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1:15 pm | Kam Shan Country Park

Meeting new friends

Since 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, we figure Monkey Hill at Kam Shan Country Park might be a good place to see more of them in their natural habitat.

Established in 1977 and located in the ranges north of Kowloon, it covers an area roughly 1.3 square miles, and it may very well be one of the largest parks in the world dedicated to monkeys. Beyond

meeting a furry friend or two, people come here to picnic and take in the panoramic views of the city.

While they don’t make much noise, it’s clear from the dozens we see on our drive up to the park that we are going to see some monkeys. Tons and tons of monkeys. And not just any kind of monkey. Macaques. Clustering together in little family troops, they hang out all day together. Almost as if in a back massage train cue, they sit in line grooming each other all day long, broken up by the occasional nap or run up the local mango tree for some provisions. Local lore suggests they were in private collections and released by owners to the site in the 1920s, and it’s clear from the over 1,800 of them that live here today that they’ve done quite well.

A word to the wise: Watch your food and drink at all times. These creatures are quite comfortable being around people. In fact, it is absolutely amazing how close we can get without causing them any concern, making us feel an odd combination of curious and cautious. We could spend many more hours watching these happy little macaques, but like any good monkey knows, there’s always something new to explore.

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