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“Food Galore” Thailand’s Monkey Banquet Festival Returns

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In Lopburi in central Thailand, thousands of monkeys feasted on two tonnes of fruits and vegetables as part of the town’s Monkey Festival after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic.

Hundreds of macaques, also known as long-tailed monkeys, munched away on bananas and pineapples while climbing on people and stacks of fruit.

Over 100,000 baht was spent on the feast, which is an annual tradition aimed at thanking the monkeys, which are sometimes known as “Monkey Province,” for drawing tourists to Lopburi.

Yongyuth Kitwatananusont, who organized over 30 monkey festivals, said today’s special is durian, which is expensive. Lopburi macaques love expensive things.

This year’s festival theme was wheelchair monkeys, and Yongyuth planned to donate 100 wheelchairs to the needy.

Since the government announced a quarantine-free travel scheme for vaccinated tourists in November, tourists have steadily returned to Thailand, and the festival proved to be a popular attraction.

Read: Forty-Four Macaque Monkeys Saved from Chinese Dinner Tables

Thailand received more than 100,000 inbound tourists in November, more than it did in the first ten months of the year.

I’m really happy to have seen this, and now I’m considering going to the next festival,” said Moroccan tourist Ayoub Boukhari.

The macaques are quite silly, and it’s quite unexpected.”

Photographs were seen being taken by tourists playing with the macaques. The return of the tradition was also welcomed by locals.

It’s the first time in two years that the wild macaques are allowed to eat fruits and vegetables,” Thanida Phudjeeb said. “I am delighted for them.”

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