En route to Cambodia, we made a pit stop in Lop Buri so Ryan could come face-to-face with the primates he’s learned about in books and I could satiate my desire to explore this place more intimately. After a day of monkey stalking, we returned to our rental motorbike to find that four of the devils had chewed our seat and helmets to pieces. In a frenzy, I marched back to the hostel pleading innocence and ignorance and insisting it was a pack of wild monkey rebels that were to blame. Despite my laments, I was told that I am still responsible ($$) for the actions of whatever monkey decides to make a meal of my motorbike and that this, obviously, was common sense.
My frustration fueled my desire to find the inconspicuous Wat Khao Wongkot, where many monks and millions of bats dwell high above the city of Lop Buri. I set foot in my first cave, surrounded by stalactites, sleeping bats, and the peculiar odor of their dung. From the perspective of a mountain cliff at dusk, we watched in awe as the cave dwellers commenced their mass exodus and swarmed the sky like locusts. The slow-motion spirals of black specks created an eerie, supernatural phenomenon and evoked in me an empowering sensation.