One of the most interesting places to visit on Phi Phi Island has to be Monkey Beach Thailand.
You may also hear Monkey Beach Thailand referred to as its traditional Thai name which is Yong Gasem Bay or Ao Ling. Ao Ling is an exact Thai translation for Monkey (Ling) Beach (Ao), whereas Yong Gasem Bay is the area. Monkey Beach Thailand is also called Monkey Island Thailand.
Monkey Island in Phuket is a small cove located on a peninsula on Koh Phi Phi Don, the larger of the two main Phi Phi Islands. This peninsula helps form part of Ton Sai Bay which is where the vast majority of boats coming and going from the busy tourist area of Phi Phi load and unload their guests.
Phi Phi Island Monkey Beach is accessible only by boat or Kayak from Phi Phi Don. Our recommended method would be by tour boat, as the boat traffic levels are quite high in this area, in-experienced Kayakers may struggle with the constant wakes generated by boats, some of them being quite large and fast moving.
The bay is quite a small area of sand and it can also get quite busy so it is best to head there in the morning before all the speedboats start arriving. You could also go later in the afternoon which may be a good idea as the monkeys will be well fed by then and a little less aggressive. You are not allowed to feed the monkeys but sadly many people do. Unfortunately, you will find all sorts of scraps left over that people have taken to feed the monkeys on Monkey Beach. As mutual lovers of our natural environment please help us care for it as if it was your own backyard.
You may be wondering if it is worth all the effort in getting to Monkey Beach? We can assure you that it is but if you are scared of monkeys then it’s probably not advisable to paddle here on your own. In this case, it would be best to stay with a tour such as one of our Phi Phi Island tours. Safety in numbers! Our Ultimate Phi Phi Sunrise tour has developed worldwide acclaim as a trusted high-quality tour out of Phuket. Don’t take our word for it though. View what other travelers are saying about Simba on Trip Advisor. No other tour boat company in all of Thailand has such a strong and consistent customer satisfaction profile as us.
Book your seat for a trip to remember at Monkey Beach!
If you’re an animal lover like me and visiting Phi Phi Islands on a tour out of Phuket, then Monkey Beach Phuket adds a great point of difference to the day. A break from marveling at the stunning geological formations or admiring the beautiful and frantically busy underwater ecosystems. We suggest viewing these guys from the safety of our boat. Watch this interesting troop of our cute little relatives go about their daily life in paradise.
The fascinating Long-Tailed Macaques clamber down the rock face to come and greet the boats and tourists, hoping to get something to eat. This species of Macaque is also known as the Crab-Eating Macaque as they are often seen foraging for crabs. This is actually a little misleading as this breed of monkey is actually about 80% reliant on fruit in their diet. So if you must feed these guys, then fruit is probably the least problematic to sustaining their foraging style of survival.
Personally, these guys rank pretty highly on the cute scale. They are one of the much smaller sub-species of Macaques so are a lot less intimidating than the larger bodied groups of Macaques you see throughout other parts of the world. Their youngest is incredibly cute at around the size of a small domestic kitten, at this age usually seen clinging to their Mum’s back or drinking milk. While the adults’ bodies are the size of a large domestic cat or small to a medium-sized breed of dog such as a Pug.
They predominantly socialize in groups of adult females and young monkeys. I enjoy watching them interact with each other and enjoy the very human-like mannerisms they exude. Particularly the more active young monkeys, constantly clowning around until they drop! As these guys are wild, there is no script to follow. On any given day you may see this family living in blissful harmony, whilst other days you may witness a dramatic power struggle developing amongst the maturing young males.
The interactions with humans are always interesting viewing also. In the human world, our social cues are very different to these primates. We all can’t help smiling and showing our pearly whites at our cute little furry friends. I personally find myself making eye-contact with them, only to have them abruptly look away. In a Monkey’s world if I’m showing my teeth to someone that’s a sign of aggression, likewise making eye-contact. So they also must view us as similar creatures to themselves!
You do need to be quite cautious about your belongings and the monkeys like to take anything they can get their hands on. It is best not to leave anything unsupervised. They’re not inherently naughty! They just survive by foraging for food. Though they don’t distinguish between a handbag full of expensive things and a bag of fruit at all! These breeds are also known to use tools in the wild. They have quite high levels of intelligence and fine motor skills for the animal world. I-phones and keys can make great tools for splitting things apart!
Like most primate species, an inherent risk of interacting is dealing with aggression, which mostly would come about from misinterpreted social cues, or cornering them whilst fending off a very hungry or curious monkey. The obvious risk from small monkeys is the risk of infection or disease following a bite. Macaques are also known to carry some nasty viruses transmittable to Humans such as the Herpes B virus. The key is to have any Monkey bite professionally treated at once. This is why at Simba we choose to minimize this risk by viewing only from the safety of our boat.
Monkey Beach isn’t just about the monkeys though. If you hire a kayak to paddle there then don’t forget to take your snorkeling equipment with you too. There is some fantastic snorkeling just off the beach. Leave your kayak beached on the sand and enter the water from the beach. Make sure you don’t leave any valuables in the kayak for those pesky monkeys to thieve though! There is quite an array of fish to see and some coral too. Previously I have seen a group of clownfish in their anemone. It was very cool hovering above them and watching them swim in and out and going about their daily business.
So there’s a bit of insight into a very well-known inclusion you will experience when you visit Monkey Beach Thailand.