Lopburi Monkey Festival

14 Dec

Of all the random cultural things we have done in the name of adventure, attending the Lopburi Monkey Festival might top the list. Lopburi is a small town a few hours north of Bangkok with two main claims to fame: some ancient architectural ruins and a bazillion monkeys. The monkeys are everywhere – hanging from the temples, dangling from the power lines, and sneaking into 7-11. The decision to attend the festival went something like this: What are you doing this random weekend in November? Want to come to a monkey festival? Sure, let’s invite others. Hey, want to come to a monkey festival? Yea, why not! Can I invite so and so? Of course! Until a few days beforehand when eight of us realized we had committed to this plan without any concrete idea as to what goes on at a monkey festival, or if attendance was a good idea. Adventure!

IMG_4211The backstory to the monkey festival involves a hotelier by the name of Yongyuth Kitwatananusont (yes, you needed to know that because I wanted to type it). He opened several businesses and used the ubiquitous macaque monkeys as his logo. The hotels were successful, so he decided to honor the monkeys by throwing them a feast. We had the pleasure of attending the 26th annual installment of this event. The monkey festival consists of ornately prepared food, mostly fresh fruit and Thai jelly desserts, arranged lovingly on tables along with water and soda bottles that have thoughtfully been pre-opened (although as we saw firsthand, the monkeys have mastered this skill on their own). The tables are arranged around the main temple in town, Phra Prang Sam Yot, amid much fanfare and then the monkeys emerge to gorge themselves and be photographed by thousands of tourists. I’m honestly not sure what was more entertaining to watch, the monkeys feasting or the tourists ogling the monkeys feasting. Either way, many photos were taken. As an amusing side note, Zach decided that a selfie stick was a must-have item. He proceeded to duct tape his Go Pro to the end, and antagonize every monkey he could find which resulted in some fun videos.

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Nom nom nom

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Hey, did you take a video of me?

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On our way back to Bangkok, we made a brief stop at the famous sunflower
fields of Lopburi. The province is known for its sunflowers and sunflower related products: roasted seeds, honey, oil, etc. Many Thais pack picnics and spend the day by the fields. Looking back I wish we had done the same. The fields were gorgeous, big yellow flowers against the bright blue sky, stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. We snapped some pics and nibbled a few seeds, but for future reference this would have made a great day outing from BKK.

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One Response to “Lopburi Monkey Festival”

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  1. In Search of Sunflowers | The Jacksons Take Thailand - December 13, 2015

    […] – frequent readers may recall last November’s outing to the city and its annual Monkey Festival. The other ladies and I had no interest in the monkeys; instead, we headed into the middle of […]

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