Monkey Buffet Festival

Monkey Buffet Festival
The city of Lopburi, Thailand, located in the province of the same name, is probably best known for thousands crab-eating macaques, also known as long-tailed macaques, that live in the middle of the city. It's a common occurrence in Southeast Asia because this primates have shared environments with humans since prehistoric times, but Lopburi is the only city which hosts a special festival dedicated to crab-eating macaques. It is known as the Monkey Buffet Festival.

Most monkeys in Lopburi live around the local Khmer temple (Prang Sam Yot) and Khmer shrine (Sarn Phra Karn). They are used to being fed by locals and are not afraid of humans, so they often steal food from unwary visitors. That's why they are usually fed by a specially assigned officer in designated areas twice a day. However, there's one day of the year when the monkeys are treated to a real feast.

The Monkey Buffet Festival was created in 1989 by a local businessman who wanted to boost the tourism industry in the Lopburi Province. Today, the event is officially supported by Tourism Authority of Thailand. Over the years, it has become a major tourist attraction. Thousands of tourists come to Lopbury every year to witness this unique event.

The festival takes place in front of the Prang Sam Yot temple. About 4 tons of fruits, vegetables, sweets, cakes, and other foods are laid out on tables and mats for the moneys to feast. Thousands to people gather to watch as monkeys fill their stomachs and engage in food fights. The monkeys are not afraid of people, so you have a chance to take a picture with one, but be careful because they like to borrow things (including phones and cameras) without any intention of giving them back.

The Monkey Buffet Festival features a colorful parade with performers dressed up as giant monkeys, music and folk dancing. Although the event was described as one of the strangest festivals by The Guardian, it doesn't seen to put people off. On the contrary, the Monkey Buffet Festivals is one of the most anticipated events of the year and one of the main tourist attractions in the region.

Monkey Buffet Festival

Photo by winder west




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