Tourism in Thailand has been on the rebound recently, leading to the return of one town’s famous event, focused on the health and well-being of local wildlife; in this case thousands of Monkeys in the town of Lopburi located in the central part of the country.
The festival is an annual tradition for locals to thank the monkeys for doing their part to bring tourists to area, which is often referred to as being the “Monkey Province.”
It cost over 100,000 baht ($3,000) to put on, returning this year after a two-year hiatus.
As the event unfolded, the monkeys found themselves in hog heaven.
Hundreds of macaques, also known as long-tailed monkeys, were seen climbing on both people and stacks of fruit alike, chowing on pineapples and bananas.
Tourists eagerly set up displays of fruit for their hungry little friends, leading to scenes like the ones seen below.
Two tons of fruits and vegetables were offered over the course of the festival, which was enjoyed by thousands of monkeys.
According to one man in the area named Yonyuth Kiwatanusont, who previously organized over 30 monkey festivals, the local wildlife enjoys durian fruit and other “expensive things.”
Aside from the incredible fruit feast, this year’s theme was wheelchair monkeys, which coincided with a planned donation of 100 wheelchairs to needy people according to Reuters.com.
“I’m really happy to get to see this and now I’m thinking about going to the next festival,” said Moroccan tourist Ayoub Boukhari.
“It’s quite unexpected and the monkeys are quite silly.”
The festival also brings animal and man together for fun and unexpectedly tender moments like few other events.
Some tourists were seen playing with the monkeys with their cameras, a tradition that warmed the hearts of locals.
“It’s the first time in two years that monkeys get to eat all kinds of fruits and vegetables,” said Thanida Phudjeeb. “I’m happy for them.”