Monkeying Around on the Beach

Late one afternoon after a few hours riding around Koh Lanta on our moped we decided to take a break in Kantiang Bay on the south side of the island. We parked in town and made the quick 5 minute walk down to the beach which was peaceful and empty with only about 15 people scattered around. We sat down and I asked Bethany when she thought we would see some of the islands wild monkeys that we’d heard live in the jungles to the south.

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late afternoon in kantiang bay

Almost instantly we noticed that many branches in the trees lining the edge of the beach started to move. There was no wind, so this was odd. We kept an eye on the trees and then a minute later saw a few monkeys make their way onto the beach from the dense forest. We had talked with another couple a few days earlier who warned us that the monkeys could easily get aggressive if they thought we had food to give them. Not surprisingly one of the smaller monkeys brazenly approach and grabbed a bright colored bag next to a man sleeping on the beach. When he woke up (extremely startled) the monkey backed off a little, but another two came to investigate. A bite/scratch from a wild monkey means an emergency two hour speedboat ride to the larger hospital on the mainland, so we decided it was time for us to go.

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monkeys at the edge of the beach

On the way out we saw a few local kids walking our way at the waters edge. One of them had a crab dangling from his hand that was slightly larger than my fist. Upon seeing the monkeys they walked up the beach and tossed the crab towards one of the larger ones who curiously picked it up. The crab clamped down with its claws, but ultimately it was no match for the monkey.

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a monkey trying to shake of a pinching crab

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monkey 1, crab 0

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