Most of the animals are cute and they are there to be adored, snapped, and sometimes fed. Still, humans don't find all the animals adorable and cute. Some of them are capable enough to give a headache to anyone, for instance, monkeys. When you travel into the hills or jungle, you come in contact with the monkeys. Sometimes they do some cute stuff, but most of the time they prefer to steal our food and make weird faces. Regardless of all these things, a country dedicates a grand festival to monkeys every year. The Monkey Buffet Festival is celebrated in Thailand and it is one of the weirdest festivals celebrated in the world.

Every year, thousands of monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand fill their woolly stomachs in this festival. The Monkey Buffet Festival is known as ‘Jeen Ling’ in the local language of Lopburi. This festival is held annually to throw a feast for local monkeys in the area as they are the area's resident animals that live side by side with the people of Lopburi. The festival is held in November, and it first took place in 1989 to thank all the monkeys for bringing numerous tourists to the region each year, which supported the local economy. 

The idea of feeding monkeys came from a local hotel owner at Lopburi before it evolved to the grand scale festival. According to the local legends of Lopburi, the monkeys are the symbol of the Monkey God, Hanuman. In the Hindu Epic Ramayana, Lord Rama gifted Hanuman the city of Lopburi in Thailand, because Hanuman helped in rescuing Rama's wife Princess Sita from clutches of the demon Ravana, and thus helping Rama to win the battle between the evil and good. Approximately a thousand years ago, a powerful Hindu ruler settled on the region and it is believed that since then the Lopburi became the residence of monkeys. The old town in Lopburi has ancient temples from the age of Ayutthaya's rule in Thailand. In 1989, Yongyuth Kitwattananusont along with the support of Thailand's tourism authority the Monkey Buffet Festival was started. The majority of monkeys inhabit the Khmer Temple of Pra Prang Sam Yot in Lopburi. Today, only ruins of the royal ancient time survive, but monkeys still run this city.

The monkeys of Lopburi are crab-eating macaques, who live in a group of 20 female monkeys followed by males and babies. Crab-eating does not mean it is their primary diet. These monkeys are not selective while eating and thus the vegetarian food at the Monkey Buffet Festival also works for them. From specific meals of expensive hotels to fresh fruits from the jungle, these monkeys have them all. Seeds, fruits, tree barks, noodles everything works for them. The most unique and difficult to make traditional Thai dish named Thong Yod is the primary item in the monkey buffet. Thong Yod is an ancient Thai dessert and one of the nine auspicious traditional Thai desserts.

Fresh and colourful tropical fruits packed in ice are a delight for monkeys, and they keep licking the fruits to melt the ice. Lines of tables decorated with red cloth, loaded with trays of food become a chaotic mess in the festival. Roughly watching this mess becomes funny for many people and they also click pictures of these adorable animals. The local people similarly dress and hop elegantly to celebrate this festival. However, some hungry and notorious monkeys turn out to be extremely unfriendly. They snatch cameras hats and also steal food. Around 4000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, and other food items are offered to monkeys during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival. The annual festival is often held on the last Sunday of November at the Phra Prang Sam Yot and Wat San Phra Kan. To reach these places, numerous private cabs are accessible from Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, and Lopburi is approximately 138Km north from it. The Monkey Buffet is one of the best tourist attractions in Thailand, and for someone who loves to watch the wilderness mixed with the festivals organised by humans, the Monkey Buffet can stand as one of the most satisfactory things they have seen.