Holidays in Phuket give Europeans a rare opportunity to watch the monkeys in their habitat and feed these funny animals from their hands. To do this, within the city there is an attraction called Monkey Mountain in Phuket. It is located in the northern part of Phuket Town and is visible from all points of the city, attracting the attention of the cell towers located on its top.
What is this attraction?
Overgrown with forest, Monkey Hill in Phuket is inhabited by hundreds of monkeys of the macaque genus, who live freely, but at the same time are used to the fact that they are the object of attention of people, and willingly accept treats from them. At certain hours, reserve employees feed the monkeys, and the rest of the time macaques are crowded along the road and in the parking lots, waiting for tourists who are always ready to treat them with something tasty.
The road from the foot of Monkey Hill to the top of the hill is about 2 km long. You can drive part of this way by bike or car, then leaving the vehicle in one of the three parking lots available here. But you can climb on foot, taking the example of Thais who have chosen this mountain for sports jogging and training on simulators, sites with which they come across along the way. This hobby is shared by macaques, they with obvious pleasure climb on simulators, jumping from one to another.
The road leading to the top of the mountain is quite narrow and has a significant slope; it is not convenient to go down it by bike or car, so you should not call high, especially since there may be no places in a small parking lot. At the beginning of the journey, tourists are greeted by two gilded sculptures of sitting monkeys, but to see their living types, you need to rise higher – the habitats of macaques are located closer to the top of the mountain.
Visiting Monkey Hill is free, but the monkey food sold here is much more expensive than in the city, so it makes sense to stock up on treats in advance. When going to Monkey Hill, buy bananas, corn, or mangoes. Unpeeled peanuts are also in demand among monkeys.
What can be seen here?
In addition to the monkeys, which, in fact, are the purpose of visiting the mountain, there are three observation platforms located at different levels. The higher the level, the greater the view is revealed to the eye. There is a Thai cafe on the lower platform, there are benches for relaxing, here you can eat and relax while admiring the seascape. On the observation deck a level above is a gazebo with a more spacious view.
The widest view awaits tourists at the third viewing platform, located closer to the top of the mountain. Particularly impressive is the opening view during sunset, when Phuket Town, lying on its palm, and the mountains surrounding it, are illuminated by the light of the setting sun. This place is equipped with benches, which in the evening hours become a haven for romantics and lovers.
But the highlight of the excursion program when visiting Monkey Hill in Phuket, of course, are the monkeys. Most of them are absolutely not afraid of people, come close, begging for a treat, take food from their hands. The friendliest ones can hug by the leg and even climb onto the shoulders. For those who love animals, and especially children, this brings a lot of positive emotions.
It is interesting to observe relationships in monkey families, and females with cubs. But it is better not to approach the babies, as their parents, in an effort to protect the offspring, can be very aggressive. Monkeys can be photographed, many of them are happy to pose, taking touching poses. Adolescents and young individuals are most active, and adult monkeys are more calm and imposing.
When communicating with monkeys, one should not forget that these are wild animals that feel like masters in their territory and can be aggressive. If you get bites and scratches from monkeys, you should definitely get a rabies vaccination by contacting any Phuket Town medical institution immediately. For such an unforeseen accident, medical insurance is very useful, which should be taken care of in advance.
You can avoid an unpleasant incident on Monkey Mountain if you exercise caution and behave in accordance with the tips outlined below.
How to get there
You can get to the foot of Monkey Hill by tuk-tuk, taxi or bike. If you decide to go on your own, then the guide will be the Central Festival shopping center. Having passed from it towards Phuket Town for about 1 km, you will find yourself at the crossroads, where you will need to turn left. After driving another 3 km, you will see the prison building, passing which, after 0.2 km, you must again turn left, and right there will be Monkey Mountain.
Further the road leads uphill. Ride along it, or leave the vehicle in the parking lot, you decide. Keep in mind that the Monkey Mountain race is easier than the descent, where you have to constantly keep your foot on the brake pedal, especially if the asphalt is wet after rain. Also at the top you may find difficulties in finding a parking place and the danger of monkeys invading the bike in your absence.
Monkey Mountain on the map of Phuket:
- Monkeys are smart animals, if they see a bag of food in your hands, then they will take it, not the nut or banana that you give them. They have a quick reaction, so you don’t have time to look around, as the package of treats that you planned to stretch for the whole walk will be in their tenacious paws.
- If the monkey took possession of a bag of food or a bottle of water, it is better to come to terms and not try to take her prey.
- Even worse, if the attention of primates will attract more valuable things – a phone, a watch, a camera, glasses, jewelry, a hat. Artful monkeys will surely try to get hold of what they liked, but it is almost impossible to take things back from them. Therefore, everything that can be dragged away, it is better to hide in a bag and hold it tight, without leaving any chance to macaques.
- The same precautions apply to bikes parked in Monkey Hill’s upper parking lot. Securely pack and attach the luggage, otherwise upon return you risk catching the overturned bike and bagged bags.
- It’s not dangerous to stretch the food in the palm of the hand to the monkeys, they take food carefully, and their claws are not sharp. But trying to stroke or touch the animals is not worth it, in return you can get a bite or a scratch.
- A smile, a look into the eyes can be perceived by monkeys as a manifestation of aggression, and cause irritation.
- Pass around the little cubs so that you do not get away from their angry parents.
- If you are facing a cluster of monkeys waiting for food from you, then show them that your hands are empty and they will lose interest in you.
- If you caused irritation, and the monkey began to throw at you – this is an exceptional case. In response, you should stamp your foot, shout and wave your hands, and then calmly move away. The aggressor will evaluate their chances of winning and will not pursue you, after all, monkeys are smart animals.
Monkey Mountain in Phuket is a must-see place for those who love animals, want to show their children and take interesting photos.