The monkey forest in Ubud is one of the most popular destinations in Bali and certainly one of the highlights of the trip. There are also many good reasons for this. Hardly any place exudes such a magical charm as this primeval forest.
The monkeys are used to visitors and therefore very trusting. Nevertheless, it makes sense to keep a respectful distance. After all, you never know if one of the animals might be in a bad mood. The locals lead the way, paying their respects to the monkeys without being intrusive.
The monkeys remind of Hanuman, the most devoted servant of Lord Rama. In India and Bali, the Ramayana is performed in many temples. In this scripture, monkeys also play a major role in the conquest of Sri Lanka. They help Lord Rama build the bridge to Sri Lanka.
For this reason, all Balinese are well-disposed towards monkeys and always try to please them. The presence of the monkeys is considered a blessing. The respect for the monkeys can be seen everywhere in Bali.
Where is the monkey forest in Ubud?
Getting to Monkey Forest is not difficult, as it is located just a few kilometers south of Ubud town center. On most maps it is referred to as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. From Ubud, the Monkey Forest Road leads directly to the sacred forest.
The road passes right by a large parking lot just around a bend. Therefore, it is good to keep your eyes open. Behind this official parking lot is the main entrance to the park.
Active vacationers can also cover the distance on foot. Another good option is a cab. Since the route is quite short, the price remains manageable.
The first monkeys are already sitting in front of the entrance waiting for the visitors. The park is closed at night, because the monkeys then want to sleep in peace. The opening hours are daily from 8:30 to 18:00.
What activities are available at Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary?
Of course, most visitors come to the park to see the monkeys sitting by the wayside. But there are more attractions in the park. During the tour you will come across several small temples and numerous ancient stone statues.
In the sacred monkey forest there are many places of worship. On the west side of the entrance hall is the statue of the goddess Sri Devi. She holds rice in her hand, which symbolizes fertility.
On the north side stands the goddess Durga, the mother of creation. She is accompanied by her mounts, a lion and a tiger. Durga Devi defeated the evildoer Mahisasura, who tried to bring disorder to the world.
The trail that runs through the park symbolizes the path of the soul. On this journey, the souls come across the Titi Ugal Agil, the Vibration Bridge, until they face the Batu Terbelah. The stone belongs to the cave called Durgama.
The word Durgama comes from Durga Mata-Ji and means Revered Mother Durga. In the cave there is also a lingam, the symbol of the god Shiva.
Local rules of conduct
The curious monkeys greet visitors already at the entrance. Although the macaques are very peaceful, visitors should follow certain rules to make the meeting harmonious.
Monkeys are very playful and enjoy jewelry, sunglasses and hats. Cameras and cell phones are also coveted toys. Visitors who wish to keep these attractive items should therefore leave them at the hotel or hold on to them tightly.
Plastic bottles and plastic bags are also in great demand, as the monkeys suspect something edible in them and therefore want to have them. For this reason, it makes sense not to carry bottles or bags openly around the park.
Handbags and backpacks can be dropped off at the park entrance as the monkeys will clean them out. When a monkey comes near, you should always be calm and friendly. The monkeys do not like hectic movements or loud voices.
You should always keep your distance from baby monkeys, even if they are cute. The mothers react irritably when you try to touch their babies. Their natural protective instinct is very strong.
The monkeys may only be fed with bananas. Chips and other snacks are not allowed. The animals get sick from it. When the monkey grabs the banana, you should let it go immediately.
Holding on is judged as aggressive behavior and can result in a bite attack. For the same reason, never engage them in tug-of-war games with bags or cameras. Therefore, it is better to hand over valuables and bags.
What to do in the monkey forest
In any case, you should take your time to observe the monkeys. Long-tailed macaques have interesting behavior and are curious and playful. They climb and romp around a lot.
In total, more than 600 macaques live in different groups in the forest. The monkeys make contact with people or like to laze around in the sun. In the jungle you can learn a lot about these intelligent animals.
Of course, in the Monkey Forest you should also visit three temples dedicated to the deities Shiva, Brahma and Gangga. The sacred temples from the 17th century are the religious foundation of the forest.
In addition, you should also admire the beauty of the tropical forest. Along the paths grow numerous lush plants. The bridges, mysterious paths and ancient trees make for very special hours.
For whom is the monkey forest suitable?
In general, it can be said that the Monkey Forest is worthwhile for any traveler because it has so much to offer. Here young and old get their money’s worth. The offer ranges from cultural highlights to breathtaking nature and wildlife watching. Therefore, it is guaranteed not to be boring in the park.
Info / Weblinks for further reading
- Official website of the monkey forest in Ubud (english)
- Wikipedia about the Monkey Forest in Ubud
- Bali Monkey Forest Report
The Monkey Forest is a worthwhile destination for any traveler coming to Bali. The vacationer can expect an eventful day full of exciting animal encounters and significant culture. The tropical forest with its tropical plants is also absolutely worth seeing. The monkey forest near Ubud is one of the most beautiful destinations in all of Bali.
Address / contact details:
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia