Where is Monkey Buffet Held?

Monkey Buffet Festival: A Feast for Our Primate Friends in Lopburi, Thailand

The Monkey Buffet Festival is a unique and fascinating event that takes place in the historic city of Lopburi, Thailand. This annual celebration is unlike any other in the world, as it combines the culinary delights of a grand buffet with the entertaining presence of hundreds of wild monkeys. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the Monkey Buffet Festival, what happens during the event, and how you can experience this one-of-a-kind celebration for yourself.

The Origins of Monkey Buffet Festival

The Monkey Buffet Festival, also known as the “Feast for the Monkeys,” has been a beloved tradition in Lopburi for over three decades. The festival was first organized in 1989 by local hotel owner Yongyuth Kitwattananusont. His goal was to give back to the local macaque monkey population, which is a significant part of the city’s culture and history.

Lopburi, often referred to as the “Monkey City,” has a long-standing connection with these primates. The city’s Phra Prang Sam Yot temple, dating back to the 13th century, is home to hundreds of macaques that roam freely in the area. The Monkey Buffet Festival was conceived as a way to celebrate and honor the monkeys that have become an integral part of Lopburi’s identity.

The Festival Highlights

Monkey Buffet Festival

The Monkey Buffet Festival takes place every year on the last Sunday of November. The event typically begins in the morning and lasts throughout the day. Here are some of the highlights of this unique celebration:

  1. The Grand Buffet: The centerpiece of the festival is undoubtedly the elaborate buffet laid out for the monkeys. The buffet features an astonishing variety of food, including fruits, vegetables, desserts, and even specially crafted monkey-sized cakes. The spread is not only a feast for the monkeys but also a visual spectacle for festival attendees.
  2. Monkeys as Guests of Honor: During the festival, the monkeys are treated as esteemed guests. They are invited to dine on the buffet, and the local belief is that the event brings good luck and prosperity to Lopburi. Visitors can watch as the monkeys enjoy their banquet while capturing memorable photos and videos.
  3. Cultural Performances: In addition to the buffet, the festival includes traditional Thai cultural performances, music, and dances. These performances provide visitors with a glimpse into Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.
  4. Market Stalls: Local vendors set up stalls around the festival grounds, offering a wide range of Thai street food, crafts, and souvenirs. It’s an excellent opportunity to sample delicious Thai snacks and purchase unique gifts.
  5. Photography Opportunities: For photography enthusiasts, the Monkey Buffet Festival is a dream come true. The sight of monkeys indulging in the buffet, often in amusing and endearing ways, provides endless photo opportunities.
  6. Charity and Conservation: The festival also serves as a platform to raise awareness about the conservation of macaque monkeys in the area. Donations and proceeds from the event often go towards supporting local wildlife conservation efforts.

Visiting the Monkey Buffet Festival

If you’re intrigued by the idea of attending the Monkey Buffet Festival, here are some tips for planning your visit:

Monkey Buffet Festival
  1. Check the Date: Ensure you’re aware of the festival’s date in November each year. It’s advisable to confirm the exact date closer to your travel time, as it may vary slightly from year to year.
  2. Accommodation: Lopburi offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to more luxurious hotels. Plan your stay well in advance, as accommodations may fill up quickly during the festival.
  3. Respect the Monkeys: While the monkeys at the festival are accustomed to human presence, it’s essential to treat them with respect. Avoid feeding them outside of the designated buffet area, and be cautious with your belongings.
  4. Enjoy the Culture: Take the opportunity to explore Lopburi beyond the festival. Visit the historic temples, learn about the city’s history, and savor authentic Thai cuisine.
  5. Capture Memories: Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the unforgettable moments at the festival. Remember to respect the monkeys’ space and not disturb them during their meal.


The Monkey Buffet Festival in Lopburi, Thailand, is a testament to the unique and harmonious relationship between humans and monkeys in this historic city. This extraordinary celebration offers a delightful blend of culture, wildlife, and culinary delights that are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who attends. If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience that combines tradition, entertainment, and natural wonder, the Monkey Buffet Festival should be on your bucket list. Come join the festivities, celebrate the monkeys of Lopburi, and immerse yourself in the magic of this captivating event.

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