by James, Co-Director, IHF Chiang Rai
While out exploring Northern Thailand, I visited the “Monkey Cave” with some guys I met. We had been out on our bikes for all day, and thought that the cave would be a good place to rest and stretch our legs. So we parked our bikes and began walking around the area. Monkeys were everywhere. They looked nice, and we fed them with some of our snacks. There were two signs that said cave, each pointing in other directions. We headed left, and found ourselves climbing a lot of stairs that went up a mountain. At the top, we went inside a cave and saw a Buddha. To be honest, it wasn’t worth the climb.
After going back down, we saw a monk feeding monkeys and made our way towards the other cave.Thankfully, this did not have any stairs to climb, but it did have a sea of monkeys in front of it. Being the brave one of the group, I led the march towards the cave. I took about five steps and was then hissed at by a monkey. Weird, I thought, but continued on. I was then met by about fifteen to twenty of the little guys. One started scratching at my leg, so I gave it a light nudge with my foot. That was a mistake. The mob of monkeys grew in numbers and started chasing me around the area. I jumped over some roots of a tree and then slipped in some mud. I looked up, and monkeys were just standing there. I’m sure they were laughing on the inside.
I stood up and watched as they all walked off. I looked at my friends, and they were as confused as I was about what had just happened. “Monkeys are bastards” said John, and I agreed. It was totally not necessary for them to do that. About that time, a monk walked up, who had witnessed the whole thing. He pointed to an imaginary line in the pavement, then made scratching motions and hissing sounds. He looked me over and then laughed. He then walked over and starting feeding the monkeys.
Next time I’m around that many monkeys, I will be on the lookout for that imaginary line. I don’t need to start a turf war with a gang of monkeys again.