Thailand Monkey Temple

Monkeys of LopburiI had never heard of the Monkey Temple (Phra Prang Sam Yot) in Lopburi, Thailand until just before I visited and I didn’t really expect to find something so unusual in this otherwise seemingly ordinary Thai town. The temple itself is located right in the center of what apparently once was a thriving downtown area that is now largely abandoned and given over to monkeys (more accurately crab-eating macaques). Just finding a parking place was a challenge. Not because of crowds, there aren’t any, but because of gangs of monkeys roaming the streets.

Image of monkeys playing on the temple walls in Lopburi, ThailandFrom the outside the temple looks quite ordinary, but out of place, because you don’t see a lot of Khmer style temples in Thailand, but it is what is inside that truly makes the place unique. There are monkeys everywhere! Aggressive monkeys. Monkeys that want to climb on you and reach into your pockets. Monkeys that scramble between your legs and swing on your camera strap. They are cute and funny but at the same time the numbers can be a little overwhelming.

Monkeys Climbing on Jonathan LookIt is definitely worth visiting the Monkey Temple; even worth a special trip if it is the right season and you combine a mini-adventure with a visit to the sunflowers. Just beware. You will leave with monkey paw prints on your clothes and these little buggars would be happy to run off with anything you have that they might like to play with. We got away unscathed but the car wasn’t so lucky: There were paw prints everywhere and the rubberized antenna has some permanent chew marks.

Monkey resting at Phra Prang Sam Yot near Lopburi, ThailandMonkeys Playing at Phra Prang Sam Yot near Lopburi, ThailandBaby Monkey staring at Camera in the Monkey Temple

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn't intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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