On my way down from Chiang Mai in the northern Thailand, in December 2004, I decided to stop over in Lop Buri. This is a funny little town that has different kind of attraction to offer. It is something that for years was considered a massive nuisance to the people living there; the terrorizing monkey clans of Lop Buri.
This is two clans of monkeys that basically live in the city and they are raising havoc every chance they get. One of the gangs has a base at little temple by the railway. The other gang is led by a half blind elderly Alfa male. They split away from the temple gang and are now living on the city roofs.
Every TV antenna in Lop Buri has its own monkey protection system, which is basically something that looks like a steel umbrella placed upside down under the antenna. I guess the monkeys had many antennas on their conscience before somebody saw a business opportunity here.
The monkeys are known to make a ruckus in the city. They throw shit on business windows, break stuff and generally don’t follow well established human rules of good behavior and law, but probably well within accepted monkey laws. There is even a story in Lop Buri of a gang of monkeys that jumped on the morning train to a northern town, raised some havoc and then took the evening train back.
Probably the only reason the monkeys have survived to see the arrival of tourism is the Buddhist strict laws on killing animals. Now they are fed on the city’s expense, which is probably saving the cities food vendors from a plundering on a massive scale.
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