The Sacred Monkey Forest is located in Ubud, the mountainous region of Bali. The monkeys – long tailed Macaque’s, roam freely in this sanctuary and temple complex.
Sanjay and I were pretty excited about getting up close to these cute little creatures, we paid the entrance fee and went through the gate. As soon as you get in, there are notices everywhere with warnings about the monkeys – Don’t run, don’t panic, don’t look the monkeys in the eye, don’t touch the monkeys, watch your valuables, don’t hide food. We’d heard stories about the monkeys biting and taking your belongings but didn’t think too much into it.
Soon I spotted our first monkey, it was indeed very cute and was running around with a mischievous look in its eye, we watched it run to its fellow monkeys and then saw they were literally everywhere, hundreds of them! They were walking along beside us, sitting in the forest next to us, in the trees above us, it was actually quite daunting! But we knew as long as we didn’t bother them they wouldn’t bother us.
We saw a woman selling bananas for the monkeys, so decided to buy some and try to feed them. As soon as Sanjay got the bananas they were onto him, they crowded around him, trying to snatch them from him, it was kind of scary, they’re quite aggressive for such small creatures! Sanjay for some reason was mesmerised by them and I was starting to freak out hoping they wouldn’t bite him!
Not soon enough the banana’s were gone, by the time the ordeal was over I was ready to get out of there. As we were walking out we saw a beautiful mama monkey and her baby sitting on the path, we stopped to admire them and then heard people yelling “look, look!” We turned around and saw a monkey jump onto a woman’s lap which was pretty cool, it sat there with her for a while (I was wandering why all the monkeys couldn’t be as cute and friendly as this little one!) Then all of a sudden it jumped up grabbed the woman’s necklace with its tiny little hand and pulled it, the woman screamed then the monkey screamed and then it ran away with her necklace! It was horrible and really funny at the same time, monkeys are thieves!
It was definitely time to get out of there, we took a couple more quick photos and left. It was a very different experience to the one I thought we’d have but it was worth it – it’s not like you can be immersed in a world of monkey’s everyday…. Would I do it again, probably not!
So I’m not completely scared of monkeys but I’ll forever be wary of them. Check out this photo – The monkey is not impressed at all, from it’s expression I think it’s saying… hurry up and take the photo so I can eat my banana in peace!
Happy Travels, Priti x