This trip we were lucky enough to experience some of the most beautiful places the Bali island has to offer. Ubud (pronounced oo-bood) is one of the many locations that will give most of us a relaxed laid back feeling unlike the tourist traps in downtown Kuta. Just think yoga, temples, healthy food, peace and quiet but so much more.
When we travel Asia we generally chose to hire scooters ....as it gives us a sense of freedom in exploring nearby sights on our own, stumbling upon local markets and stop whenever we can smell gorgeous food Bali has to offer. The ride to Ubud Monkey forest took around an hour and half. It feels a little shorter as you are focusing on the beautiful scenery along the way, from kilometres of picturesque rice paddy fields to countless of historical temples. Whilst most other parts of the island are hot and humid, Ubud is elevated at 200m above sea level, which keeps this area rather cool(er) throughout the year. But don't get me wrong, it is still very warm!
As you pull up to the Ubud Monkey Forest you know you are in the right place as there are monkeys roaming outside of the park, on telegraph poles and of course small local shops selling monkey souvenirs.
As you walk into the forest after getting your tickets, you are surrounded by tall lush greenery. Your body instantly appreciates it as you slowly cool down whilst slowly walking deeper into the forest. Moments after, there are carts for visitors to purchase bananas to feed the cheeky monkeys. We have since learnt from our last trip - "buy bananas at your own risk"...Long story short, I was bitten by a monkey and had to get emergency rabies shots once I returned to Australia. As much as I thought it was cute and a fun way to get up close and personal with the monkeys, how wrong I was! I wouldn't recommend buying them unless you don't mind having (sometimes aggressive) monkeys swarming you. Also as a tip! do not open your bags in front of them as they are not shy and will do whatever it takes to grab that water bottle or try on your latest Ray Bans. With the growing numbers of the 600+ wild Balinese long-tailed monkeys roaming around freely, you definitely feel outnumbered. They are generally adorable, but you have been warned...
There are 3 Hindu temples within the forest which gives it a nice touch and if you are not buggered from the humidity and still keen I think it would be nice to see them all as its a busy hang out spot for the monkeys. On the positive note the Ubud Monkey Forest is something one should tick off their bucket list when visiting Ubud as it is definitely a nice way to see and learn how animals interact in a wild environment. Before signing off, another tip is remembering to wear ALOT of sunscreen if you are riding from a distance like we did...we were fifty shades darker by the time we got back to the hotel!!
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary - Mandala Suci Wenara Wana
Location: Jalan Monkey Forest, Padangtegal Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (80571)
Opening Hours: Open daily 8:30am - 6:00pm
Entrance fee: $40,000 IDR (adult) $30,000 IDR (child)
Author: D Lusher