Thailand Monkey Business
Have you ever been mugged by a monkey? I have. In Lop Buri, Thailand monkeys roam the temple and streets causing mischief. I was excited to see the monkeys! We took a two hour bus ride from Bangkok to Lop Buri to get there. Getting off at the bus stop, we tried asking the locals where the monkeys were. They didn’t speak any English and we had no idea where to go so I made a monkey sound while gesturing like a cave man. It worked! She immediately knew what I was trying to say and pointed us in the right direction.
“We tipped the nice stranger and realize that was our first time hitchhiking.”
After 15 minutes of walking in the heat we thought how nice it would be to have a car. It was as if someone read our thoughts… A local on a two person motorbike stopped and gestured for us to get on the back of his bike. We wouldn’t do this in the states, but for some reason hitchhiking with him sounded like a great idea. I try to tell him where we’re going by making another embarrassing monkey sound and he nods his head; he understands where we want to go. David and I pile onto his little motorbike. As it moves we can feel it wobble. David whispers into my ear, “Don’t move, I feel like we could tip this thing”. My muscles cramped as I tried not to move. Ten minutes later we arrive at the monkey temple! We tipped the nice stranger and realize that was our first time hitchhiking.
Monkeys are EVERYWHERE. As we walk down one street there are monkeys on the sidewalk, scaling the walls, and socializing on parked cars. I was so excited to feed them. I pulled out my sweet bread I bought earlier on the bus ride. The little guy I offered it to quickly grabbed it from my hand and ate it right where he sat. I love it. We continue to walk and I notice the monkeys are watching us, I think they want my food. Then I feel something heavy jump on me, I scream! Then I laugh when I see a monkey running away with my bag of sweet bread… cheeky monkey.
I love feeding animals so we decided to walk to the local market to buy something we could feed the monkeys since I lost my ammo of food. On the way there we saw monkeys tearing apart the seat cushion of a parked motorcycle, pull off the rubber lining of a car that stopped at an intersection, and another chewing up a soccer ball. People warned us they will try to take stuff from you but I didn’t expect them to be so destructive.
We bought peanuts! I felt ready to play with more monkeys now. On our walk to the monkey temple I handed out little peanuts to my new monkey friends. They were not shy. Every peanut I offered, a monkey would quickly run up to me and take it from my hand with its own. So cute. I was having so much fun.
Then I got a little nervous. A medium sized monkey probably weighing about 15 pounds jumped on my back! Food is a powerful motivator for these guys so I was worried it would be aggressive with me. I tried to shrug him off. He responded by slapping my face with his little hand! What a brat.
From then on, there was always a monkey on my shoulder. When one would jump off, I would hand out a peanut to a small or medium sized monkey (the big ones intimidated me) and without hesitation they would climb up my bag and onto my shoulder. They were so calm about it. One tagged along on my shoulder for ahwile, he seemed to enjoy the ride so I handed him peanuts every so often. Aww… I want to go back. ♦