Sunday, 1 December 2013

Lop Buri - Monkey City

Having been in Thailand for a while now and having not seen any monkeys yet, I asked Fai if she would take me to Lop Buri, a town notorious for them roaming the streets. Although she's not the greatest fan of them she said she was happy to drive the hour or so journey so I could see them. Upon arrival to the main center you could immediately spot them hanging off power lines and just wondering the street. The only time I'd seen this kind of thing was at Longleat Safari Park in England when I was much younger. This was kind of like that minus the safari park, these were monkeys were free to do whatever they want.

After parking up we headed to the shop as I wanted to feed them something. I picked up a bag of crisps and put them down on the table outside so I could put my wallet back in my bag, within seconds though, out of nowhere a monkey jumps up and snatches them, it was funny to watch as he sat down, opened them up just like a human, and started eating them the same. The shop keeper came out with a bamboo stick to chase it off, I guess for the people that live in the town they can only be nothing more than a nuisance. As the first bag was snatched I stupidly decided to buy another one thinking "I'll keep hold of it this time". Oh how wrong I was. As I was walking down the street a few clocked onto what I was holding so I hid them under my t-shirt, this proved to be futile though as one jumped up on me and had those away too. I decided that I wasnt going to be able to feed them civilly so I scrapped that idea and we headed over to the "monkey temple" where the vast majority of them hang out.

There is supposed to be an admission charge of 150 baht for farang but as I with Fai and her friend Biw they explained I was a teacher and the fee was wavered. At the temple there were dozens of monkeys of all sizes, the bigger ones were somewhat intimidating but the baby ones were so cute. They pretty much ignore you (I guess because I didnt have any food) but after crouching down by some of the small ones a couple jumped up onto my back trying to open my pockets up and pinch the bracelets on my arm the cheecky monkeys (no pun intended) the keeper (if thats what he's called) warned me to be carefull they dont bite and told me to keep a tight grasp on my camera which I'd already figured. I also didnt want rabies so was being extra vigilant with the little buggers. After playing with the monkeys outside we went into the old temple, it was only after Fai pointed it out to me did I see all the bats hanging from the low roof, it was pretty freaky, I wanted to spook the girls but resisted the temptation to clap loudly as the thought of any of them moving scared the hell outa me let alone them. Just before leaving I had a some water left in my bottle which I wanted to give to the monkeys, I had one jump up on my knee and it was so cool to feed it, Fai filmed it and at the end of it another monkey out of the blue jumps up on her to snatch the camera, she kept it safe though, it was all pretty crazy.

After the monkey visit we headed to Pasak Dam, the largest resoviour in Central Thailand, here we fed hundreds of fish scrambling around in the water with a couple dozen large soft bagettes, it was great was fun. The dam is here to not only generate power but to prevent flooding at the place I am currently living, Ayutthaya.

Tomorrow I head to Chantaburi on the border of Cambodia to work another three day camp, since my last post I've worked a three day camp in Ayutthaya with kids that had travelled to us from Surin province. This camp was much diffrent as the hours were considerably longer, rather than the usual 8.30 till 4 this was 8.30 till 4 and then 7 till 9. What was great about this camp though is that we went on field trips to the temples and floating market which made it all that much more fun, but at the same time all that more exhausting. This next camp is the same hours but ive caught up on some sleep now and im ready to rock and roll.

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