It may sound stupid "what to do when you see a monkey" but let me tell you these animals are cruel. They will get their hands on anything and sneak up on you just to steal your stuff. So let me tell you my story on how to approach them safely without losing your GoPro or your new Ray-ban glasses.
The story begins at Maya Bay in Thailand. First, you should know that Thailand has a lot of tourists. So a lot of monkeys are used to getting fed by people. Finding monkeys in Thailand is easy. Just go to a tourist place near a forest or a beach and you will find them waiting for food.
Take a picture
Of course, don't fight the urge to take a photo! Grab your camera or smartphone and make memories. But, and this is very important. Monkeys steal everything even cameras or smartphones. They are very quick and when they have their loot they climb up the trees, so it's impossible to get it back. Make sure to carry your device in a case around your neck or attached to your wrist or be ready to fight with a monkey. And believe me when I say that this may sound easy but it definitely isn't. They chased me so far on the beach that I had to run into the sea, at least until the water covered my chest to finally get them off my trail. They are scared of the water, so they won't follow you there. The monkeys scratched my ankles all the way up my knees when they were running after me to get my water bottle. So be aware of this!
Don't feed them!
I know, tempting right? Just feeding the little guys some bananas? They fooled us too. We had 5 bananas on us when we entered the monkey trail in Krabi. Not even 5 seconds later one monkey stole them all! We called him George and screamed to share with the rest of the group but unfortunately, George took them all. The other monkeys saw that we gave George bananas and although we were sold out, they kept running after us, jumping on our shoulders, grabbing our hair, tearing our backpacks apart to find more bananas.
The weirdest thing is that it happened twice! We rented a kayak to paddle to the next beach a few days later. When we arrived at the beach some monkeys jumped on our kayak and started to search for food. We had to leave our kayak because they were so aggressive! Fortunately, the coastguard saw it and chased the monkeys with a machete.
Don't treat them as pets
Monkeys are no pets. A monkey will only obey when the poor animal is beaten. In Thailand, you will see a lot of tourist attractions with monkeys where the animals perform random tricks. Monkeys don't do that by themselves, someone made them. A lot of people think that monkeys are sweet and that you can cuddle them but if you see one at a beach or in a forest make sure not to touch them.
I hope you will see monkeys very soon because although they are a bit aggressive they are very cute to watch, and they are fun to interact with. We always give them names to recognize them. Here are our top 6 favorite monkeys.