Name: Lopburi Monkey Festival
Address: Phra Prang Sam Yot temple, located on Vichayen Road, Lopburi. This is directly next to the train station, about a 200m walk. However, you can see the monkeys everywhere on your walk around Lopburi.
Prices: 30baht entrance.
Opening hours: Sunday 30th November 2014 (Annually last weekend in November).
How to get there: Lopburi is 150km North of Bangkok. Trains from Hualamphong take 3 hours, vans from Victory monument take aprox. 2 hours. You can go as a day trip from Bangkok, but if you want to attend the morning ceremony it is advisable to arrive the night before.
During the Lopburi monkey festival 3000 macaques descend on the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple for the biggest food banquet you have ever seen. Tables are lined with decorations, drinks, food, ice sculptures and the monkeys are not shy in taking what they want and causing a scene. The reason for this strange and very unique dinner party is that the locals of Lopburi believe the monkeys bring them good luck and fortune, and therefore they host an annual food banquet in thanks every year. This tradition began in 1989 and has been occurring on the last weekend of November every year since.
The festivities begin around 10am in the temple ruins that the monkeys call home. The setting is beautiful and resembles a scene from The Jungle Book. You can see the monkeys here any time of year, not only when this festival is happening, but their presence is definitely stronger this time of year. To open the festivities there is a speech from the Governor of Lopburi followed by local dancing and then the monkeys are invited to eat. Be aware that it is extremely busy so it can be hard to see if you do not arrive early and get a good spot. It also becomes extremely hot in the crowd. The banquet feeding times are 10.00, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00.
It is amazing to watch the monkeys eat and see the human like characteristics they possess. The occasional squabble over food between the monkeys can cause a scare, but on the whole they are relatively well behaved. We would advise to watch the monkeys from afar as we witnessed many people having hair pulled, becoming completely surrounded and even having possessions stolen.
A great and very different day out with excellent photo opportunities.