Few people can fail to contain a smile (or scream) watching the residents of Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest wile away their day, whether it be eating, sleeping, climbing, fighting or just lounging on their stone counterparts and watching tourists wander by.
Home to over 600 long-tail macaques, the Sacred Monkey Forest in is one of Ubud’s most popular tourist attractions, and an important contribution to the environmental conservation of Bali’s forests and sacred sites, housing a number of Balinese Hindu temples built in the mid 14th century.
First things first, if you don’t like monkeys, you probably won’t enjoy the Sacred Monkey Forest. Secondly, if you don’t want to be climbed on and grabbed at by surprisingly confident fingers, don’t bring any food, or buy it from the local vendors before you go in. Monkey’s also like shiny things, so leaving your earrings and necklace at home is a wise move.
If you don’t want an involuntary monkey on your shoulder (many people do, it makes for a great selfie) then it’s pretty easy to keep to yourself and wander through the beautiful park. Although small, taking less than forty minutes to wander around, the Sacred Monkey Forest has some gorgeous stonewalls and mossy statues, as well as an art gallery featuring works of local Padangtegal artists.
The Sacred Monkey Forest can be pretty crowded in peak season, and with all the greenery it’s no surprise that the humidity can be stifling, so best to go early in the morning before it heats up. Entry costs RP30,000 per person, and goes towards the continued preservation of the temples and grounds.