Last Updated on May 1, 2022 by Left Lane
Actively seeking out activities during our stay in Phuket, Thailand. We came across a Wild Monkey encounter. My partner being the avid animal lover that she is. I knew immediately she would be all in on this one. Want to know where to see the monkeys? Read on to view map directions, and find out.
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After starting the day off at the resort with a delicious breakfast. Which quickly became my favorite meal of the day during our stay in Thailand. We started getting prepared for our trip to visit Monkey Hill around lunchtime.
On the Road to Monkey Hill
Monkey Hill was around a 1 hour drive from the Northwest end of the island, where we were staying. To the Southeast end of the island, covering around 27 miles each way. This wild monkey habitat was located in the historical district of the Phuket Old Town.
Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, affecting the world. You can no longer drive up Monkey Hill in your vehicle. They have the gates to the road closed off, and Thai Police situated at the gate.
Where To Get Food
After locating a parking spot at the base of the hill, near the main entrance gate. Which is also your last chance to buy food for the monkeys. Including nuts, fruit, and various vegetables.
After asking the locals around the area where to buy food before we hiked up. The police called the lady by name, and told us she would be back soon. We walked around trying to find another source of food, and spotted a street vendor with snacks.
Having read that the monkeys could become aggressive when approached without food. We didn’t want to show up empty handed. Asking the street vendor for pretty much anything they had, we bought a bunch of little snacks, which they found funny until we paid more then their asking price for the food.
Mainly because the cost was literally only cents on the dollar. Which was smaller then the smallest currency we had. They tried to make up the extra cost by giving us even more snacks, which we really only wanted for the monkeys. Therefore we told them to keep the change as a tip.
The Food Lady
Thankfully this attempt to find food used up enough extra time for the real food lady to show back up. She had been off restocking her pickup truck with fresh foods to sell.
After buying a bushel of bananas from the lady, we approached the Thai Police tent again. Which had a sign in sheet, where you put your time on the hill, name, and then time back off when you leave.
After signing in, the Thai Police gave us a bag of small apples they had, to feed to the monkeys as well. We thanked them, and proceeded on our way up Monkey Hill.
As monkey hill rises well over 900’ feet above the surrounding city. We didn’t realize how much of a hike we were in for. The road to the top was extremely steep with sections of it being in the 20° to 30° angle 📐 range. It’s about a mile and a half up, taking about a 45 minute climb.
Having chosen to climb this hill at around 1p.m in the afternoon. It was quite warm, with the temperature being in the upper 80’s. Plus the added weight of the fruit bags we were carrying didn’t help us any either.
Due to Coronavirus there hadn’t been as many tourist to feed the monkeys as in previous years. There was local news going around about the monkeys being hungry, from relying on humans for food for so long.
During your hike up the hill you pass numerous Buddhist Shrines along the route. Like this one:
Besides ourselves, we didn’t meet another tourist group until we were on our way back down the hill. When we met another family going up. Mostly everyone we met were locals who were using the hill as part of their daily exercise routine.
A Reptilian Tale
Having only wore shorts, and tennis shoes, with a tee shirt. I thought I was good for the hike up monkey hill. What I didn’t plan on was my close encounter with certain death.
Utilizing the sidewalk beside the road. Which ran along numerous playgrounds, and outdoor exercise areas, with various workout machines. I thought this was the best place to be until somewhere around 20 minutes into our climb.
The sidewalk with the cement being well weathered with age, had gotten more of a gray tint to it. As my partner, and I focused on just getting one foot in front of the other on this steep climb.
All of a sudden, maybe just 3’ to 4’ feet ahead of me. A section of the sidewalk appeared to move. I looked down to see that at my feet was a long gray snake, this was the deadly Thai King Cobra!
Thai King Cobra
The Thai King Cobra I encountered was roughly around 8’ feet in length. Evidently this gray snake, had been laying on the gray sidewalk in the sunlight sunning, until I came along and about stepped on him.
Fortunately for me, this Cobra was as eager to get away from me. As I was to get away from it. With the Cobra slithering off to my right for the nearby tree-line.
Quickly I decided to leave the sidewalk, and walk in the street the rest of the way up monkey hill. As I could see the ground better as the gray would contrast against the black asphalt of the street.
Nearing The Top
Moving to the street, was a smart decision. As not long after my reptilian encounter, my partner spotted another smaller Cobra heading into the tree line. This one was approximately only 4 to 5’ feet long.
There were also wild dogs along the route. They were quite calm, and used to seeing people. Being docile as long as you left them alone.
All along the trail, they have various warning signs reminding you of the danger of feeding the monkeys. As these monkeys are wild. Some of the signs were quite graphic, with real pictures displaying injuries people have received from the monkeys.
Meet The Monkeys!
As we finally made it to the top of the hill, it gives way briefly to a level, flat spot. With Monkey Feeding Zone signs all around. As we approached, an older man exited a building to our right, and greeted us. Then motioned for us to stop.
I didn’t know why at first, until he turned and started howling up the hill. Quite literally calling the Monkeys in their own language!
As our very own Thai Ace Ventura called the monkeys our way. I may have given all the fruit to my partner at once. She was forewarned though with a “HERE”… Look don’t judge me, someone has to live to tell the survival story 🤣.
The Monkey Feeding Zone Attendant stepped in casually grabbing the bag of small apples to give to the monkey. While nabbing one for himself as well.
Bon Appétit, Let’s Eat!
These particular monkeys are Assamese Macaques of Thailand.
After successfully feeding the monkeys, and living to tell about it. My partner was as happy as she could be, so this trip went down in the “Win” category.
We made it back down the hill safely, and event free. It was much easier going down, then coming up. Once we made it to the exit gate, we let the Thai police at the tent know we made it out alive, and headed on our way to our next adventure.
The Roving Gypsy
Thanks for reading my Travel Blog. I hope you enjoyed our hike up monkey hill in Phuket, Thailand as much as we did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Follow, Share, and Comment to let me know.