Life at the monkeys city in Lopburi

2015.05.25 15:54

As you know, the ca. 26.000 inhabitants Lopburi (ลพบุรี), the capital city of Lopburi Province in Thailand is the city of friendly wild monkeys. Lopburi is about 155 km northeast of Bangkok, capital of Thailand.

 

 

Short history of Lopburi

 

The little town has a relative long history, dating back to the Dvaravati period more than 1.000 years ago. Lopburi (old name: Lavapura) was under the rule of the rising Angkor regime and became one of the most important centers. (Lavapura is on silver coins inscribed Lava on the obverse and Pura on the reverse in a Pallava-derived script of the seventh or eighth century; several such coins were recovered in 1966.)

After the foundation of the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 14th century, Lopburi was a stronghold of Ayutthaya's rulers. It became the capital of the kingdom during the reign of King Narai the Great in the mid 17th century and the king stayed there for about eight months a year.

Lopburi was described in Book III of Marco Polo’s Travels too (16th century), where it is called Locach, the name came from the Chinese pronunciation of Lavo.

 

Always warm city

 

Lopburi has a tropical savanna climate, so the winters are dry and very warm. Temperatures rise until April, which is very hot with the average daily maximum at 36.8 °C. The monsoon season runs from late April through October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm. But this weather is optimal and fortunate for the monkey inhabitants.

 

 

City of monkeys

 

Today the city is best known for the (originally) 3.000 (nowadays their number is less) of Crab-eating Macaques, that live in the middle of the city, especially around the Khmer temple, Prang Sam Yot and a Khmer shrine, Sarn Phra Karn.

Actually, these macaques DO NOT simply Crab-eating Macaques, but actually a new species, because they are a very special community who mixed from 4 species, which are the follows:

  • Rhesus Macaques

  • Long-tailed Macaques

  • Pig-tailed Macaques

  • Crab-eating Macaques (some local history and expert opinion mentions Stump-tailed Macaques, but we can not explore signs of the Stump-tailed Macaques on the monkeys of Lopburi!)

So, they are therefore so special and beautiful macaques.

 

Pig-tailed Macaque

Crab-eating Macaque

Long-tailed Macaque

Rhesus Macaque

 

The Monkey (Buffet) Festival

 

They are fed by the local people, especially during the Monkey (Buffet) Festival in every year November, at the last Sunday, that is a great tourism event. Because they are not afraid of humans, moreover, they love to play with humans and “steal” or ask whatever items or food they can find from visitors.

 

 

To prevent monkeys attacking people, the officer feeds the monkeys in 3 designated areas outside San Phrakan (this is the Feeding Area or Feeding Zone) twice a day, at 10am and 4pm.

On the menu are fresh fruits, vegetables, ice cream, beverages (soft drinks as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, water, fruit juices), fruit and vegetables in block of ice to the local monkey population.

 

 

One Monkey Festival the city spend minimum € 11-16.000 on 2.500-3.000 kg of fruit and vegetables.

 

Monkey selfie at Lopburi

 

Source of photos: EPA, Reuters, Telegraph.co.uk, Lopburi City, Warren Photographic, Iyufera.com, Unknown