South East Asia is without a doubt one of the main hotspots for backpackers, travelers and holiday-makers. With it's breath-taking scenery, rampant nightlife, exotic animals and exceptionally low price tags, there is no reason not to travel here. But there is a dark side to the increasing number of tourists and visitors. Residents of these countries are under constant pressure of the supply and demand that comes with the flood of tourists - and unfortunately many animals are treated inhumanely to fuel this ever growing tourist industry. Of course people want to experience the unique wildlife of these countries. But in many cases these animals are held in captivity, drugged, beaten and chained just to be paraded in front of hoards of tourists every single day. Many people are willing to pay these attractions just for the thrill of seeing such amazing creatures up close and personal. However, most of these people are unaware that their money is going towards an industry that torture these creatures every single day.
This post is focussing on the plight of the monkey specifically, but elephants and tigers are undoubtedly the most popular creatures that are used to rope in tourists. Personally, I have never seen the point in paying to see a monkey in captivity anywhere in South East Asia. They are abundant in the wildlife and I saw monkeys on numerous separate occasions in the wild during my time in South East Asia. Seeing a monkey in the wild for the first time is literally amazing. I watched in awe as I saw a group of monkeys climbing temple walls, groom each other and care for their offspring when I went to Batu Caves in Malaysia. I particularly noticed their obvious intelligence and how they pay attention to detail when "pick-pocketing" food from unsuspecting passers-by.