Erica and Matt Chua: Monkey Business

When taking photos one thing always distracts me: monkeys.  As soon as they arrive on the scene I watch them carefully to ensure that the crafty primates don’t steal my things.  Beyond that my attention is attracted to them because of their facial expressions, behavior and physics-defying leaps.  I can’t help but snap a few photos of them, but when time comes to put things together for LivingIF I can’t find a way to work monkey photos into it.  Today though it’s time for monkey business, here are a few of my favorite monkey photos and where you can meet these crafty creatures on your own.

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INDONESIA

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In the archipelago of Indonesia you will find monkeys of all shapes, sizes and colors.  City dwellers are wise to human’s ways, raiding fruit stalls and harassing house pets while the jungles are home to a wide variety that will be as interested in you as you are in them.  Ubud, Bali’s Sacred Monkey Forest is home to beautiful, but pesky monkeys that know humans as an easy source of food.

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The wise elderly monkeys sit atop temples watching people pass.
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The young scurry around to get food from tourists.  This happens one of two ways: the people give it willingly or the monkey scares them into dropping it.
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The very young nestle in the safety of their parents.
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INDIA

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Like the people of India, the monkeys are often forced to interact with hoards of people in sprawling cities.  They have learned many tricks such as raiding rooftop gardens and kitchens.

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While quietly reading a book in Jodphur this wise guy dropped onto the table in front of me, snarled at me, and stole my orange.  Frightened I cleared the area quickly before several of his friends made their way into the hotel’s kitchen to grab bananas and bread.
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In Ranthambore National Park the monkeys live a more relaxed life, at least when a tiger isn’t hunting.  When we visited several newborns were being cared for just as human mothers would.
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MALAYSIA

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While monkeys are sparse in Peninsular Malaysia, on Borneo there are still areas that they have free reign.  One such area is Bako National Park near Kuching, where several rare monkeys are protected.

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These “David Beckham” monkeys are known for their trendy hairstyles.
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One of the oddest monkeys in the world, the proboscis monkey, is known for it’s strange nose, jacket-like coloring, and extremely long legs.
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THAILAND

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On aptly named Monkey Island off of Koh Phi Phi the monkeys are in charge.

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Tourists are warned to beware of aggressive, tourists robbing monkeys, but aren’t as careful as they should be.
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One person on our tour came close to losing her towel to this monkey who later tried swinging from another woman’s ponytail.
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The “locals” have figured out that tourists are good for drinking water, knowing what bottles look like and how to open them.
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No matter where you go in equatorial regions of the world, monkeys will be there.  When a monkey sees something they want they won’t hesitate to take it and you’d be wise to give it to them.  Getting yourself involved in monkey business is a losing proposition.  Share your monkey tales in the comments below…

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