Did you hear about the monkeys on Koh Rong?
In this locked down world, there are increasingly fewer and fewer things out there to make us smile, Koh Rong is an exception to that rule, at least for those of us currently stuck in Cambodia.
I won’t go into huge details about Koh Rong, but to cut a long story short it is a beach paradise just a few hours reach from Phnom Penh. It is also largely empty due to coronavirus. So, top tip, visit before one of these vaccines comes along.
To read a guide to Koh Toch click here.
To read about the best restaurant on Koh Rong click here.
Another great reason to visit Koh Rong is monkeys! Yes they are naughty bastards, but monkeys are just one of those animals, like dogs (which Koh Rong also has) that just make life better just by being there.
What are the monkeys on Koh Rong?
The species of monkey on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem are Macaque. The macaques are a small little monkey that traditionally exists on fruit and tree bark, but if you spend any time at all on Koh Rong you will realize that here at least, they will pretty much each anything. Literally anything.
The macaques are a kind of monkey that is known as a synanthrope, which means that they have learned to live with humans. And on Koh Rong the locals see them more as pests than the cute little terrorists that they are.
Where will you see monkeys on Koh Rong?
You do not see them so much in Koh Toch Town, but once you get towards the jungle huts and indeed the jungle you will see them almost everywhere, particularly when you are eating. When food is around, monkeys and dogs invariably follow.
Don’t leave food anywhere!
If you stay in on one of the jungle huts of say Treehouse Bungalows then be wary of how you dispose of food. I foolishly left food in my bin outside only to be greeted the next day by a monkey feeding frenzy! With some even trying to rip their way into our hut!
Now whilst we obviously do not recommend doing this, it does get you up close with the monkeys. It really is crazy just how similar to humans they are, a point poignantly made when I saw one of them drinking my yogurt from the bottle.
Cambodia exports A LOT of monkeys
According to government the country has exported over $6 million worth of monkeys this year, meaning Cambodia earns more from exporting monkeys than it does from the sale of live pigs, or cattle. Technically this means that only farmed animals are exported, but sadly Koh Rong monkeys can also get caught up in this trade.
Unfortunately for these monkeys they resemble humans to such an extent that they are considered the best candidates for many medical tests, such as for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Koh Rong! Come for the paradise, stay for the naughty monkeys on Koh Rong.