Monkey Island in Pattaya is yet another island to be discovered for its beauty and reputation. This unique island goes by various names with the more common ones by the locals being Koh Ling (Monkey Island) and Koh Ped (Duck Island). Its official name, however, is Koh Klet Kaew (Crystal Shard Island). True to its local name, this island is famous for its large population of crab-eating macaques. Thus, visitors may not need to be surprised by the many monkeys that invite them when they land on the island. These monkeys are used to the presence of humans who come daily to the island by boat. A fun fact will be no ducks are occupying the island despite one of its local names after the bird. Its official name makes sense due to the lands of the island being shaped like splinters of crystal.
The origin of the island remains to be one of interest, and it never ceases to amaze the visitors who come to the island. The large population of white-handed monkeys was said to be brought in by the US Armed Forces scientists in the year 1967 for the research on possible malaria vaccines. The study came to a halt a few years later, and the monkeys were released into the wild near Kanchanaburi. Now, the 24-hectare island is home to these monkeys and provide the opportunity for visitors to feed the monkeys and photograph with them.
Visitors are often intrigued by the presence of the long-tailed macaques or better known as Ling (monkey) Samae (a type of crab) locally. They are generally friendly and would often swim to meet the visitors, hoping for some food in return. Those who wish to feed them can consider varieties of food such as fruit and nuts, but it is widely known that watermelon remains their most favorite food. The population is always growing in numbers thanks to the generosity of the visitors prompting even the Royal Thai Navy to provide food aid during the off-season.
It is worth mentioning that it always pays to be cautious when interacting with the monkeys as they still tend to be aggressive when it comes to food. Monkeys are not only the highlights of the island, although they are known as the primary residents. Tourists who wish to capture the beautiful moments and experience on the island can visit the Buddhist temple on the island for photo-taking opportunities. The shrine is guarded by a stone mermaid, which makes the attraction all the more captivating. The island is situated just off the Sattahip coast, making travel more accessible, with a speedboat that takes about half an hour.