Thailand's love of the monkey is probably best illustrated by the epic tale of the Ramakien. The Ramakien is a myth of genuinely historic proportions, but the main story concerns Prince Rama and his search for his beloved wife, Princess Sita, who has been kidnapped by an evil ten-headed demon called Ravana. Throughout the story our hero is aided by monkeys and most notably the magical white-faced monkey-general Hanuman and his army. With Hanuman's help Prince Rama successfully defeats Ravana and rescues Princess Sita. The Ramakien portrays the monkey as being helpful, clever and brave and this may explain why their image adorns temples, paintings, carvings, ceremonial barges and even helps to support traffic signals.
Monkeys live freely in the jungles and on beaches, but they can also be found in towns, temples and parks. So if you visit Thailand, even for a brief holiday, it is likely that you encounter a troop or two on your travels. The monkeys in Thailand can be quite fascinating to observe but caution is warranted. They can be quite mischievous, especially if you are hold food or something sweet. The wilder monkeys found in the forests aren't used to people and so can be aggressive if approached, but those found in temples and parks will not be scared and will cheekily grab food from you (if you let them!).
I have personally had a monkey jump on my head while taking their photos as well as had a soda taken out of my hand. I just remained calm and acted like I was unafraid. The majority of visitors that come to Thailand and encounter monkeys do not have problems. Don’t be afraid if you do see them and if you don’t bother them, they are likely not to bother you. Here is some advice on what to do when you do encounter monkeys:
Thailand is home to a wide variety of wildlife due to its diversity in climate from north to Southern Thailand. This tries to present a glimpse of this wildlife.
Bangkok's 9 Royal Temples
Bangkok Must Sees
Exploring Thailand's Nature
Islands of the Thai Gulf
Thailand's Royal Palaces
Thailand and World War 2
Explore Chiang Rai
Explore Chiang Mai