The Maller Family Travel Gazette:
Thailand, The Land of Smiles

July 9: Temple Monkeys and 300km due north


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After catching up on voicemails, emails and some much-needed sleep, we departed Ayuthuya this morning and headed for Lopburi. This is another ancient city with one particularly distinction: the temple monkeys. By conventional wisdom, these little critters should have deserted the town hundreds of years ago when the first Siamese settled the area. For some reason, the monkeys took up residence around the original Buddhist temple and never left. Even after that temple was sacked, they stayed. Then it was restored, but even when the restored temple disintegrated, they stayed. Finally, a new temple was built and the monkleys claimed that one, too. The Buddhists believe that the monkeys are sacred, and they encourage offerings not only to the golden Buddha in the local temple, but to the monkeys, too. These are truly well cared-for little guys. Rather fiesty, too! They have rotten reputation, but they were very hospitable towards us, with no excrement hurling, thievery or other mischief. The rest of the day found us bouncing about on a pretty bumpy Thai interstate on the way to Phitsanuloke, where we're going to be staying at a new hotel, the Amarin Lagoon.

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