Monkey Buffet, Thailand

Photo © Gina Smith

Several thousand mischievous macaques overrun the Thai town of Lopburi. They scoff food given to them by locals or pilfer it from unwary diners, pose for photos, cause traffic chaos and swarm over the local temple.

Despite their unruly behaviour, the monkeys are honoured with their own festival every November. Lopburi Monkey Festival culminates in a fabulous primate feast laid out by the Khmer temple. Fruit, vegetables, eggs, cakes and huge blocks of frozen treats are arranged in intricate patterns and towers as pretty as any flower festival – then promptly guzzled by a swarm of the macaques.

Lopburi is about 150km north of Bangkok, and easily accessible by train. Upon entry to the festival you’ll be given a stick to help ward off excitable diners.

Written by - Photo by Gina Ellen

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