My hosts knew that I was interested in seeing monkeys, so they took me to Kumphawapi monkey park.
This is just a city park in Kumphawapi district in the southern part of Udon Thani Province, northeastern Thailand that happens to be overrun by macaques (long-tailed macaques I think), but they’re the defining feature of this park. You can find it here on Google Maps.
There were quite a few mothers carrying their babies on their backs or clinging to their stomachs.
The moms were very busy.
It looks like half of the park is wooded. Surrounded by trees may have been a better space in which to observe the monkeys than the car park. I did watch a lot of juveniles playing in the trees near the restrooms. They’re very curious, and this one hooted at me a bit.
They don’t sit still long, and seem to have endless energy.
Most of the monkeys I saw in the trees were about this size.
My hosts had brought some bananas from their back yard. The monkeys were happy to have them. Vendors at the park sell peanuts for you to feed them, but you need to think about what you’re doing. Tossing it to them is safer than handing it to them, and holding on to it or withholding it can get you bit. I had a lot of fun just watching them, and taking pictures.
The feeder shown above didn’t have any problems, but disputes did erupt in the form of a larger monkey running off a smaller one as the other little guys scattered.
Then one of our party walked too close to the feeding frenzy and was bitten on the ankle.
I’ve heard a lot about unpleasant experiences with monkeys. Fortunately we witnessed no flinging of poo. There were no public displays of monkey passion. But I guess I saw just about every other form of monkey shenanigans I care to imagine. On the other hand, some of the pics on Google Maps show a market in this park, and I imagine they find lots of creative ways to cause problems in a setting like that.
I did see fleeing mothers pursued by shrieking babies. I didn’t see the vain monkey below do any damage, but I’m sure the bike owner would not have been pleased.
Of course the owner of the truck below was surely far less pleased.
I don’t know why anyone would leave a car here unattended. I like to think I’d take one look at a park full of monkeys, and find somewhere else to park.
I asked them if they realized that they are very, very bad monkeys, but I used my least confrontational tone of voice. Apologies to the car owners, but I didn’t want to risk getting gang-rushed by angry macaques.
I like the way they didn’t bother to taste the rubber until they’d ripped it completely free from the car.
Let’s close with a less sociopathic monkey moment.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 15 pictures below.