The brazen monkeys of Lopburi

Whilst we were on our way to the temple inauguration in central Thailand, described elsewhere, we passed through the town of Lopburi and saw an ancient temple complex by the road. The temple seemed to be occupied by monkeys, squatting there by the thousands. So I parked the car to get to see what such an amount of free-ranging monkeys do every day. My wife and relatives, who were with me in the car, were also intrigued and happy to stop and watch the monkeys for a while. I noticed immediately, when I'd parked the car, that they were not only in the temple complex, but also in the streets all around. I decided to stay with the vehicle as the bed of the pickup was loaded with luggage.

So I stood beside the car and began to photograph the temple and the monkeys.

They didn`t seemed to be shy, but at least not as brash as I'd expected.

There seemed to be several generations on the paths. In the top and bottom of the picture the monkeys look to be much older, with a few more gray hairs.

I was excited to be so close to them when I felt a few drops on my shoulder; they could not come from rain.

They'd taken me by surprise, the bastards! Sitting up in the power lines above my head was a large monkey having a pee - on ME! I quickly moved out of range and snapped off a couple more photos.

The human residents of this street all have their own methods to keep the pests from the apartments; an electric fence seems to do a great job.

I was still wary after the pee attack, but the monkeys seemed to have retreated. I suspected a ruse to lure me from the car, which was of course loaded with luggage and bags which must have made them curious. I wasn't to be moved, so I stayed beside the car and watched the brazen fiends.

First, he strolled casually around on the pavement,

a little later, he sat as if by chance on the neighbouring car,

then played around a bit as if he was uninterested,

until he finally abandoned all restraint and leapt into the back of my truck.

I imagine that had I not been there a few of our belongings would have been stolen. I couldn't photograph what happened next as I was busy trying to scare the blighter from the vehicle. I grabbed one of my fishing rods and rapped him on the head, at which point he snarled at me and quickly ran off. Shortly my wife and friends reappeared and we all got into the cab. I noticed the little thief returning with reinforcements to launch another attack, so full speed away from the parking place and - bye bye, you monkeys of Lopburi!

Not far from Udon Thani is Kumphawapi, and there visitors to the town can see monkeys up close. See our article on the monkeys of Kumphawapi in our
photo blog.

posted on: 09.09.2012 - last update on: 16.05.2016

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