Today was our friends’ last day in Hua Hin and so we all decided that seeing and feeding monkeys would be a great way to spend the day. We originally tried to go to Monkey Island south of town in Pran Buri, where you have to take a long tail boat to the island and can feed the monkeys that heavily populate it. When we arrived at Pran Buri National Park, the wind was high making the ocean a bit choppy. After talking to some people who were returning from their boat trip who were soaked to the skin from the big waves crashing into their boat, we decided to head back to Monkey Mountain in Khao Takiab.
Monkey Mountain, or Chopstick hill as it is also known, is easily reached on foot or by car in the town of Khao Takiab, south of Hua Hin. We did not realize that it could be reached by car, so we walked up the mountain. It was a pretty easy climb, despite the 152 steps up the mountain. There were a couple of temples, on the way to the area where the monkeys reside, that kindly had a box of slingshots, and some rocks for use if a monkey got out of hand. Chad and Sean took one each just in case.
On our way up, we had stopped and gotten ourselves some beverages. That turned out to be a lifesaver, as our friend Laura found out. When we arrived at the main monkey area, we noticed our first monkey. He was an older, grumpy looking guy. As we noticed him, he noticed Laura and decided to run at her. She ran (what person wouldn’t) as the rest of us stood laughing (Sorry Laura!) at the sight. The slingshots that Chad and Sean had grabbed earlier were forgotten in the moment. Laura’s only defense from the oncoming attack was her Mojito. She deftly threw the plastic cup at the monkeys head, and he stopped chasing her. He then picked up the now lidless cup that was still half full and walked off, finishing Laura’s yummy drink. So the moral of this story is, make sure to have a drink of some sort in hand when traveling to Monkey Mountain. Okay, there is not really a moral to this story, except to tell you about Monkey Mountain, but having some kind of drink in your hand may be your last defense to ward off monkey attacks.
There were little shops to buy souvenirs (the same kind as in all the other souvenir shops in Thailand, and just as inexpensive as everywhere else). We stopped at a mini mart of some kind that was surrounded and crawling with monkeys of all sizes and ages. After Laura’s
brush with death adventure, we were all a little wary of the little critters climbing all over everything. Honestly, most of them just went about their business and didn’t seem to really even notice us. They moved around us without event. I decided to be brave and buy some peanuts for 50 baht at the mini-mart there. As the woman was preparing the basket of peanuts inside, the monkeys began flocking around the door. I lost my confidence that they would not swarm me for the peanuts and asked the storekeeper to feed them to the monkeys. She kindly did so without making fun of me, and the resulting sea of monkeys quickly gathered all the thrown peanuts and then immediately dispersed to eat their snack. I kind of regret not throwing the peanuts myself, but maybe next time.
After we took some pictures of the monkeys and surroundings, we felt we had seen enough and we made our way back down the mountain. It is so much easier to walk down 152 stairs than up, let me tell you!
I think we spent about an hour and a half on our Monkey Mountain adventure and I think it was a great way to spend the afternoon. It was cheap (we only spent the 50 baht for the peanuts) and easy to get to. Zoë started out a little scared of the monkeys after the one ran at Laura, but enjoyed looking at the monkeys from the safety of my arms. I would recommend anyone traveling to Hua Hin, check out Monkey Mountain. It is good for all ages with easy access for all. Just make sure you bring a beverage of some kind…