The sacred monkey forest is a popular touristic attraction in the village of Padangtegal near Ubud. According to most travel magazines / websites its a must visit and I agree it’s a great place. Spend some time between the monkey in this sacred place when you are in Bali.
The word sacred in the name does not correspondent to hidden gems, but the word sacred is meant for the villagers. The monkey forrest is a spiritual and religious place for the locals. The monkey playground is build between Hindu temples, moss-covered stones and statues, beautiful forest and rivers. Villagers might come here to pray, even some celebrations take place here. I did not see the praying or celebration, but this is what they told us.
Over 700 monkeys live on the ground and in the 186 species of trees that are planted here. Between 10,000 -15,000 tourists visit the forest every month. So yes it is quite touristic, but this did not scare us. Entrance fee in 2019 was IDR 80,000 (EUR 5,20).
Keep in mind monkeys are wild animals, they are not here to play with you so do not touch them. There are enough supervisors in the park they will inform you as well. Monkeys can steal your belongings so be careful what you want to take with you. Advise is not to wear sunglasses, because they shine and monkeys like them. Also do not take food with you the monkeys can smell it and hunt you.
If a monkey steals something from you say goodbye to this item. If man goes after their belongings the monkey can become aggressive, showing their teeth and making screaming noises. A monkey stole a bottle of water from us and we tried to grab it back because he did not run away and it looked like he was showing it to give it back, but when we reached out we saw aggressive behaviour and yellow spiky teeth. We decided the monkey could have the water.
The monkeys are trained to make Selfies with your phone. First they the phone it from you, then they make a picture and then they return the phone. Note: they are trained to work with the latest models 🙂
If you want to have one, ask a supervisor and pay for it. Do not say how the picture is made, but it is fun…..
In our opinion Sacred Monkey Forest is worth a visit. Don’t be afraid of the monkeys, if you do not touch them or you have no eatables or belongings that can be stolen you have nothing to be scared of.
- Do not run
- Do not panic
- Do not look directly in the eyes of a monkey
- Do not bring or hide food
- Do not bring plastic bags
- Take care of your personal belongings like sunglasses.
We hired a driver for the day, so we arrived with our driver. Very convenient as he was waiting in the parking spot when we visited the forest. When we returned we walked over to the reception, they called our driver and he drove to the entrance. Hire the driver we had: Bali Best Day Tour.