Friday, February 22, 2008

Criminals on the lose in Lopburi

If you are planning a trip to Thailand I would recommend visiting Lopburi but keep your eyes open there are thieves everywhere you go. I was just walking down the street minding my own business when a thief tried to steal a bag right out of my hand in the middle of the day. I pulled the bag away just in time and made a move like I was going to kick the thief and he walked away. It seems the problem is so out of hand the local police just laughed at me when I tried to file a report even with having a photo of the criminal to ID him. If you visit Lopburi be on your guard for this criminal.



On the other hand you could just be smarter than me and not walk down the street eating an egg roll type of thing with a plastic bag with 5 more egg roll things in your hand. The monkey would have got away with it if I had not noticed someone walking in the other direction staring at me or at least I thought they were staring at me. It occurred to me these were westerners so it was unusual and I looked around and noticed the monkey coming at me from behind just in time to move the bag away. He jumped to snatch the bag and that when I did the kicking motion and he moved away. Afterwards I though I should have just doped the egg rolls but I did not really want to reward this criminal type of activity.

I enjoyed the few hour train ride from Ayuthaya to Lopburi even though it was only a 3rd class train so no AC and really crowed for the first 40 minutes of the ride. Traveling with locals just always seems more interesting. I also enjoyed catching the local ferry across the river in Ayuthaya to reach the train station. Getting on and off boats throughout this trip has always been interesting. I am never sure that the boarding planks are going to support my weight and it is even worse when I have the extra 40 pounds of my bags.

Lopburi was a secondary capital to Ayuthaya in the 17th century but was once a part of the Angkor empire and Prang Sam Yot looks like it could be one of the smaller temples around Siem Reap. The big difference about Prang Sam Yot and the temples around Siem Reap is that Sam Yot is overrun by monkeys.




I visited a number of things in Lopburi but Sam Yot was the only place with so many monkeys. When I bought a ticket I was given a stick to keep the monkeys away and also a bag of sunflower seeds to feed the monkeys. Since I had encountered the thief when I was on my way to Sam Yot I ended up throwing the sunflower seeds sort of at the monkeys rather than feeding them and keeping my stick always ready. I don't think I really like monkeys.

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