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Monkey centre in Mae Rim
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  1. #1
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    Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    We went on a field trip to the Monkey center in Mae Rim recently. It is on the Mae Rim-Samoeng road, only a few minutes from the turnoff, less than 30mins from Chiang Mai.
    Here is their website:
    http://www.monkeycentre.com/

    They charge 100 baht per kid and 200 for adults (special fees for groups). This is WAY too much for the pathetic little place it is. Would even be steep for a well-run zoo where you can spend hours - you can take in the monkey centre in less than 50 minutes.

    The website says these macaques were not born in the wild, they have been taken over from other places, and they would not be able to survive in the jungle. Nevertheless, that is not a good enough excuse.

    Monkeys are kept on 5-feet leashes tethered by their necks. They claim to have an enclosure where they can roam freely, but we saw no sign of this nearby. Maybe they truck the monkeys somewhere for the nights? I doubt it. Probably they are just locked up.

    So, what we saw was a few monkeys in small cages (smaller than my room), desperately running around, shaking, grinning. And about a dozen adult monkeys going round in the cubic metre area allocated by their leashes, madly, rocking back and forth, like a psychedelic scene from a mental hospital. I have seen a few zoos and animal shows around, and neither are famous for humane treatment of animals, but this was the most disturbing animal exhibit I have ever seen.

    You may buy potato chips if you would like to feed the monkeys.
    (Maybe all those distressed monkeys were just waiting for their daily potato chips cum MSG fix??)

    There is a half-hour show that the children enjoyed a lot, but it is quite boring and slow, almost embarrassing - coconut picking and stashing, playing basketball, picking the given number from a lineup, riding a bicycle, swimming. It is possible to touch and hug a monkey, some children liked that, even though teachers did not approve because if they happen to bite, good luck with an infection. At least, there were no monkeys wearing ballet skirts or anything like that, however, they were made to walk upright like humans.

    Macaques are funny and fascinating when you see them in the wild - the cave temple near Mae Sai, Tiger cave temple in Krabi, mangroves near Krabi, temples in Lopburi, Ko Phi Phi - there are many easy opportunities to see them in nature. Locked up like this and obviously distressed, it is just disturbing.

    I know most Thais would have no idea why we thought it was horrible, but then, most of the attractions in the area are targeted at foreigners (elephant camp, tiger camp, orchid farm, bungee jumping). I suspect the main audience could be the Chinese.
    I wouldn't put this on anyone's "must-see" list.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    We went on a field trip to the Monkey center in Mae Rim recently. It is on the Mae Rim-Samoeng road, only a few minutes from the turnoff, less than 30mins from Chiang Mai.
    Here is their website:
    http://www.monkeycentre.com/

    They charge 100 baht per kid and 200 for adults (special fees for groups). This is WAY too much for the pathetic little place it is. Would even be steep for a well-run zoo where you can spend hours - you can take in the monkey centre in less than 50 minutes.

    The website says these macaques were not born in the wild, they have been taken over from other places, and they would not be able to survive in the jungle. Nevertheless, that is not a good enough excuse.

    Monkeys are kept on 5-feet leashes tethered by their necks. They claim to have an enclosure where they can roam freely, but we saw no sign of this nearby. Maybe they truck the monkeys somewhere for the nights? I doubt it. Probably they are just locked up.

    So, what we saw was a few monkeys in small cages (smaller than my room), desperately running around, shaking, grinning. And about a dozen adult monkeys going round in the cubic metre area allocated by their leashes, madly, rocking back and forth, like a psychedelic scene from a mental hospital. I have seen a few zoos and animal shows around, and neither are famous for humane treatment of animals, but this was the most disturbing animal exhibit I have ever seen.

    You may buy potato chips if you would like to feed the monkeys.
    (Maybe all those distressed monkeys were just waiting for their daily potato chips cum MSG fix??)

    There is a half-hour show that the children enjoyed a lot, but it is quite boring and slow, almost embarrassing - coconut picking and stashing, playing basketball, picking the given number from a lineup, riding a bicycle, swimming. It is possible to touch and hug a monkey, some children liked that, even though teachers did not approve because if they happen to bite, good luck with an infection. At least, there were no monkeys wearing ballet skirts or anything like that, however, they were made to walk upright like humans.

    Macaques are funny and fascinating when you see them in the wild - the cave temple near Mae Sai, Tiger cave temple in Krabi, mangroves near Krabi, temples in Lopburi, Ko Phi Phi - there are many easy opportunities to see them in nature. Locked up like this and obviously distressed, it is just disturbing.

    I know most Thais would have no idea why we thought it was horrible, but then, most of the attractions in the area are targeted at foreigners (elephant camp, tiger camp, orchid farm, bungee jumping). I suspect the main audience could be the Chinese.
    I wouldn't put this on anyone's "must-see" list.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	monkey centre1.jpg 
Views:	98 
Size:	38.8 KB 
ID:	4688 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	monkey centre2.jpg 
Views:	98 
Size:	74.0 KB 
ID:	4689

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	monkey centre3.jpg 
Views:	229 
Size:	69.3 KB 
ID:	4690 Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	78 
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ID:	4691
    It is only a tourist trap and I am surprised a field trip was ever organised. There are many places like this here. Tiger Kingdom in maerim, the crocodile farm in samut prakan. they rely also on commisiions to tuk tuk drivers and organised groups.

    Samut Prakan has a village showing houses temples etc from all over thailand - i forget the name but much more educational than crocodiles. there are many places in the cm area too from which children and adults can benefit without being part of commercial exploitation.

  3. #3
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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    เมืองโบราณ or ancient city

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    the Crocodile farm is quite interesting, and you can easily hang around for hours. it is a popular destination for school field trips even from other provinces, as far as I remember.

    please reserve your sneaky comments on where we go or don't go on field trips. (btw, have you been to the Monkey centre yourself?)
    it is kind of difficult to find suitable field trips with 80+ little children who need to be supervised all the time (hold their hands or let them walk around free in a contained space). I would be happy if you could share ideas, then, for field trips for 2.5-6 year-olds near Chiang Mai. especially for the hot season and the rainy season. I would like to learn from your expertise.

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    i have reread my post. it is not "sneaky", betti

    i am expressing my own opinion. and you are expressing yours. i have no problem with that other than the offensive tone of your post.

    my post was about there being more educational type visits available. i cited ancient city as probably the best in thailand, but there are many in the chiangmai area too

    i am not rising to the bait about my expertise.

    (yes i have been to the monkey farm)

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    I am still desperately waiting for your suggestions on field trips for little kids that are less than one hour driving from southern Chiang Mai city and safe for 60-70 small kids with only 9 teachers.

    btw, so you fell into the tourist trap yourself. I had no choice, I had to go. I wouldn't have gone otherwise. but once I did, I wrote a review about it because that's my job here in the Chiang Mai section.

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    I am not pursuing this exchange as you are not making it constructive.

    I was called to the monkey centre as an old monkey had bitten a Thai friend. Unfortunate as it was the farangs there not the Thais that were enticing it. The Thais were keeping well away from them.

    As Richard knows - and I have posted on this site - I already help in a local school and yes we do field trips which are appreciated by the kids, staff and parents

    I wish you well, Betti, with field trips and everything else but I am not getting involved with yoir agenda.

    Just let people post on these forums without harassment, you don't have to agree with people.

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    Here's an idea peacerichard.

    Instead of criticizing someone else's review on a tourist area, you do something constructive. Why not post your own reviews and opinions on educational/tourist trips around the Chiang Mai area? They would be most welcome.

    I think this is the first time I have seen a negative response to someone taking the time to share an experience with us. Whether or not I like the place reviewed is immaterial, I still appreciate anyone giving good information and photos of their trip anywhere in Thailand.

    If you are involved in these trips for kids why don't you share them with us then let us make up our own minds. I would like hear of how you help kids from the local school on field trips rather than giving us displays of how they act in the playground.

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    Quote Originally Posted by tomboR View Post
    Here's an idea peacerichard.

    Instead of criticizing someone else's review on a tourist area, you do something constructive. Why not post your own reviews and opinions on educational/tourist trips around the Chiang Mai area? They would be most welcome.

    I think this is the first time I have seen a negative response to someone taking the time to share an experience with us. Whether or not I like the place reviewed is immaterial, I still appreciate anyone giving good information and photos of their trip anywhere in Thailand.

    If you are involved in these trips for kids why don't you share them with us then let us make up our own minds. I would like hear of how you help kids from the local school on field trips rather than giving us displays of how they act in the playground.
    I am more than happy to do that but i don't like these comments about "sneaky" posts and the way I am being baited, accused of using other handkles etc. If that stops, as I suggested weeks ago, then fine. The ball is not in my court it depends how open members are to getting back to being constructive.

    The photos I posted were as requested by a guest on this forum for her son's project.

    "rather than giving us displays of how they act in the playground" - the photos showed the children participating in loi gratong so i hope would help the project.

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    Re: Monkey centre in Mae Rim

    Quote Originally Posted by peacerichard View Post
    accused of using other handkles etc.
    I haven't accused you of anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacerichard View Post
    The ball is not in my court it depends how open members are to getting back to being constructive.
    I'll be honest, I don't remember seeing anything constructive from you.


    Quote Originally Posted by peacerichard View Post
    The photos I posted were as requested by a guest on this forum for her son's project.
    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacerichard View Post
    "rather than giving us displays of how they act in the playground" - the photos showed the children participating in loi gratong so i hope would help the project.
    I hope they did help the project, but I was referring to your behaviour in the forums so far.

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