Becoming the monkey queen

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A few months ago I embarked on my Journey of a Lifetime to go backpacking across Southeast Asia. When in Thailand my friend and I decided to go to one of the many monkey temples. As I am an animal lover this was an ideal day out for me. We rented a motorbike and after a shaky ride with me telling him off at every bump he hit to fast, we finally arrived at Wat Khao Takiap in Hua Hin. We had left quite early to avoid the crowds of tourists and the midday heat.

We fist walked up to the small temple and had a quick look around as we were both in desperate need of our morning coffee fix. There was not much to see at the temple, but it did provide some nice views of the area and a cheeky monkey playing with the bells.

After visiting the temple and getting a nice ice coffee from one of the local shops, I got to feed the monkeys. Being surrounded by hundreds of monkeys when holding a wicker basket full of fruit is a little daunting, one keen monkey jumped and hung onto my toruses as the others impatiently growled and made whatever noises monkeys make when hungry. I threw the contents of the basket in front of me and within seconds I had monkeys racing, jumping and fighting to get their share of the food. One monkey grabbed my toe but luckily he decided it was not food and let it go.
Once all the monkeys had departed after having their fill of the fruit I had provided them we went for a walk around the grounds. The road down towards the sea was lined with monkeys of all ages, shapes and sizes. Some were in bad shape and looked as though they had been in fights or hit by the cars filled with locals and tourists.

We kept walking, stopping often for photos of the baby monkeys or my looking funny, until we found a large rock with a tree on top covered in baby monkeys between 3-7 months old. I climbed the rock and was busy taking photos when one slightly older monkey decided I looked fun and came running over and jumped on my shoulder. This monkey tried to eat my orange camera but soon got bored and decided my hair would make for a much more tasty snack. He pulled out my hair clips and nibbled on my hair for a good 10 minutes before my friend tried to remove him through fear it would bite me.

The monkey refused to move and clung to my hair giving my friend some very unhappy looks until finally he was peeled off and put down. This still did not deter the monkey as he was determined to get back to me at any cost. He would run and try to jump on me but my moving and my friend blocking him seemed to just make him angry. After a while he climbed the tree and tried to be on the closest branch possible.

When it was time to leave I started to climb down the rock when my new monkey friend/stalker came back over. This time he did not jump on me he just watched as I left, slowly following us up the road toward our motor bike. I kept walking and when I looked back one final time the monkey was not there. I will never know if he got bored, gave up or is still secretly following me.

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