One of our favorite things we did in Bali is visiting the Monkey Forest in Ubud. It’s a nature reserve, and Hindy Temple Complex and the full name of this forest is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. This fantastic place located on Jalan Monkey Forest and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ubud.
The Ubud Monkey Forest describes its mission as conservation of the area within its boundaries according to the Hindu principle of Tri Hata Karana (“Three ways to reach spiritual and physical well-being”), which seeks to make people live harmoniously during their lives. The “three ways” to this goal under the Tri Hata Karana doctrine are harmonious relationships between humans and humans, between humans and the natural environment, and between humans and The Supreme God. Accordingly, the Monkey Forest has a philosophical goal of creating peace and harmony for visitors from all over the world.
The park is heavily forested and hilly, A deep ravine runs through the park grounds, at the bottom of which flows a rocky stream. Trails allow visitors access to many parts of the park, including the ravine and stream.
You can buy the ticket at tickets lockets near the entrance.
And the prices are very reasonable:
Adults: IDR 40.000
Children: IDR 30.000
Ticket lockets are open until 18:00, so after 6 pm you can enter the forest for free.
The temples play an important role in the spiritual life of the local community, and the monkey and its mythology are important in the Balinese art tradition. The Monkey Forest area is sanctified by the local community, and some parts of it are not open to view by the public. Sacred areas of the temples are closed to everyone except those willing to pray and wear proper Balinese praying attire. As with any holy site in Bali, women during their periods aren’t allowed to enter any of the temple grounds.
Here are a lot of funny monkeys around in this forest. It’s a perfect place for walking in the daytime when the sun beats down mercilessly on the open area, but the forest isn’t so hot because of shadows of the big old trees.
The park staff feeds the monkeys sweet potato three times a day, providing them with their main source of food in the park, although bananas are for sale in the park for tourists wishing to feed the monkeys. For the sake of the monkeys’ health, visitors are prohibited from feeding them snacks such as peanuts, cookies, biscuits, and bread.
The scenery around the Monkey Forest is stunning: hundreds of wild macaques in a massive forest, huge trees, ancient temples, different sculptures of dragons, lizards, lions, and monkeys that are overgrown with moss.
Be careful! Don’t forget that all monkeys here are wild and they can jump and steal something from you, such as glasses, camera, bags or even jewelry. Don’t wear (or hide) your bright jewelry. Monkeys are very inquisitive and not afraid to sit next to you (or on you) in the hope of getting a bit of banana.
What else is there in this forest beside monkeys? Well, the answer is …a lot of things! You will enjoy here gorgeous bridge that is over the small river built in Balinese style, and it’s always full of tourists and locals, so it’s hard to take a pic there alone.
Deep inside the forest lies the 14th century Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Another site of interest is the Pura Prajapati, which is dedicated to village funerals. Most mossy relics and statues are under dense foliage with little sunlight, giving these smaller sites their mysterious and ancient feel. Banyan tree roots hanging over shadowy dragon staircases offer exotic photo opportunities.