If you are planning your first trip to Bali, Indonesia, then a trip to Ubud Monkey Forrest is kind of a must! Ubud Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions. A natural forest sanctuary that is home to a large horde of grey long-tailed macaques.
I visited this sanctuary during my trip to Bali last year. Due to some nastiness at the end of my holiday, I kind of forgot to write a couple of blog posts, including this one.
So in this blog post, I will take you along with me to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. I will show you the best way to get there, what it costs, what to do and what not to do when wandering around this amazing jungle whilst being surrounded by cheeky monkeys.
Firstly, I will start with the boring but oh so necessary information. Just so that we have that out of the way.
Even though Bali is a reasonably small island, there are many transportation options available for each budget and wish list. Some examples of ways to get to the sanctuary are:
- Car hire (With or without Balinese driver)
- Ride a motorcycle by renting a motorbike in Bali.
- Book a day-tour
- If you stay in central Ubud, you can use the free shuttle provided by Ubud’s monkey forest.
So, depending on your other plans during your holiday, you can choose what works best for you. I went on a day trip with a Balinese driver who took me to several amazing spots in Ubud.
Underneath you can find a couple of tour packages, that also includes the sanctuary. (I do not get a commission from this, these are just a couple of options that I have found whilst researching this post)
- Via Viator: Monkey Forest & Bali Swing
- Via Viator: Out Back of Ubud Private Tour
- Via Get your guide: Small-Group Ubud and Tanah Lot Guided Tour
- Via Bali Golden Tour: BALI UBUD MONKEY FOREST
Admission is IDR 40,000 for adults and IDR 30,000 for kids. Which comes down to $4 AUD for an adult and $3 AUD for a child, a bargain for a day out!
Opening Hours | Mon-Sun 08:00 – 18:00
Location | Jalan Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud
Telephone number | +62 (0)361 971 304
How to get there | Start from the Ubud main road and enter south into Jalan Hanoman, which leads you to a right turn towards the sanctuary.
QUICK TIPS | WARNING
I read up quite a lot before going to the sanctuary. That the monkey’s like to steal things, go into your backpack, grab food from you and steal your sunglasses. So, I opted to leave my DSLR camera at home and went armed with just my cell phone and some loose change, which I just shoved in my pockets and a small bottle of water.
On entry I did get warned to be careful with my water, which I was, so nothing happened.
I did, however, see a monkey steal an iPhone, so yeah, the rumors are true. One of the employees had to bribe the monkey with a sweet potato to get it back, but eventually, the phone was returned to the rightful owner. It was dropped from a tree, so I am not sure if it was still working when she got it back haha.
So yes, can you bring a backpack, DLSR camera, sunglasses, etc, but it is on your own risk. If you find a cheeky one who is hungry then you might have some damaged possessions when you leave the forest.
Additionally, while it is always tempting to touch or feed the monkeys, you are advised against it. They are wild animals.
Lastly, avoid wearing any loose jewelry because the macaques may easily snatch a necklace if it looks interesting enough to eat.
There are five different groups of monkeys within the sanctuary that each lay claim to a different region of the reserve. The monkeys are fed sweet potato three times a day, by staff who keep an eye out constantly. The monkey trust these people and they are the ones that will help you get a selfy with one of these animals if you’d like. They are wild, so they get enticed by some fruit to sit on someone’s shoulder, back, etc. If they don’t want to, then they don’t do it.
I did not get a photo like that, because I saw a monkey bite a girl in her head. So yeah nah for me.
The sanctuary is massive and you can see monkeys pretty much everywhere. But even if you don’t, the jungle itself is stunning and on a warm sunny day, it is nice to be in the shade for a bit.
They are wild and have the freedom to go explore wherever and whenever they want. this place is not a zoo. A lot of them make is out of the sanctuary and explore the streets over, looking for food.
I find that the ones without babies were a lot more chilled out than the ones with babies. I always gave them plenty of space (not because I didn’t trust them, nope, totally did) but some people have the need to try to touch them, and they got latched at a couple of times. But that’s not the monkey’s fault, that’s just common sense.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE TEMPLES
After you are done checking out the monkeys, make sure to check out the 3 temples that are located within the monkey sanctuary which were built around around the middle of the 14th century.
The main temple is Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Also known as Padangtegal Great Temple of Death can be found and can be found in the southwest part of Ubud monkey forest area and is intended to worship the god Shiva.
The second temple named, Pura Beji. It is location is in the southwest of Ubud monkey forest area. Pura Beji is dedicated to worship the goddess Ganges. Before performing religious ceremonies, the people of Padang Tegal Village will invoke holy water at Beji temple, intended for purification. The third temple located in the northeast area of monkey forest Ubud. Pura Prajapati is to worship the god Prajapati.
While most of the monkey forest is open to the public several areas and sections of the temples are off-limits to the public as they are considered extremely sacred and only used for praying. So please make sure you respect these sacred grounds.
All in all a couple of hours at the Ubud Monkey sanctuary is a great outing and I would recommend you checking it out when in Bali.
Have you had a crazy encounter with a monkey? let me know in the comments below!
PLANNING TO GO TO BALI SOON? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL GUIDES HERE:
- The best of Ubud
- 3 perfect days in Ubud | an extensive itinerary
- 7 Day Bali Road Trip Itinerary
- Exploring the rice fields of Tegallalang
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