Taxi driver made homeless during pandemic now busks with a pet monkey on his shoulder


A homeless man is playing guitar with his pet monkey to earn money after he lost his job during the pandemic.

Suradech Buajan, 51, can be seen busking – singing while playing his guitar – with his pet primate on the streets of Pattaya, Thailand.

Maruay, his seven-year-old pet monkey, sits on his shoulder while they perform for locals in the once-bust coastal city which has become a ghost-town due to Covid-19.

Suradech used to work as motorcycle taxi rice but his bike was seized when he could no longer afford repayments as tourists were banned in March last year.

The busker said on Monday (Jan 25) the monkey is his best friend so they will always walk around and sleep together.

He said: ‘I don’t know many songs and I don’t think I’m the most talented singer but I manage to get by.’

Suradech added that the monkey helped a lot in terms of attracting an audience as it was tame and sweet.

He said: ‘Sometimes, people will give it food and is not aggressive at all while I play a piece.

‘The only visitors are foreigners who live here and Thai people, but it’s just enough.’

As several tourist attractions remain closed, the money he earns from busking is still not enough to pay rent, but it covers for their food expenses.

The duo sleep in front of hotels that are closed and resume playing music in the daytime.

Thailand has recorded a relatively low 14,646 Covid-19 infections and 75 deaths but the impact on the tourism-dependent economy has been devastating.

The country’s Krungsri Bank forecasts that it will be up to three years before tourism returns to its pre-pandemic levels.