, 2022
Wicharn Sunflower Field
It was November when we visited Lopburi; the start of the sunflower season. It would be a shame to miss out on these beautiful flowers even though I've viewed them a couple of times before. So, we turned into route 3017 at the Nikom Sang Ton Eng junction to look for these flowers.
But it was so different from my first visit here in 2009. Back then the sunflower fields could be seen from the main road. It took just a short walk to get to the fields. This time round, the buildings were right up to the main road. We had to ask our way to the sunflower fields.
The staff at a gas station kindly directed us to this field; Wicharn Sunflower Field. After a short drive, we arrived at the sunflower field.
The Wicharn Sunflower Field
Unlike in the past when there was no entrance fee, this field had an entrance fee. There was also a small market to walk through to get to the entrance.
At the market we bought some packets of sunflower seeds which provided a crunchy and aromatic snack.
Coconut flavoured crunchy sunflower seeds
When we entered the field, the sunflowers were as glorious as ever.
Among the blooms
I've always had a fascination with sunflowers since I first came to live in Thailand. That feeling is just as strong today.
For more on these sunflower fields, please see Sunflowers of Lopburi
Khao Phraya Doenthong
Our next stop was Khao Phraya Doenthong, a viewing point up on a mountain. From here we had a panoramic view of the Pasak Chonlasit Dam, the catchment area and beyond.
It's not far from the sunflower field but the going was slow as we were driving uphill.
The way up
The view was breath-taking at the top. It was like having the whole north-eastern sector of Lopburi right at our feet us, a wonderful experience. Initially it was very cloudy and misty in the distance. We couldn't get a clear of the reservoir.
View from the top
Later in the morning when the sun was stronger, the view cleared.
Pasak Jolasid Reservoir and beyond
A memorable sight
Pasak Chonlasit Dam
The Pasak Chonlasid Dam was opened on 25 Nov 1999. With a length of 4.86 km, it's the longest dam in Thailand. It has a rain water catchment area 14,520 sq km and a reservoir capacity of 785 cu m.
Entrance to the Pasak Jolasid Reservoir and area
This catchment area provides irrigation and fishing areas to Lopburi and neighbouring Saraburi. Besides irrigation, the dam also generates hydroelectricity.
Placid waters of the Pasak Jolasid Reservoir
The popular monkey mascot of Lopburi
The Pasak Chonlasit Dam area is a popular picnic location for the locals.
Khao Somphot Wildlife Sanctuary
Next, we drove on to the Khao Somphot Wildlife Sanctuary. Even when we were on the mountain, we weren't quite sure where the sanctuary was. So, we stopped at a building to ask the way.
We were in luck, the building turned out to be the ranger station. We asked the ranger where the wildlife sanctuary was and he replied that it's all around us.
Khao Sompot Wildlife Sanctuary
We took a walk around the grounds of the ranger station. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any of the other inhabitants.
Area around the Ranger Station
Wat Khao Somphot
Wat Khao Somphot is actually on the other side of the mountain. But there's no road from where we were to the temple. We had to drive all the way down and come up to the temple by another route.
Way up to Wat Khao Somphot
There were two monks at the entrance to the temple who tested our temperatures before allowing us into the temple grounds. We were told to stay in our cars while we were in the temple grounds.
When we got in, we understood why, the whole place was overrun with monkeys, a feature of Lopburi. What's more, it was feeding time and the monkeys were out in full force.
Monkeys, monkeys everywhere
The monkeys were on the temple grounds, on the road and sometimes we had to drive off the road to avoid them. Finally, we got a glimpse of one of the temple buildings.
One of the temple buildings
On our way back, we took route 2256 across the reservoir just as the sun was setting.
Driving across the reservoir at sunset
It was twilight when we made our way back to route 3017, then back to the hotel for a nice dinner, a warm shower and a good sleep. This was a very satisfying trip, we managed to visit all the places we set out to see.
Goodbye Lopburi, till the next trip
See you next month! Stay safe and well.
Map to Scenic Beauty in Lopburi
If the map doesn’t appear, click on this link
How to get there
From Bangkok, take the Vibhavadi-Rangsit Highway past Don Muang Airport. At the northern end of the airport join Highway 1, proceed along Highway 1 till you get to the outskirts of Lopburi City. There's no need to go into the city.
Choose a hotel along Highway 1 near the Nikhom Sang Ton Eng junction or along route 3017, as this is the main road leading to all the sites to be visited. Have a nice trip.
Prasat Nakhon Luang, Ayutthaya
See you then. Have a prosperous year in 2022, the Year of the Tiger.
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