A small town in central Thailand is famous for being the city of monkeys. Indeed, thousands of monkeys cohabit with humans. It is therefore an ideal destination for lovers of animals and especially monkeys, just like Jigokudani in Japan.
Lopburi is a city of about 60,000 inhabitants located in the center of the country (Province of Lopburi). It is also the name of the river on which the city was built, one of the branches of the Chao Phraya River about 140 km from the capital Bangkok.
At the entrance to the town of Lopburi, signs remind you that you are entering the ” Monkey zone “, the territory of the monkeys. They are estimated at more than 5000 individuals of the species Macaca fascicularis (crab-eating macaque). From the Phra Prang Sam Yod temple , the monkeys have long since exceeded the limits of their initial territory.
The monkeys are a tourist attraction for this small town which was an important administrative center under the Khmer Empire in the 10th century. Moreover, its architecture recalls one of the capitals of the Khmer Empire: the city of Angkor, currently in Cambodia.
Lopburi monkeys are not aggressive, and their contact is not to be feared. However, attracted by what shines, they remain clever little thieves and everyone must take care of their belongings, whether they are tourists or locals. The latter also seem tired of the clutter linked to these monkeys which are becoming more and more numerous. Indeed, their growing population is problematic, especially since each year, their number grows at the rate of 10% and no sterilization campaign is planned by the authorities.
Various businesses are closing their doors and the city’s old cinema has been invaded by monkeys, who have now taken up residence there. An atmosphere reminiscent of the planet of the apes ?
Despite their “tiring” nature for the population, monkeys are sacred in Thailand since they are the descendants of the monkey god Hanuman . Moreover, each year, the last Sunday of November is dedicated to this animal. The Thais then spoil them with large buffets made up of desserts, fruits and sweets.