Pattaya Monkey Island

Swim with Monkeys

Yes you can!

Monkey Island is a hidden gem, it is an experience not to be missed when you are in the Pattaya area, it is not generally known about and you wont see tour operators selling trips there.

Monkey Island is situated of the coast of Bangsaray, a short 30 minute drive from Pattaya.  The Island is only accessible via boat although these can easily be booked in advance from Pattaya Boat Tour, one of the unique things is about the way the friendly monkeys greet you.  Often they will swim out to your boat and join you in the swim or wade to shore.  

Although the monkeys are not tame, they are quite used to receiving the handful of daily tourists that take the time to visit the Island.

The resident monkeys are called "Ling Samae" in Thailand. Ling meaning monkey and Samae being the name of type of crab.  The monkeys official name however is Macaca fascicularis or long tailed macaque and they are commonly found in the wild from Bangladesh, eastward to Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, and southward to Maylasia, Singapore and Indonesia.  There is a very good article here on the monkeys across Thailand.

Hungry Monkeys!
Monkey Island gets few visitors and a lot of Monkeys, unfortunately there are so many monkeys that the natural flora and fauna on the island does not provide enough food for them.  This posed a predicament for the Thai authorities and whilst there were talks of a cull and relocation of the monkeys in the end they were provided with food aid in April 2010 where fruit was distributed to the monkeys.

Responsible Tourism

Whether you agree with feeding wild monkeys or not, the reality on monkey island is that they are dependent on regular tourism and government fruit handouts for their survival. When going to the island, please be mindful that a monkey diet does not consist of soft drinks, crisps or sandwiches. Suitable foods are  fruit, seeds and nuts as well as water. When you leave the island, please be sure to take all your rubbish with you, leave nothing but your foot prints behind and let others enjoy these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. If you do see any rubbish on the beach, why not pick it up as well and make the next visitors experience more enjoyable.

Getting to Monkey Island

The easiest and quickest way is to take a trip with Pattaya Boat Tours, they offer pickup and drop off at your hotel have large new 39' luxury speedboats and will also include a visit to the far islands as well as to the protected turtle breeding area. 

If you would like a more direct approach then you can charter a boat from Pattaya Boat Charter where you are also able to set your own schedule and activities.

Monkey Island is some way away from Pattaya by boat and as a result does not attract the tourists in the same way that Koh Larn does for example.  However with such a wonderful attraction, it is bound not to remain a secret for too long.

Yes, they are wild animals

The Samae monkeys have a wonderful reputation of friendliness, indeed humans and these monkeys have shared living environments since prehistoric times.

Please remember these are wild animals.  As any parent would be they are protective of their young so are these monkeys.  Be respectful of their environment, approach them slowly and you will soon see the wonderful nature of the these cheeky animals as they quite literally clamber over you.