Lopburi – Laid-back City Taken Over by Crazy Monkeys
Have you watched the fantasy film “Jumanji”? When I first got off the minibus at Lopburi bus station, I felt as if I landed in the movie scene where crazy monkeys attacked everyone who got in their way. However, soon I realized that the animals were not that crazy and they actually fit urban scenery. Even though, they are quite a nuisance both for tourist and inhabitants, locals found their way to share the city with the monkeys. On top of that, cute animals are definitely the main reason for stopping in the laid-back town. Much more important one than the hundreds-year-old temple ruins.
I don’t know when and how exactly the macaques took over Lopburi and transformed town’s largest temple, the Phra Prang Sam Yot, into thier fortress. Monkeys in Thai culture are believed to bring luck and prosperity. Monkeys worship is Buddist old tradition, so locals have been reluctant to get rid of the annoying animals. Quite the contrary, they ran an annual festival to celebrate adorable monkey’s presence in the town. Every November, macaques are overindulged with fruit buffet that contains tons of fresh fruits. This is a big event held in the end of November. Definitely worth visiting while you’re around at that time.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to participate in the monkey festival. However, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the time with crazy macaques. I spent two hours or so playing and taking photos with them. They might unexpectedly jump onto you, so you should be careful. Monkeys that hang around the temple didn’t seem to be dangarous. Those who jumped onto me were young cubs who just wanted to play. However, be always aware that they can get agressive and bite. What’s more they grab everything that comes in their way, so keep your belongings hidden. I lost one earing to two crazy monekys that were hanging out on my backpack. They won’t hesitate to steal your passport or smartphone, so don’t take anything valuable out when you’re around monkeys.
Lopburi is only 3-4 hour away from Bangkok and also situated in between the capital and another popular Thailand’s destination – Chang Mai. It doesn’t take much time to explore it, so I really recommend making a stop in this cool and not-so-touristy town. At least for a couple of hours.
How do you like the monkeys? Leave a comment!