If you heard about something called “Monkey Cave” could you possibly pass up going to see it? Neither could I, so this was the new mission. Having a rough idea of where this mythical cave was located, I parked my motorbike at the foot of a mountain near an awesome turquoise lake. Walking around looking for clues of the cave’s whereabouts a group of local boys came up to us and started making monkey noises dancing around. Then they motioned for us to follow them so we obliged. They led us to a small cave that in no way resembled a monkey or had monkeys inside. There was a small Buddhist relic they pointed to, then gestured for us to go around the cave. Just around the corner there were monkeys literally everywhere. Tourists could pay to feed these insanely hyper little creatures, it was quite hilarious watching them jump high in the air to grab food out of people’s hands.
Anyone who thinks monkeys are cute little cuddly animals, like puppies, has never seen one outside of a Zoo or Animal Planet. They are pesky little buggers who will literally steal your camera, wallet and even try to bite you if you don’t give them some food. I even came across a monkey who hung out in the rafters of a beach bar and when you set your beer down for a second without paying attention it would swiftly snatch and drink your beer so fast you wouldn’t know what happened. The bartender said “no give monkey beer, alcoholic…” After a few minutes watching hoards of monkeys pestering tourists for food, the boys signaled us over to another cave. There was a lady selling candles and flashlights at the entrance to the cave, but thinking it would be small and similar to the last one I opted to try and use the light from my cell phone instead. However, after just a few minutes venturing deeper and deeper into a dark and narrow cave I realized I had made a huge mistake. The boys swiftly stole some tiny birthday cake size candles from a Buddhist relic near the entrance so our only sources of light were the candles, a useless cell phone and taking flash pictures with my camera every couple steps to make sure there were no Burmese Pythons or Bears we were about to run into.
The experience was not for the faint of heart as we ventured a long ways into the darkness stumbling across hidden Buddhist relics and statues along the way. As I began to get nervous that if we lost these boys we would literally never find our way out of this cave, the boys started saying something to me in Thai with a sense of urgency. No clue what they were saying, but they kept pointing at the ground with a warning tone. As I was valiantly leading the group through the cave my mind pondered what dangers they could be trying to warn me about. My first thought was some sort of man-eating monkeys hence the name of the cave, but that wouldn’t explain why they pointed to the ground. Perhaps snakes, scorpions or maybe a massive drop off? With my mind occupied and a few strides ahead of the group, I reached a Buddha statue at what seemed to be the end of the cave.
With a birthday candle in one hand and a camera in the other I approached this interesting looking relic and pondered why anyone would build it so deep into a cave. As I neared the statue my feet disappeared from under me and I fell directly into a deep hole in the ground. For some reason my instincts told me to hold onto my camera and the candle rather than try to brace myself for landing so I took the entirety of the impact with my butt. I uttered an echoing yelp and could hear Jessy gasping as she thought I had fallen to my death. Immediately realizing the boys warning and struggling to stand up from the piercing pain in my butt I felt rather stupid and lucky to not be seriously injured. I climbed out of the hole and whimpered back to the entrance of the cave under the chilling candlelight. As we made our way back to the motorbike we decided it would be nice to give the boys some money for their cool tour, even though it nearly ended in catastrophe. We gave them a worthy handful of change before we made our way to the motorbike. As we walked away we could hear a sound like change hitting a tree and the boys looked rather sulky back at us. I’m not positive, but I believe these little fellas were not pleased with their more than generous tip and chucked the change at a tree in anger. Slightly confused as the boys looked quite poor, we hopped back on the ol’ trusty motorbike and cruised up to the border town between Thailand and Myanmar.