Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest is temple complex and natural reserve which is home to over six hundred  long tailed macaques. We visited the Monkey Forest in Ubud twice during the few days we were there.  Of all the places we visited in Bali, I think this was Sam’s favourite.

They are a fairly confident bunch and certainly not afraid to jump all over you and search through your pockets.  This one stole Sam’s handkerchief, although after realising he couldn’t eat it, kindly returned it.

I was a bit wary at first, given my limited desire to trot off to a Balinese hospital for rabies shots, but we found a few friendly monkeys for me to become acquainted with.

I think this experience is probably better summed up in pictures than words – I mean look at these delightful characters!

Surviving the Monkey Forest Ubud

If you even find yourself in this delightful monkey sanctuary, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t buy bananas.  Unless you have a death wish or want to practice your wrestling skills that is.  Women at the entrance to the forest sell bananas for you to feed to the monkeys.  The monkeys are acutely aware of this, even such that s one woman sells the bananas while the other wards off monkeys with a large stick!).  We saw a number of people purchase a few bananas at the entrance, immediately get jumped on by aggressive hungry monkeys, drop the bananas and run for their lives.  Whilst this was quite entertaining for us, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Put your stuff away.  Like, really.  Rings, necklaces, tissues, sunglasses, these little guys will grab anything you have on you.  Sam’s handkerchief was in his pocket and they grabbed that like lightening.  We divided up our stuff so one of us was holding my closed bag with all our things in it and the other was holding the camera (with both hands at all times!).  This seemed to work, although they tried their hardest to get into the bag!  I noticed from watching others they were particularly attracted to plastic bags, so maybe avoid those if you can (they’re bad for the earth away guys).
  • Have a cuddle with a monkey.  I know it’s a bit silly and you might get rabies and blah blah blah, but I would have felt like I really missed out if I didn’t get at least one photo of me with a monkey.  Just live a little!  It’s also a nice place to do it because the monkeys a free to roam around and aren’t being kept on a leash while someone makes money handing them over to white people for photos.  The only thing to bear in mind would be to…
  • Show some respect.  We could sort of gauge which critters would be down to hang out and which ones were busy.  We saw this guy walk up to a big male monkey and pat it on the head.  The monkey subsequently totally lost its biscuits and chased the guy around for a while with its teeth bared.  Use your intuition (aka don’t be an idiot ).

Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud
Monkey Forest Road, Ubud, Bali
Entrance fee: 15,000rps (adults), 7,500 rps (children)
Opening hours: 8.30AM – 6.00PM daily