Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

If you like monkeys, I do, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is the place for you! This is one of a few places in the world where you can walk through a beautiful forest with hundreds of your closest monkey friends (grey-haired long-tailed Balinese macaques monkey, to be exact).

monkey_forrest

But it’s not all monkey business! See what I did there? The grounds are also home to three beautiful Hindu temples dating back to 1350!

Temple at Monkey Forrest

Temple at Monkey Forrest

We walked around the forest for several hours exploring the temples, bridges, fresh water springs, and river. The grounds are very pretty!

Tips for Visiting the Monkey Forest

The forest does comes with it’s fair share of controversy. We didn’t see any issues while we were there, but we have been told about instances where people have been hurt while at the forest. Most situations involve scratches and bites.

You don’t have to interact with them if you don’t want to. There’s plenty to explore while you observe and enjoy their presence from afar.

There are several ways you can protect yourself from a potential problem.

  • Don’t bring food for obvious reasons.
  • Don’t wear jewelry. – The monkeys will go after anything shiny. Be prepared to have your necklace stolen by a monkey if you decide to wear it while at the forest.
  • Don’t take any plastic bags or bottles with you. – Again, the monkeys are attracted to these items and will try to take them.
  • If you buy bananas to feed them, take one banana out and put the rest away or better yet, only buy a small amount. Once they spot the bananas you’re instantly the most popular guy or girl at the forest. I learned the hard way that when you’re distracted with one monkey, others will come take the remaining bananas from your hand.
  • Don’t try to pet them, ever. – The monkeys have been around humans for a long time so they are tolerant of us. They also know that the visiting humans come with treats. That tolerance, however, will only go so far.
  • Let the monkey do their thing. – You’ll start to understand the various personalities of the monkeys. If they seem shy or timid, stay away. Let them come to you.
  • Don’t fight back! – If you followed these suggestions you won’t have anything on you that will interests them and they will likely be left alone. If you do have something, let’s say a necklace and a monkey grabs a hold of it, consider it gone. If you try to fight back it is likely you will get scratched or bit.