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“In my opinion: Don't!”

Nanwan Monkey Island
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Xi'an, China
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“In my opinion: Don't!”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

If you expect to have a nice day in the countryside, don't go there. If you expect to see free and happy little monkeys, don't go there.
What we saw were animal shows that are a torture for visitors as well as animals, a national park, in which you should never use the hidden tracks, if you don't fancy meeting other cute animals such as rats or just step on a whole lot of garbage, animal "caretakers" that are using catapults to keep the monkeys away from their visitors and as an addition three massive fish swimming in a pool filled with garbage and an inch bigger than themselves.
Please just don't go there, because such places shouldn't be encouraged by lots of visitors!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Berta T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Lund, Sweden
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice cable car ride”
Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

Nice and long cable car ride over water and fishermens homes. Beautiful view. Interesting road trip from touristy Sanya. Well worth the trip. We didn't stay long enough to have an opinion about the monkeys situation.

Helpful?
Thank MariaS829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hainesport, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Unique experience with 100s of monkeys!”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Despite mixed reviews and talk of animal cruelty here and elsewhere, I decided to take my chances and explore Monkey Island ...and I'm glad I did.

Roads leading into this part of Lingshui are rough, but once you get to Xincun Town, the area is quite nice: it's like a fishing village meets a tourist attraction.

I opted for a round-trip cable car ride...so for roughly $30US, you get a beautiful ride up/down the mountain that the monkeys are on... and you get to explore an interesting monkey habitat.

The cable car ride was smooth & enjoyable, providing sweeping views of the countryside...of the floating fishing village below...and down the coast towards Sanya. I enjoyed the ride that lasted a few minutes.

You then land inside the park and there's monkeys everywhere!

There's signs that explain what you're looking at...and zoo-keeper-like staff scattered around the island. The monkeys mind their own business and swing from the trees or walk on the sidewalks. But if it looks like you have a bag of food or food in your pockets, they go in for an attack. My brother reached into his pocket to get his camera...and suddenly a monkey jumped on him, trying to get at whatever was in his pocket. He was able to shake it off...and a park employee came by to further spook the monkey away. The park person said never reach into your pockets in view of the monkey. My brother was unharmed...but definitely shaken up a bit.

Otherwise, it was great to see the monkeys out and about, playing and simply living. I did see some monkeys jump on people with food, but they were warned not to have food out or bags that could easily be grabbed.

Most monkeys are out and about, free to roam the park. There are a handful though on leashes, but I never saw them whipped or beaten. While I was bracing myself for all sorts of animal cruelty scenes, I saw none. There were a few monkeys within a large enclosure labeled "Monkey Jail", but I wasn't sure what their story was. The monkeys inside there seemed to be mean and were hissing at passerbys. If seeing a dog on a leash makes you cringe, you should avoid this place. But if you want an up-close experience with monkeys, this place is for you.

In addition to roaming about the wildlife preserve, the monkeys perform in two outdoor theaters, with shows in each lasting about 15-20 minutes long. One was "comedy" themed, with some monkeys fooling around with a performer. The other was "circus" themed, and included a goat and a pony doing stunts with the monkeys. I thought both shows, while narrated in Mandarin, were enjoyable....even if I didn't know what was being said.

Including the shows, I spent just over 2 hours at the park before taking the cable car back down. I enjoyed myself and think most others would too.

Tips:
-Don't bring in any food/drink! The monkeys will try to steal it from you.
-Don't act foolish around the monkeys --they're probably smarter than you and could harm you.
-Don't bring small children. I think this place is best served for kids 6+.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Michael_K_SNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bratislava, Slovakia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Well, for us europeans, its not often we get chance to see and walk around free monkeys living in natural habitat.

We got bit of all there - cuteness of theese monkeys, their cheekyness, fun and bit of adrenaline. I think if you are enough careful and do not provoke these monkeys, they will let you be. Don't let your bag open! Don't ever take out some snackfood or whatever what looks like food, since they will try to steel it from you even by force.

We did let our bag open and were taking picture, while one monkey started to look in our bag to steel something. I decided to scare the monkey away from the bag, so my wife can take it away, but monkey, instead of running away, jumped into me. I stepped back, and showed little big aggression, monkey jumped 2 meters away. But then, 5 another monkeys came around and all tried to attack me together. So i just run away with lot of adrenaline in my blood. I got away without scratch, but might have been otherwise. So, do not try to scare them away, it wont work !. Monkeys are very fast, aggressive, careful and smart.

This place would have been very funny for my daughter to see, but i am not sure i want to take her there, when still too small.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank scotraZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cardiff
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“be careful these monkeys bite !”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

After queuing for quite some time for the cable car, we arrived at the island. We couldn't believe all the cute monkeys running round freely until my husband got out his tobacco to role a fag. A huge monkey jumped on him and tried ripping the tobacco pouch out of his hand. My husband wouldn't let go so the monkey bit him on the stomach, getting the tobacco then ran off. My husband had to go to the first aid hut where without speaking a word of English, they knew exactly what it was and treated it immediately. With two teenage children by our sides, we set off tentatively around the island. We watched a monkey grab a bottle of water of an elderly woman and then I went to get a drink out of my bag. The monkeys appeared out of nowhere and were very menacing, even showing their teeth and making hissing noises. We decided at that point to leave. We couldn't relax and enjoy the surroundings after seeing these attacks. We stopped at a drinks hut on the way back down as it was a scorching hot day, once again, speaking no English, the woman motioned that we drink with our backs to the monkeys Otherwise they would snatch the drinks. Not an enjoyable day at all. My husband was quite shaken up but I am just glad it happened to him and not our child or somebody else's.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jnnparsonsCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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