We have already seen plenty of naughty monkeys in our travels. Dusky Leaf Monkeys in Langkawi, Malaysia that stole anything left on outdoor tables or raided the housekeeping bags left on the front door step. Long-tailed Macaque at a nature reserve in Singapore that helped themselves to packets of tissues (stolen from parked cars that had windows left down!) and broke the windscreen wipers off vehicles. Most travellers have their naughty monkey stories to share!
But the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is more than just monkeys.
Top 3 Tips
Firstly, here are my top 3 tips for visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest.
1. Be Safe
- Do not carry food or drink in the park. Make sure any drink bottles are inside backpacks and not in the side bottle holders.
- Do not try and hold or pet the monkeys. I saw multiple tourists doing this, and many were scratched or bitten by the monkeys. Whilst the bites might not have penetrated the skin, it really isn’t worth the risk. I am sure some tourists walk away with awesome photos of a monkey on their shoulders, but remember they are wild animals and not trained for handling.
- If a monkey jumps on you just stay calm and keep walking.
- Don’t wear loose jewellery. I saw a monkey jump on a women’s shoulder out of curiosity as she had an earring cuff at the top of her ear with a chain that hung down to a stud. The monkey wanted this, and pulled it off her ear. Luckily only the chain came off and didn’t pull out the whole earring.
- The monkeys didn’t invite you to their barbecue, so don’t get up in their grills! Give the monkeys space and let them be.
- We didn’t have any issues with our sunglasses or hats, but sunglasses that are reflective might be a curiosity for the monkeys seeing their own reflection.
- Don’t show you teeth as this is a sign of aggression, as is holding eye contact.
- If you are travelling with children make sure you supervise (the monkeys!) well as children may find the monkeys intimidating.
2. Explore the whole forest
Once you get past the main gate area there are lovely walking tracks and places where the monkeys are playing naturally and you can enjoy the peacefulness of the forest.
3. Entry ticket lasts all day
The pass lasts all day (8.30am – 6pm) so it is great to cut through the monkey forest to explore other areas of Ubud.
- Known as Balinese long-tailed monkeys (commonly known as macaque). Scientific name Macaca fascicularis (remember that, there is a test at the end!).
- Approximately 900 monkeys in the forest area.
- The number of monkeys does cause conflict between the 6 main groups. You will hear screeching and see groups of monkeys chasing each other. Just stay out of the way!
- Females rarely give birth the twins with pregnancy lasting 6 months (nice!).
- The monkey and its mythology is important to Balinese traditions, which is often depicted in artwork.
Things to do in the Sacred Monkey Forest
- Watch and observe the monkeys without trying to touch or feed them. The monkeys will play around you and are highly entertaining to watch if you just stay in one spot for a little while.
- Visit the Holy Spring Temple and explore around the river area.
- Observe the temples (these are only open for religious ceremonies, or for people praying in appropriate clothing, but you can see them from the gates).
- Watch the monkeys from the amphitheatre and try and find the biggest Koi fish in the pond.
Allow at least 2 hours to really enjoy the monkey forest.
Adult: Rp 50,000 (approx. AUD$5)
Child: Rp 40,000 (approx. AUD$4)
Costs and conversion rates current as of October 2018. Tickets come with a map of the park and are valid all day with gates opening at 8.30am and closing 6.00pm.
Walk/ride from centre of Ubud or catch a taxi/scooter.
Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary website at www.monkeyforestubud.com
So…what was the scientific name of the monkeys? Can’t remember? That’s OK, just another reason why you should go to the Sacred Monkey Forest so you can find out for yourself.