Traveler’s Voice: Can golden snub-nosed monkeys read?

This note was written by An Zhenyi (Ann), a WildChina  tour leader & travel consultant who recently traveled to Dapingyu Nature Reserve to observe China’s golden snub-nosed monkeys.


In October, I assisted in leading a WildChina nature photography tour for Dutch clients.  Our journey took us to the nature reserves of Yunnan as well as pandas in Sichuan, but one of our favorites was definitely the golden snub-nosed monkeys of Shaanxi Province.

In the morning, we traveled between 4 to 5 hours outside the home of the Terracotta Warriors to Dapingyu Nature Reserve, located in Foping County.  This furry, wide-eyed creature is endangered due to habitat loss, but here, our group had the opportunity to see 80 of them up close and personal…


During the two days we spent in the reserve, our group observed and studied the monkey’s behavior. Golden snub-nosed monkeys are not aggressive, but  they’re not shy either. They were comically friendly with each other — posing together like old comrades, picking ticks off of each others back.


When a guest accidentally left a notebook on the edge of log, one young, little guy picked it, ran off. I immediately chuckled and sarcastically thought, “Oh, can golden monkeys read now?” Seeming to have heard me, the monkey cocked his head towards the pad in a studious manner as if to say, “Hmph! Why, yes I can!”

The avid photographers on this journey thus returned home with one less notebook but plenty of photos that not very many tourist take home from China — an absolute highlight. I hope that more WildChina guests in the future will choose to visit these playful critters in this Chinese nature reserve.


If you are interested in learning more about visiting the golden snub-nosed monkeys, please contact us at

Photos by Bruce Bai, WildChina Tour Guide.