Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud, Indonesia


It’s November, the rainy seasons about to start. It’s hot and humid, but there’s another world beyond our air-conditioned comfort that has to be explored. The beauties of Bali were waiting for us to get out and about to discover as much as we could. And it’s no simple task at the best of times to get a group of indecisive holiday makers off to discover an island’s treasure. Some want to go this way, some the other. But majority rules in our happy troupe and so we were off to explore a  mystical place up in the mountains that I’d heard many stories about and one that was on the top of my own to-do-list. IMG_1104

Look Left, Look Right, Look OUT!!

Oh so cute, but don't even think of TOUCHING ME!!!

Oh so cute, but don’t even think of TOUCHING ME!!!

We headed out to the Sacred Monkey Forest up in the beautiful mountains surrounding Ubud.  Driven by our ever competent driver, Gede Murdock. The stories I’d been told were both the good and the bad variety. I’d also read enough about tales of monkeys taking goods out of bags, the threat of rabies and also plenty of warnings from our driver and the guards to “not touch”, “not hide anything” and “to not annoy the monkeys”!!


But seriously, HOW CUTE ARE THEY???

So as we entered the grounds and my friends decided to buy bananas for the natives, it didn’t take to long to realise that this place was to be enjoyed but with a wary eye on all approaching monkeys. They’re adorably cute but still dangerously wild and it’s better to let them take the fruit than to expect any sense of manners from these little creatures.


They were into bags and pockets as fast as their little fingers could go. The signs of “Don’t Panic” were all good and fair, but when you see those huge incisor teeth being menacingly displayed, it’s kind of hard not to get a little shaky in your sandals. Any hand bag was a possible source of food to the monkeys, and the guards with their sticks and slingshots could only do so much to get your possessions out of the hands of these quick-moving Macaques.

The sleepy corner!! Well, one of many..

The sleepy corner!! Well, one of many..

Go around, I ain't moving!!

Go around! I sure ain’t moving!!

But they’re not all that bad. A lot of them remain well out of reach of the humans, happy to keep to the trees, bask on the statues and just enough the good life that these monkeys do have. Thanks to no predators and a constant supply of food, you’re bound to see an obese monkey just loitering around the edges, until there hungry, again!!



Towering across the forest floor

The forest with its sacred temples was an absolute joy to walk through. The sight of one single Banyan Tree spreading its roots in every direction was an absolute treasure in itself. Giving us shade from the heat of the sun, but it also added to keeping the humidity dense and oppressive down on the forest floor.

Who's up for a dip??

Who’s up for a dip?

Walking down to the Holy Spring Bathing Temple, you discover the waters where purification rituals take place. A magical blue sheen comes through the waters and it’s easy to see why the Balinese have a strong belief in the holiness of the upstream waters.


Monkey see,


Monkey Do!!

We wandered through the beautiful grounds, laughing at all the comical statues and keeping our wits about us in case of monkeys on the attack. Thankfully it didn’t happen to us, but monkey bites do occur here and rabies is a definite threat.

So when you make it to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest: Be careful, Be mindful, ENJOY and Happy Memories.



About the chameleon traveller

Since 1999 I've been travelling between Australia, Europe and South East Asia!!! and Still going Strong.. After 15 years of travels there's a backpack full of photos and a van load packed with stories that need to be shared. Not to mention the future adventures that are always just around the corner!!! Come Join Me!!
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2 Responses to Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud, Indonesia

  1. Romain says:

    Amazing , beautifull description , think I can’t wait to get up in Indonesia now …
    Travel on ….


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