Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with Lopburi

In my excitement to get a new post on my blog, I completely skipped out a couple of places. After flying into Bangkok I did get the train/bus up to Chiang Mai, but I made two other stops on the way. Seeing as one of these places — Lopburi — was amazing, that was a bit stupid really.

There’s a simple reason why Lopburi is amazing: monkeys. This is what monkeys look like:

lopburi-monkeys
group-of-monkeys

The main attraction of the town is its temple, which probably has a real name but people just call Monkey Temple. It’s the ruins of an olden temple, like so many in the country, but this one has dozens and dozens of monkeys around.

lopburi-monkey-temple

monkey-temple-thailand

Someone once told me I could get a stick from the front gate to help dissuade monkeys from getting too close, if they were being a menace.

ready-for-monkeys

What really happened is they just wanted to steal my stick.

monkey-stick

With that approach ruled out, I took sanctuary in the temple, which is closed to monkeys. In 20 years that’ll be considered as bad racism.

Inside the temple it was like being in a reverse zoo. There were a number of doors/windows/empty holes that had been covered in bars to keep the monkeys out/the humans in. Like in a zoo, the visitors went as close to the gates as they could, stuck their hands through and tried to bite the exhibits.

man-behind-bars

monkey-closeup

It turned out to be a great experience because while that little baby monkey was happy to play with me while I was safely behind bars, when I returned to the outside world the mums all growled at me if I tried to get too close to their daughters. I’m still talking about monkeys.

There was one other experience which was great. As I left the temple gate there was a large monkey sitting on the steps. I sat beside him to get a photo and, seeing how much the little monkeys liked grabbing onto my finger, I offered my digit to the bigger guy. He took a lazy look at it, then replicated my movement with his own hand/paw.

monkey-aping
I was astonished, as you can probably tell, and tried repeating the action with more fingers. He was a lazy student.

bored-monkey

After having my fill of monkeys at a temple, I went to walk the streets of Lopburi. There’s a simple reason why the streets of Lopburi are amazing: monkeys.

lopburi-street-sign

Once they too get bored with the temple, they roam the town’s streets. They travel along power lines, walk on roofs, destroy cars and steal whatever’s left lying around. I think the locals hate them.

lop-buri-monkey

monkey-destroying-car

I’m not a local. The locals probably hate me too.

lopburi-monkey

 

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