Many years ago, before tourism hit big in Ko Samui, the main industry on the island was coconut farming. It was the locals’ primary source of income. To help them in coconut farming, the locals would train monkeys to climb up the trees, pick the coconuts for them, and do other tricks that were helpful in their daily chores. When tourism eventually hit big on the island, many people turned to other sources of income that benefitted from this new booming industry. Some of them came up with a very good idea: monkey shows.
And why not? They already had trained monkeys for performers. All they needed to do was give these animals further training for more tricks. The idea turned out to be a good one. Now, tourists who go to Ko Samui watch these monkey shows and are amazed by the adorable performances of these little creatures. The monkeys are treated well by their trainers, as they always have been even when they used to help in coconut farming.
The shows are held at the Monkey Theatre in Bophut with affordable entrace fees. The shows are repeated three times during the day – 10:30am to 12:00pm, 2:00pm to 3:30pm, and 4:00pm to 5:30pm – so it is not difficult to catch one. If you are traveling with children, be sure to take them here because they will certainly enjoy it. Sometimes people from the audience get a chance to interact with the monkeys and participate in the show, so try to get a front row seat.
Monkey shows in Ko Samui do not just feature monkeys picking coconuts from a tree. Aside from the usual stunt of going up and down the coconut trees, the show also features monkeys doing a lip synch of a song. Some monkeys even play the guitar! After the performances and the coconut picking stunts, you will be treated to an elephant show. There are elephants in the venue that you can ride on for a small fee. If you have kids with you, they certainly wouldn’t want to miss this elephant ride.
When you’re done watching the show, you can head over to Bophut to see the quaint fisherman’s village where old Chinese-style houses still line the main road. Many of these houses have now become little shops. On the main road, you will also find shops selling clothes, souvenirs, and even jewelry. Walking around the fisherman’s village is like going back to ancient Samui because of the old structures that have been well preserved over the years.
You may also head toward the beach after watching the monkey shows. The beach in Bophut is not lined with resorts, unlike other beaches. So far, most of the development is lumped at the western end of Bophut beach, making the rest of the coast look like a natural paradise. There are a few affordable accommodations in Bophut beach, but majority of the newer developments are high-end resorts and hotels. From its beautiful environment to its engaging culture, Ko Samui will never fail to give delight to its visitors.