There Is A Monkey Buffet Festival In Thailand
A feast fit for a King (Kong).
Thailand’s Lopburi, north of Bangkok, is famous for its long-tailed macaque monkeys who roam the town freely. The monkeys mainly live in the overgrown ruins of the Khmer temple of Pra Prang Sam Yot. Despite the cheeky creatures often stealing food directly from someone’s plate (or even hands), the locals tolerate them due to the tourism they bring to the area – and no tourism spike is so high as the annual Monkey Buffet Festival held on the last Sunday of November.
In a bid to further promote the existence of the 2000 long-tailed residents of the town, the festival provides a truly Instagram-worthy spectacle that involves 4000kgs of food and beverages laid out for the monkeys to feast on.
The meal includes fruit, white rice and traditional Thai deserts – and even the odd can of Coke. We can only assume there is a little monkey dentist wearing a little monkey white coat somewhere, too. Chefs lovingly prepare the feast for hours and the guests of honour are even cordially invited to the banquet with tiny invitations attached to cashews (!) that are distributed throughout their living area.
The tradition is a relatively new one, having started in 1989 to draw more visitors to the usually sleepy town. The locals now see it as a thank you to the monkeys for driving tourism to the place. Cheers, (pri)mates.
(Lead image: Chris Gusen/Flickr)