A juvenile monkey. He may look cute, but watch your belongings.
Among Lopburi's many attractions, one of the more unusual features of the city is its large monkey population. The monkeys can be spotted throughout the city, but are most ubiquitous around the ancient Khmer shrine of Prang Sam Yod. The monkeys here have grown fat on the handouts of visitors to the shrine.
However, just because they're used to being fed doesn't mean these monkeys are tame. They can be quite agressive and are also attracted to hats and bags. It seems that anyone entering the temple compound wearing a hat doesn't keep it for long. We spotted at least two monkeys playing with hats they'd taken off of tourists, including one "Santa" hat somebody was careless enough to have on.
Although generally something of a nuisance, the monkeys are such a tourist draw that local businessmen treat them to a full course Chinese dinner every year to thank them. The dinner is served sometime in November at the Phra Prang Sam Yod shrine and, as you can imagine, it gets a bit messy.
More Monkey Photos
Photos of the Lopburi monkeys. Click on any of the thumbnails to see the full size image.
Even Santa isn't safe around these thieves. It's probably best if you don't wear a hat around the monkeys.