No matter what season of the year it is, Bali, Indonesia tops the charts for anyone who wants to have a good time surrounded by sun and sand. Bali, however, is much more than its stunning beaches and green-blue waters shimmering under the sun. One of the places that have snaked its way into every vacation itinerary for Bali is the Ubud Monkey Forest.
If you want to experience Bali in its entirety, visiting the Ubud monkey forest is a must-visit. From the best time to visit and ticket prices, location, and more, know all about the Monkey Forest right here. This piece would also delve deep into the safety measures you should follow while visiting the Monkey Forest.
Where is the Ubud Monkey Forest located?
Monkey Forest is a perfect example of harmonious co-existence between humans and nature. Called by many names, including Mandala Suci Wenara Wana and Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, it is located in Padangtega, a village in Ubud, Bali. Spread across 12.5 hectares, the Monkey Forest is a sanctuary for hundreds of Balinese monkeys.
The complete address of the Monkey Forest is Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia.
What about flora and fauna?
Famous for its Balinese long-tailed macaque, the Monkey Forest is considered a venerated and revered area. Paved pathways dotted with temples of antiquity and the sunshine filtering through a complex lattice of nutmeg leaves, the Monkey Forest offers a tranquil place away from the hum-drum of everyday life.
The Monkey Forest has approximately 1,000+ crab-eating macaques. This includes adult males, females, children, and sub-adult monkeys. There are a total of five groups of monkeys that occupy different areas of the forest. These monkeys can be seen scattered in front of the main temple, eastern and central areas of the park, cremation, and cemetery areas.
Apart from the Balinese long-tailed monkeys, the forest is also home to a small population of Timor rusa. Timor rusa are deer originally from the island of Timor. This doe-eyed variety of deer is housed in a fenced enclosure for visitors to feast their eyes on from a safe distance.
If that wasn’t enough to sell you to the idea of visiting the Monkey Forest, there is something else too. There are as many as 115 different varieties of trees, making it a paradise for nature lovers. Heavily forested, the park is characterized by a deep ravine that travels the length of the park. If you are into hiking or even just walking around, the park has a few trails which allow you to explore the hidden wonders of the park at your own sweet pace.
What are the other attractions in the Ubud Monkey Forest?
The Monkey Forest is not just home to monkeys and a diversity of flora and fauna. It also is a much-venerated place. The forest area is strewn with many ancient and sacred temples. Some of the popular temples are Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal and Pura Prajapati. These are 14th-century temples dedicated to the last rites of the villagers. Pura Beji is another ancient temple where you can cool off in the natural pool after a day well spent in the forest.
All the other ancient artifacts are buried deep under the forest’s dense greenery, emitting a mysterious aura. For the most bewitching and insta worthy photographs, there are always the banyan tree roots that hang from above, enveloping the dragon adorned staircase.
How to reach the Monkey Forest?
Ease of access is what makes Monkey Forest at Ubud a popular tourist place. There are various ways through which the forest can be reached easily.
If you are staying at Udud’s main tourist area, all you need to do take a 20-minute walk on the Monkey Forest Road till you reach the end.
In case you are staying in one of the fancy resorts, you may want to hire a taxi. Lastly, if you visit the forest from outside of Ubud, being part of a day trip would be a sensible idea. Various day trips are offered at affordable prices. Pick the one that most suits your need and enjoy a day of adventure at the Monkey Forest.
If you want to pepper your trip with some more adventure, then there is nothing better than renting a moped and zipping around the road. A day absorbing the spectacular natural beauty of Bali is an unforgettable experience.
What about the entry fee, the best time to visit, and opening hours?
The entrance fee for the Monkey Forest, Ubud is approximately 80,000 Indonesian Rupiahs ( USD 6) for adults and 60,000 rupiahs for children ( USD 4.50).
The forest is open to the public all seven days from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. The best time to visit the forest is in the morning so that you can spend an entire day there. The morning temperatures are just the right kind for you to enjoy your day out without letting the mercury bother you.
Is it safe to visit the Monkey Forest?
The mere mention of monkeys might be sufficient to deter people from visiting the Monkey Forest. All you need to do is follow a few safety tips to enjoy the forest.
Ø Never buy bananas: Monkeys can smell bananas from miles away. Bananas on you are an invitation to these naughty creatures to climb all over you, searching for the fruit. Avoid feeding anything else to monkeys, either including peanuts and cookies.
Ø Don’t feed yourself: There are monkeys everywhere, so the moment you take out a packet of chips even for yourself, there would be monkeys around you to claim it.
Ø Don’t wear sunglasses: Monkeys are notorious for stealing sunglasses right off your face. Better wear a sunhat to protect yourself from the sun and the monkeys.
Ø Don’t panic: If the monkeys come close to you, panicking is a bad idea. Drop any food you have and walk away calmly. I repeat, walk. Don’t run. You will only encourage them to run after you.
Ø Don’t bring plastic or paper bags: For some reason, the monkeys are insanely attracted to paper and plastic bags. Avoid bringing them to the forest.
Ø Be careful of your belongings: Ensure that the bag you carry has no outside pockets ( especially avoid pockets with Velcro or zippers). You never know when your bag catches the fancy of any of those monkeys. Carry only essential belongings with you and leave all your fancy stuff ( including your iPhone) at the hotel.
Ø Be alert: This can never be emphasized enough. Always be alert of your surroundings.
Ø Don’t irritate the monkeys:
- Be careful about not irritating the monkeys.
- Don’t try to look into their eyes, don’t do anything to provoke them.
- Simply put, let them be.
Ø Is it safe for kids?: Visiting the Monkey Forest with kids is a gray area. Even though being in such close proximity with nature is a spectacular feeling, children add a whole new dimension to it. Older children can be considered, but it’s best not to get them to the forest if you have younger children. As long as your kids maintain a safe distance and don’t disturb the monkeys, the monkeys would mind their own business.
Ø Would you catch rabies by a monkey bite? : If you follow all the safety tips that have been mentioned so far, you have next to nil chance of being bitten by the monkeys. Moreover, the official Ubud Monkey Forest website stents that they ensure that the monkeys are disease-free. If you are still worried, then it’s better to get yourself vaccinated against rabies. Your mental peace is of supreme importance, after all.
There are other tips as well that you should keep in mind apart from saving yourself from the monkeys’ wrath.
Ø Culturally appropriate clothes: Even though it’s not a designated religious place, the villagers do consider it sacred, and the forest host an ancient temple. In keeping with the forest’s venerated statue, it is highly recommended that you attire yourself in culturally appropriate clothes. Further, avoid wearing any dangling jewelry and empty any pockets that your clothes might have. Both these are a sure-shot recipe for attracting monkeys towards you.
Ø Comfortable shoes: Since the only way to enjoy the forest is by taking a walk around it, be sure to wear good quality shoes.
Ø Remain hydrated: Don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you to keep yourself hydrated.
Regarding the question, “Is it safe to visit the monkey, Forest?” I would say yes if you follow the above-mentioned tips. Now that you know every detail about the Monkey Forest, you can consider visiting this unique location. Go ahead and spend time at Ubud Monkey Forest.