Monkey Temple

About 3 hours from Bangkok sits a typical Thai town, named Lopburi.  Typical except for one very unique thing, it is home to hundreds of city-dwelling macaque monkeys.  The majority of monkeys live in the ruined Wat of San Phra Kan, known to many as simply Monkey Temple.  As you near the temple it is not uncommon to spot a monkey rummaging through garbage, climbing on cars, playing around on telephone wires, or eating bags chips they found or stole on the streets while perched safely up on a restaurant sign. 

The city feeds the monkeys twice daily to ensure they don’t become too aggressive, but regardless of hunger level they still want to eat everything.  You are not permitted to bring food into the temple grounds, lest you want to be mauled. You can, however, purchase food on the grounds that is packaged in plastic containers- looking similar to jello- and then further wrapped in a plastic bag to minimize the smell.  Tourists are to bring the bag of food directly inside the Wat, which they keep closed off so monkeys cannot enter, and then feed the monkeys through the gates.  If you have no food you are free to walk around the grounds with the monkeys.  We bought one bag.  Vince was carrying it.  He got maybe 15 feet before a monkey made a giant leap onto him, snatched the bag, and leapt away.  He opened the jello container without problem -so much for feeding the monkeys.


We spent hours watching the animals of Lopburi jump, play, pick, scratch, swing, eat, masturbate, fight, mate, and scream.  It was like being right in the middle of a zoo exhibit, a very interactive exhibit.  Even without food it was not long before the monkeys approached to make new ‘friends’.  They loved the button on my hat and Vince’s leg hair. I saw a monkey rip a handful of hair out of young lady’s head and pull molding off from a parked car.  One of our friends, Robbie, had a monkey on his back that he couldn’t shake off.  He had to spin around in circles until the little guy lost his grip and flew off looking like Superman.  Mostly though, if you don’t step too close to the actual temple they will just goof around with each other.  




Though the rest of the city remains much ado about nothing, if you like monkeys like I do, the temple and surrounding area definitely make this is a must-see spot if you visit Thailand. 









~ by The Piersas on July 21, 2008.

2 Responses to “Monkey Temple”

  1. Sounds like a couple of the parties we went to, huh Vince?

  2. Wow – this is so exciting to read about your adventures. I went to Minnesota for my annual adventure! It was great to see family – kind of reminds me of the monkeys!
    Keep having fun. I think this is such a great way to start a marriage. We think of you often and keep you in our prayers!
    Aundrea leaves for semester at sea in a month – so we need to get her set up on this blog thing too. Its so wonderful.
    Love and hugs, Eileen, Steve, Aundrea and Elliot

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