On a particularly hot and humid day, we decided to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in the heart of Ubud, Bali. Not the best decision because it gets even more hot and humid in the monkey forest. Ideally, one must go if your trip is blessed with a cloudy day. If not, then well, no choice. And it’s not one of those typical places you may have in mind if you’re an Indian – crowded, dirty, not maintained, etc. Being such a public place, home to so many monkeys and seeing so many tourists on a daily basis, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is surprisingly a very very clean, organized and well-maintained place to visit and it’s absolutely not a bad idea to check it out once during your Ubud trip.
The Monkey forest is walking distance from the Ubud Palace and very centrally located. It also has more than one entrance and exit so you can choose to make a loop or enter from one point and exit from another. Great place for families with kids to visit too. There are officials at all corners over-looking the activities of both the monkeys and tourists. A lot of people are given the option of buying bananas to feed the monkeys and have an opportunity for one to maybe even sit on your head or shoulder for a quick touristy photo. I didn’t personally see a single aggressive monkey and in some cases if the monkey is beginning to get too friendly with you, there is always an official nearby who comes to your rescue.
There is absolutely no need to visit this place with a guide unless you are a total imbecile. Everything is perfectly explained and organized.
There was just an instance of some traumatic monkey drama I witnessed – an alpha male having intercourse with a baby monkey. It’s apparently an act of dominance – didn’t stop thinking of it for while. Other than that it was a lovely experience. Go with time, patience and a camera on hand. Some wet tissues won’t be a bad idea either to beat the heat. Here are pics from the visit:
Location: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud, Bali
Photographs of me courtesy Aman Godara