Hell, Monkeys, & a Stolen Earring
One morning last week, Trav woke up super early, like 6am early, and left our room. Of course I went back to sleep. He wakes me up an hour later and
says, "Hey, I rented a motorbike and tested it out. You wanna go for a ride? There's a hell temple that's been overrun by monkeys that's 20 minutes away I want us to go see!" Immediately, I had two thoughts running through my mind; 1. There's no way I'm getting on the back of a random motorbike with you and 2. Hell and monkeys? Huh? Nevertheless, Trav persuaded me and we hopped on the bike and took off. This wasn't the first time with him in a foreign land in a vehicle with no gps so I just had to go with the flow. He made sure to not go too fast and stuck to staying on one side. Two minutes in, I was smiling and wooing it up with the wind blowing through my hair. We even stopped halfway there and grabbed some breakfast. It was pretty thrilling to be doing it on our own. So thanks for the little push babe.
The temple's name is Wat Kai (or Gai), which roughly translates to Monastery of the Chicken. On one side of the road is the main temple which displays a Buddhist representation of hell. Let me tell you, it's like walking into a horror movie. All the women and men are shown naked. Some having their tongues cut off and others being sawed in half. I could go into further detail but I think you get the point. Hell is a gruesome place that no one wants to end up in.
On the other side of the road are the lovable, silly and semi-thievish little monkeys. When you cross the street, there's a little lady in a big cage selling fruit and vegetables that you can feed the monkeys with. There was a family of four taking change out of their bag to pay for some food when a monkey saw it as an opportunity to snag a papaya while the cage door was open. We could already see how sneaky they were right from the start. We bought some pea pods for 10baht and walked further into monkey kingdom. There were about 50 monkeys ranging from little babies to medium sized adults. They were the cutest little things until they find out you are holding food. They started climbing up our legs and even pulled my shorts down to grab onto the pea pods. One monkey jumped from the roof of their open shack and landed on Trav's book bag. It was quite a funny, cute and entertaining experience. It's like they've never seen food before because once you hand them something to eat they immediately run away to make sure none of the other monkeys snatch it from them.
I was standing, watching Trav take a photo and one sneaky little monkey climbed up my back, grabbed my earring out of my ear and put it in his mouth. I tried to persuade him with some pods to get it back but it was to no avail, he ate it. I left feeling pretty sad about my earring but in hindsight it was a highlight of visiting Ayutthaya and now I have a pretty funny monkey story to tell. If you like fun and quirky scenes off the beaten path, then Wat Kai is the place to go.