Lopburi is a city situated in the center of Thailand and is 150 kms north of Bangkok. This city aside from being famous for its historical architecture is also majorly known for its Monkey Banquet Festival held at the last Sunday of November almost every year. A big part of the city is filled with long tailed macaque monkeys who are considered to be a good luck for the city. As these monkeys are regarded as the descendants of Hanuman, The Monkey King, no one dares to say no to them even when they ruin cables and wires of use. They wander freely in the city and eat from wherever they want. Specially on this special day people from all over Thailand set up food tables for them to eat from. This festival is meant to thank them for their presence in the city as they are considered to be a symbol of good luck also it causes numerous tourist to visit just to see these monkeys eat off tables decorated specially for them.
The Lopburi Monkey Festival usually takes place at the ruins of Khmer. In 11th Century Lopburi was under taken by Khmers and they built many architectural buildings in the area however later the Khmer empire fell apart but the buildings they created serve the purpose of offering gratitude to monkeys now. Aside from this people also decorate streets and also their house roofs with different colored fruits and other food items for monkeys to eat. It first started when a local businessman attended to show gratitude to these monkeys for bringing numerous tourist to the city by offering them food and now this tradition is extended to being a big festival by setting up long tables with red cloth and cool ice underneath tons of colorful fruits as an offering to monkeys.
As these monkeys have been living in these areas for centuries they are much acquainted with Thai people as well as they don’t shy away from tourists too. if you are thinking about visiting the place you must get ready for The Planet of The Apes live right in front of your eyes. Also, as Thai people have a huge respect for these monkeys they let them do whatever they want so beware if one of them steals your purse or your food or anything they get their paws on.
The Banquet is split into four sittings starting from 10:00 AM, Then 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM and last at 4:00 PM. Other than monkeys eating food there are a lot of other attractions also available in the city like ancient buildings and other festivities along with the foods offerings to the monkeys. And don’t worry all the food is not just for monkeys there are food stalls and different vendors for tourists aswell, so you won’t be dying with hunger.
You can get there by either bus or train. Usually the city is jam packed around the festival time so if you want to stay there for a while you are advised to book the hotel room in advance.