Sunday, November 29, 2009


It is a safe bet that most readers of the blog are satiated. Dare I say, full? It is our hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and although you cannot imagine eating another piece of turkey or one more slice of pie, do it for us.
We enjoyed the non-holiday weekend in Lopburi, however, there was a celebration of sorts. Lopburi is southeast of Dan Chang and as is common in Thailand, home to ancient ruins and abandoned temples. The main temple in town (Phra Phrang Sam Yod) is home to a troop on macaques or in layman terms, monkeys. These rambunctious animals are everywhere in the city, but mainly stick to scaling the temple walls and the occasional tourist's body! The citizens of Lopburi believe the monkeys are descendants from an ancient god and treat them very well. Sunday was the start of a week long festival honoring the fury little frolickers. The townspeople bring massive amounts of food to the temple for the macaques to enjoy, cakes, candy and soda were devoured by the troop within seconds of it being placed on the temple steps. It was quite a sight to watch a monkey crack open a Coke, grab a Doritos and look out at the crowd like we were the odd ones.

We have decided a few themes are emerging on the trip. Notably, the friendly and very helpful Thai people, the amazing sites and food and strangely enough, our encounters with the local wildlife. It was the cheeky Kia in New Zealand that stole our windshield wiper, the invading insects that greeted us in Dan Chang, the gecko in my pants in Kanchanburi and the tiger cubs nipping our heels in Sam Chuk we will remember fondly. Lopburi will go down in our animal adventures as well. Per usual, I was the victim or as Deb says “her entertainment” when Curious George's cousin jumped on my back and snatched the sunscreen from a pocket on our camera bag. Yes, I screamed like a school girl again...Revenge was mine this time, or so I thought, as the mischievous macaque was not pleased when he realized the small tube of Banana Boat SPF 15 was not the delicacy he hoped for. I laughed, his buddy jumped on me, trying to snatch our camera from my hands. Again, school girl screams from me, laughter from Deb and a monkey is spun round and round while grasping the strap of our camera. I realized he was smiling, enjoying the free ride I was providing. Only when I stopped trying to shake him loose did he jumped off and scamper away to hassle another tourist. I must admit, monkey's are one of my favorite animals so the PTSD from it will not last long...

Having our fill of monkey's and huge crowds we hopped into a cab and headed out of town to visit some enormous sunflower fields. Literally stretching for miles, the fields are incredibly beautiful. The sunflowers are giant and the vendors selling the seeds are plentiful. We had a leisurely walk in the fields, snapping many pictures along the way. A small mountain range rings the fields and we ventured up a road to visit a Buddhist temple. It was a beautiful, peaceful setting and our visit was made all the better when a worker invited us to purchase a “care package” for the resident monks. Similar to a family putting candy, clothes, hygiene supplies and other essentials into a package for a student away at college, these buckets of supplies went to the monks. Presenting an elder monk with the donation was an honor and he gave us a blessing before we left. The day ended with a good Vietnamese/Thai meal and some drinks outside with a few friends from the group.
We are back in class today and the town is preparing for a mushroom festival that starts tomorrow. One would never suspect that there could be so many festivals and events in a country, as usual Thailand has proved it can be so!


  1. These adventures just keep coming! It's like a seriel in the morning paper...I can't wait for the next one. Did pre-trip shots include something to ward off the dangers of an exotic animal bite? Your monkey tale reminds me of the nasty flying monkeys in Wizzard of Oz, not Curious George. Gretchen

  2. Wow! This looks like the adventure of a lifetime. You'll remember it for ever. Keep up the good work.

    Dave Bargabus

  3. Joe looks too comfortable surrounding by monkeys.