“Caution! Monkeys crossing. Take care of your stuff!“, reads the sign outside the Ubud Monkey Forest. A little dramatic, but them cheeky monkeys will grab anything!
Walking down Monkey Forest Road, we were in hysterics as we spotted a monkey stealing Pringles from a group of tourists, and another taking a souvenir from a nearby shop. We had expected to see a lot of monkeys today, but not outside of the forest! Monkeys were walking casually amongst everyone and swinging from the phone lines above, it was brilliant.
Open daily, 8.30am – 6pm (last admission being 5.30pm).
Entrance costs 80,000 IDR (£4.40) per adult and 60,000 IDR (£3.30) per child.
As you are given your ticket, you are asked to read guidelines on how to act around the monkeys before you enter. There are signs literally everywhere informing you how to behave.
Usually, monkeys will only attack when defending themselves. Therefore, it is wise to follow the rules of the park as to not aggravate the monkeys:
Do not stare the monkeys directly in the eyes. This is common amongst wild animals and is seen as a sign of aggression, so try to avoid it.
Do not touch, grab or disturb the monkeys. Especially baby monkeys as mothers can be very protective of their young. Do not stroke a monkey, even if it sits on your shoulder. They do look super cute, but monkeys reactions are unpredictable.
Do not panic. Sudden, loud noises will startle and frighten monkeys. This is not a good idea. If a monkey does take a liking to you and jumps on your shoulders, stay calm. If you are holding any food, drop it and slowly walk away.
Do not run. If you run, the chances are that the monkey will follow you. Slowly move away from an area/situation you are unhappy with.
Do not take food into the park. Monkeys can smell food a mile away, even locked up in a bag. Do not take food into Ubud Monkey Forest… you have been warned!
Do not feed the monkeys... at all! They are greedy little things and as soon as one monkey see’s that you have something it wants, this can spell bad news for you. The forest caretakers want to keep all monkeys on a diet of food that is good for them, not human junk food. We saw about 4 people being chased by monkeys when they were walking with a plastic water bottle in hand. Keep them tucked away into your day bag!
No paper bags / plastic bags. To keep the park litter free, and to stop the monkeys stealing your stuff.
Take care of your belongings. If it isn’t physically attached to you, they probably want it. Sunglasses, earrings, accessories etc, this is all good fodder for a cheeky monkey.
Are the monkeys looked after?
We can honestly say that the monkeys seem to love it here. There are over 600 monkeys currently at Ubud Monkey Forest who are able to come and go of their own free will. There are no physical barriers holding them to the forest, and with a constant supply of attention and food on demand you can’t really blame them for wanting to stay put. The type of monkey living at the forest are Balinese long-tailed macaque.
How to reach Ubud Monkey Forest
We walked to Ubud Monkey Forest from our accommodation, ‘In Da Garden‘ in central ‘tourist area’ Ubud. Our walk took around 45 minutes. At one point, the traffic on Monkey Forest road was at a complete stand still and we were so glad not to be caught up in it. It is an easy, pleasant walk and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to visit along the way.
If you opt to get a taxi/private driver to the Monkey Forest, then you would be best arriving either very early in the morning or mid/late afternoon to avoid the worst of the traffic (it can get REALLY busy on Monkey Forest road.)
If you are able to drive a scooter, this would be preferable to a taxi as you can navigate the traffic, making it much faster.
Honestly the walk was really pleasant, and we would highly recommend just trekking it.
How long will I spend at Monkey Forest?
The forest is actually quite big (30.8 acres!). We spent around 2 hours having a wander around and watching the monkeys.
There are plenty of toilets available on site, parking and a first aid clinic should you need one.
There are 3 temples in the Forest: Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji and Pura Prajapati . Unfortunately, tourists can not enter these temples, but can see them from the outside. There are tons of elaborate stone carvings around the forest to feast your eyes upon! Some of the statues are bizarre. We loved looking at all these mad carvings, this one was my personal favourite haha!
Is it worth visiting Ubud Monkey Forest?
Initially, I was a little apprehensive to visit the Ubud Monkey Forest, as I had seen a few horror stories flashed around on the internet.
After a little research, and visiting ourselves I have came to the conclusion that those who were chased/bitten/had a bad time had probably not followed the recommended guidelines. (The occasional unprovoked attack does occur. We asked a caretaker about this and he said it is quite rare). At no point did we feel vulnerable or threatened during our visit, and we had a fabulous time amongst these funny creatures. They seem really well taken care of and looked after.
If you happen to be in the vicinity, we highly recommend spending a few hours at Ubud Monkey Forest. You can check out their official site to find out more about visiting.