Trees, streams, Hindu temples, bridges and more than 700 monkeys. All of this brought together in one place, called The Sacred Monkey Forest (or Monkey Forest Ubud in English). This environment so peculiar and different from what we are used to is in Pandagtegal and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ubud!
Because it is such a famous space, Paulo and I could not fail to take advantage of our visit to Ubud to get to know the forest. Before I tell you how the experience is, I already leave a necessary warning here. Monkey Forest is not a zoo or anything. That is the natural habitat of the pets, then you can visit without guilt. Now, for information and tips 😉
First of all, let’s talk about values. Adults pay IDR 80,000 to enter the forest (the currency, for those who don’t know, is the Indonesian Rupee). This value, converted into reais, gives more or less 20 reais per person. It is a very reasonable price, especially if we think about the money spent for the preservation of the place.
What precautions to take?
Now the moment of truth has come! There are many reports of people who had their belongings stolen or stolen by little monkeys. But the real thing is that they just want to play with their objects in exchange for food and it is not crazy “robberies” as some people make it seem. Paulo and I did not witness any theft scene – we saw only a few monkeys trying to cling to bags, backpacks and bags.
For the ride to be as peaceful as possible, just take some precautions. First of all: do not take any food. Even not leaving snacks show it, they smell it and will follow you. And if you insist on taking food and they try to get it, drop the food on the floor and let them get it. Although it is forbidden to feed the monkeys, it is better to release the food than to show fear.
Besides that, extra care with all your belongings: hat, cap, cell phone, bag … These animals are super unpredictable and you can’t fool around.
Two other important precautions involve our own behavior: avoid eye contact and insure the laugh. These two actions can get the monkeys’ attention and all we want less is for them to run after us! It is not so common for humans to be physically attacked by pets, but if one of them bites you, it will be necessary to take a few doses of rabies vaccine after. That is, it is better to keep them quiet and avoid headaches.
About the place and the monkeys
Paulo and I always love to learn about local culture to have a richer experience. So, for you to have an idea of the history of space, here are some important facts.
The monkeys in the region are called Balinese long-tailed monkey, which means Balinese long-tailed monkey. To Hinduism these animals are sacred, which is why it is such an important mission for the residents of the region to preserve this area.
As the pets are loose in the woods, it is normal to see them playing or even fighting among themselves. It is very interesting to know a little of the way they live, besides being fun to see the monkeys interacting.
Within the complex there are also three temples, each with a different Hindu purpose. These spaces are closed to tourists, but you can see the movement in each one.
In general, the three temples aim to maintain the philosophy Tri hita karana alive. Translating more generally, this motto means “three ways to achieve physical and spiritual well-being”. Basically, all they want is a balanced and harmonious life. Pretty cute, right?
How is the experience?
I confess that we were a little afraid to be surrounded by monkeys, but the experience was surreal. The pets are very cute and we even feel like squeezing each one.
Even though you can’t make much eye contact, there is that exchange of looks and you really feel like you have a little person in the animal’s body, you know? It feels very different, I swear! It is super worth visiting, especially to connect more with the energy of the region.
If you want to see more details of the Sacred Monkey Forest I bali or visit the space by video just watch the vlog below?