There is something about watching monkeys that I admire. Their human-similar behavior and how they smart they never cease to amaze me so I decided to make the Monkey Forest my first stop in Ubud, Bali.
The forest is actually a nature reserve and a Hindu temple complex that contains 3 main temples: Padangtegal Great Temple Of Death, Beji Temple, and Prajapati Temple. The temple areas are unfortunately closed to the public and are only accessible for those who seek the gods and want to pray. The rest of the place is still big enough and offers a lot to be seen. It takes about an hour to walk the entire place.
Inside the Monkey Forest
The monkeys will already great you before you even step foot into the forest. There seems to be a group of monkeys chilling around the entrance area waiting for the visitors to give them food and if they spot something in your hands they will quickly jump on your shoulder or gather around you demanding you to hand them whatever you have.
Monkeys also seem to love wallets in this park, so if you have your wallet or any private things hanging outside, make sure to hide them somewhere safe or the hungry and confused monkeys will go after them. (If the monkeys spot some food on you, don’t hide it and let them take! They can get very aggressive about it and bite you)
The forest has one main path that crosses it and a two smaller side paths where you can enjoy more the natures and watch the waterfall. They also seemed to be less packed but I have also seen fewer monkeys there compared to the main path.
If you walk all the paths you will see 5 main types of monkey:
The ‘look at how majestic I am’ monkey:
The chilling monkeys: The baby monkeys:The aggressive monkeys:And of course the horny monkeys:
From what I have seen, the monkeys have got used to being surrounded by human and are no longer afraid of them (unlike the monkeys in the Bali Barat National Park). I’ve still seen people getting bitten and a lot of tourists get bitten here every day, but it only happened to the those who have put themselves in uncomfortable situations with the monkeys like showing food than trying to hide it from them, touching them or getting very close to the babies (monkey mums are very protective). If you keep a good distance and know how to react to them, you will be safe.
Overall, it was a very pleasant experience in the Monkey Forest as I have never been able to get this close to monkeys that have not captured or trained before (These pictures sums the whole thing up). I deeply recommend this to every animal lover.