Clever, lively, flexible - no, we're not trying to simply flatter you into booking a holiday (do let us know if that would work, though), these are in fact three central traits attributed to those born in the Chinese calendar's Year of the Monkey. Ironic really, given the cerebral association, that there's so much confusion over the various suborders of primate (ape, monkey and prosimian, so Wikipedia tells us). Anyway, the advent of Chinese New Year brings not only a good excuse for a party but also another Year of the Monkey, which got us thinking about the best places on the planet to spot these cheeky beasties. And here's a few of our favourites…

Snub nosed monkey

Snub Nosed Monkeys, China

We had to start with China. Now, you'd be forgiven for thinking the snub nosed monkey was in fact something straight out of Star Wars but these blue-faced beauties are prevalent around Southern China, Vietnam and Myanmar as well.

Howler Monkeys, Costa Rica

The world may be losing its collective cool over the Zika virus but Latin America is still a wonderful destination provided you're not pregnant. And nowhere does the dawn chorus quite like Costa Rica. Centre stage and chief racketeers in this bombastic sound explosion are howler monkeys, whose guttural bark can be heard a mere three miles away.

Snow Monkeys, Japan

The Japanese Macaque, found in the Jigokudani National Park, lives the furthest north of any non-human primate, surviving winter temperatures of -15°C. And how do these red-faced critters keep cushty in the depths of winter? By chilling (well, warming really) in hot springs. Marvellous.

Chimpanzees, Western Tanzania

Primatologists will be up in arms at our inclusion of a chimpanzee in a list of monkeys but who can deny the glory of this little chap's Blue Steel impersonation? What's more, Tanzania is the only place where you can combine the epic drama of the Great Migration with tracking beasts of another kind - the magnificent chimpanzee.

Proboscis Monkeys, Borneo

They may be aesthetically challenged (the phrase 'a face for radio' springs to mind) but Proboscis monkeys are a real draw to the island of Borneo, where they are endemic. All the more so given that they are endangered - their population has dropped by a staggering 50% in the last 40 years.

Langur Monkeys, Ranthambore National Park, India

Monkeys might not be the primary reason for a visit to India's Ranthambore National Park(tigers, anyone?) but they're a rather amusing diversion nonetheless; very much putting the cheeky in cheeky monkey. Populating the beautiful temples and forts strewn across India's National Parks, they're part of the rich tapestry that makes up rural Indian life.