BEIJING

For a veteran traveler in the east, roaming monkeys are not an uncommon site, and at a certain point you get used to it. When I first arrived to lopburi I was fresh off the plane, still amazed at the sights of elephants on the streets of Bangkok, and here was a city that's life revolves  around monkeys. Oh well.
There is nothing special in lopburi. It is a nice place to stop on the way to other places, but as a twon its not a big deal. A couple of semi antique ruins of that or other kings summer palace, a typical market, a roundaoubt, and the main attraction, the monkey temple.

Now, I don’t know exactly the origins of this temple, but it seems the tradition was there since the beginning of time. Or at least since there were monkeys. Well, the monkeys don’t object, I will tell you that.

Other then the daily "sacrifice" of fruits and bananas oozing from fresh merit, the monkeys have their own festival where they get a huge treat, a feast worthy of kings. Well, ok, it’s the same fruits and bananas, as it is monkeys after all, but it's nicely displayed and the caretakers even freeze some of the fruit in blocks of ice, so the monkeys will have more time showing the thankful tourists how they are so talented in eating things.

 
 

Because that Is what they do. Eat things. I have seen other monkeys around thailand, and they would try to steal your snacks and come to play with the tall hairless intruder. These monkeys? Maybe they are sacred monkeys, I don’t know, maybe they are just too spoiled and full. They don’t even bother stealing the peanuts from the vendor anymore…

But the thing that made me laugh in lopburi is the ways the locals learnt to live with these monkeys running around town, with the main item you see everywhere being stuffed alligators, fluffy and cute, on top of all the cars. It seems the monkeys, without malice, were jumping on the cars on their way from wire to balcony, and left dents as they passed.

To avoid that damage to your car, a crocodile scares away the monkeys. A stuffed cute crocodile. Hey, it works what can I tell you. Worship all you like , in the end they are afraid of a fluffy stuffed animal.  If only it would work on our gods too…

 
 
 
 
   
 
 
                     
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