There are also a ton of statues in the forest that are rather… graphic… and are fun to check out as your wandering around!
Visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali
Before going to the Monkey Forest in Ubud I had heard horror stories online and from other travelers of the monkeys being super aggressive and biting tourists. When I found myself in Ubud it was with a healthy dose of fear that I went into the Monkey Forest.
It costs 50,000RPI to go in (around 5USD) and you should plan on spending about an hour to an hour and a half in the forest. There are four separate entrances, but the main one is on Monkey Forest Road. It is super easy to get to since the whole park is right at the end of the main tourist road in Ubud and pretty much right in the city center. You can easily walk here if you are staying anywhere near the city center.
Before you go in make sure your bag is zipped up and that you have your camera/phone out of your bag that you plan on taking photos with. If you go to open your bag with monkeys close by they may try to steal something out of it thinking you have food. If they do end up taking something of yours, don’t panic! Go talk with one of the many workers there and they can help you get it back (basically they trade the monkey bananas to return your stuff!).
The forest is huge and has four separate monkey tribes living in it. The monkeys are all over the place and know that humans = food so they aren’t shy at all. In some parts of the park there will be people selling bananas and other snacks for the monkeys and they will show you how to get a monkey to climb up onto your shoulders for a photo. I saw about 5 separate people do this while I was wandering around and it was a wide range of reactions from the monkeys.
For most of them the monkey just climbed right up onto their shoulder grabbed the banana and ran off, but for one women the monkey decided to hang out on her shoulder for almost 5 minutes! So if you really want the photo with the monkey then I would say it is pretty safe to try this out. I have a healthy fear of monkeys so there was no way I was letting one climb up me, but if your not scared I would definitely try this out! Just make sure you do it with one of the park workers nearby!
The place can get really crowded so try to go on a weekday. The park opens at 830AM and closes at 6pm with the last entry at 5:30PM. To avoid the heat go either early in the morning or after 4PM. When I went we got there around 4pm and stayed there until close. It’s easy to lose track of time watching all the baby monkeys playing and taking in the surrounding scenery so make sure you budget enough time.
Once the park closes all the monkeys leave the forest and head along rooftops and telephone lines into the city in search of food. It’s quite entertaining to watch them ‘migrate’ into the city so follow them in and grab some food from one of the any delicious vegan or vegetarian restaurant in town!
The monkey forest is a great way to see monkeys in Ubud without leaving the city and is certainly worth a visit. It is fascinating seeing them up close and all the little baby monkeys are so cute!
Have you ever been to the Monkey Forest in Ubud? What was your experience like?
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