Are you a dog person or a cat person? When you come to Thailand as a tourist, you might as well be asked if you are a monkey person or an elephant person as monkeys and elephants are Thailand’s wildlife star attractions. If you are a monkey person who is embarking on a trip to Thailand to have one of these furry creatures wrapped around your neck, here are the best spots to go monkey watching in Thailand. Just be careful when you hang out with these furry, little creatures as they can be quick and sneaky. At times, they can also be dangerous.
With a guarantee that you will see well-treated monkeys living in their natural habitats, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project on the island of Phuket is on top of our list for viewing these cute, furry creatures. To get a lot of monkey attention, contact the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project to apply as one of the volunteers, where the role includes feeding the gibbons, observing those that have recently been released into the wild, and exploring the beautiful island of Phuket.
Just two hours north of the capital of Bangkok is a city where monkeys have a festival of their own. On the last Sunday of November, the Lopburi Monkey Festival, tourists and festival-goers head to the ancient Khmer ruins of Lopburi to watch some monkeys gather and feast on a big buffet prepared by the locals.
Popular among beach bums for its beautiful stretch of white sand along the Andaman Beach and among climbers for its steep cliffs, the green jungle of Railay Beach is also teeming with cheeky monkeys, looking for crafty means to snatch a bottle of water or a few nibbles from unaware travelers. Keep your belongings close as you climb to the viewpoint and if they do take something from you, let it go. Just because they are cute does not mean they are harmless.
ERAWAN NATIONAL PARK
A favourite for outdoorsy tourists looking into climbing to the top of its 7-layer waterfall and lounging in one of the cool pools found in each layer, Erawan National Park is also home to gibbons as well as monitor lizards and macaques. A must-visit for those looking into escaping the concrete city of Bangkok to be around nature and wildlife.
KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK
Just 2 hours outside of Bangkok, Khao Yai National Park is within reach of monkey enthusiasts and hikers. The third largest national park in Thailand, it has a diverse population of wildlife which includes a swarm of monkeys that have migrated from their original homes in the jungle to try their luck on conning humans for food. Resist the cuddly creatures and their wide, pleading eyes – Feeding them is not allowed and you will be fined if you are caught.
The stunning island just a few hours from the capital is home to a huge variety of wildlife which includes monkeys that can be found hanging out on the main roads. They have left their beautiful jungle homes to find food in the city. Although a monkey dangling over traffic lights or lounging in the middle of the road like a boss may seem like a comical Instagram post, this can be quite dangerous for both the monkey and the drivers. So, do avoid encouraging the monkey exodus to the big city by not feeding them.
Enjoy hanging out with the monkeys in Thailand, but always remember to keep your belongings close and not to feed them or provoke them. For veteran travelers out there, let us know if you have any more tips that you would like to share by commenting below.