Monkey Business in Ao Nang

The first time we went to the Last Café I’d noticed the Buddhist temple in the bushes behind the café. I’d been waiting for clear skies to take some pictures of it and today was the day. I headed out the back of the café towards the temple perimeter when, from a distance of about 30 feet, I saw several monkeys hanging around the statues.

I took a few pictures, then one saw me and came running towards me, presumably hoping for a feed. I am nervous of monkeys and so backed away quickly as this beast came determinedly in my direction. Then – boom – the noise of a cannon and all the monkeys on the beach went scampering off. Who knew there had been so many in the trees around the café! There were about 50 of them, grey macaques, of all different sizes, swinging in the tree branches, running along the path, skittering across the sand.

After about 5 minutes, the fright wore off and they were all back again, bolder than ever. I walked down to the water’s edge and watched the monkeys stalking passing tourists, occasionally jumping on one, sometimes grabbing the hems of clothes, reaching out for little tid-bits that the odd person handed to them, making off into the bushes with stolen bags of chips. One woman encouraged a small monkey to jump on her shoulder for a treat while two young women ran for the ocean with a small monkey chasing after them for their ice-cream. It was amusing to watch the women standing in the water holding their ice-cream watching the monkey watching them. Every time they started to move the monkey followed them, eternally hopeful for a bite of cone. The little girl in the picture below didn’t notice the monkey holding a piece of corn at her feet at first;

then she spotted him, still grasping his corn on the cob;

“Mom, mom, give the monkey some food!” and out come the treats …

treats which the monkeys obviously found more enticing than the corn on the cob previously capturing their attention. Of course, as soon as one got something, all the other monkeys came racing over for theirs …

I guess a pack of monkeys must make this end of the beach their hangout, the trees and steep limestone cliffs giving them protection. The little monkeys really are incredibly cute but I would be very careful of them – they do bite and scratch! [And, no, I don’t think it’s a good idea to feed the monkeys – but whether I like it or not, these guys have obviously been fed by people for a long time so they’ve become accustomed to the idea that tourist=food.] And their antics give a whole new meaning to sex on the beach …


3 Replies to “Monkey Business in Ao Nang”

  1. Fascinating critters, I’ve come across them many times and not only these common macaques but the other types as well. It’s usually the touristy areas that problems are found from my experience. Usually I do not participate win feeding them too.

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