Monkey Party

Monkey Party

November-December
Yongyuth Kijwattananuson first offered this banquet to the long-tailed macaque monkeys who live in the city of Lop Buri, Thailand, in 1988 to thank them for making his hotel so attractive to visitors. It has since become an institution, especially for the hundreds of monkeys who normally spend their time begging and stealing food from townspeople and tourists. Dozens of chefs prepare numerous dishes featuring fruit and vegetables on tables covered with red tablecloths and then wait for the monkeys to overcome their fear of the spectators, loudspeakers, and media people who assemble to cover the event. Once they realize it's safe, the monkeys eventually approach the tables to feast on the offerings, playing and throwing food in the process. According to local legend, some of the monkeys can be seen disembarking from trains the morning of the event, though it is more likely that the majority, at least, are local inhabitants.
CONTACTS:
Yongyuth Kijwattananuson
Lopburi Inn and Resort
114 Phaholyothin Road, T. Tasala
Maung, Lopburi, 15000 Thailand
662-643-1191; fax: 66-36-614795
www.lopburiinnresort.co.th
Tourism Authority of Thailand
611 N. Larchmont Blvd., 1st Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
800-842-4526 or 323-461-9814; fax: 323-461-9834
www.tourismthailand.org
SOURCES:
WildPlanet-1995, p. 400