Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud

Bright eyed monkey

I am boss

Ubud is one of my favourite places in Bali

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is not just a tourist attraction. 

The villagers regard the Monkey Forest as an important spiritual, economic, educational, and conservation centre for the village.

Around 700 monkeys live in the 12.5 hectare Ubud forest.  The forest is lush, green and tropical with an abundance of natural trees, ferns and shrubs.

There are literally hundreds of these little grey monkeys roaming freely amongst the tourists.  They are cute and very family oriented but can get very protective especially when their offspring are nearby.

Despite the park attendants with ‘monkey food for sale’ carts, instructions are clear .. do not to feed the monkeys, don’t touch the monkeys, don’t look them in the eye, don’t move quickly and don’t scream if or when they jump on you.

They are constantly on the prowl for food and have been known to steal handbags, sunglasses, hats and anything else you might carry with you so if you have something that looks like (or smells like) you might be carrying food, be careful.

Fast moving, unpredictable, alert and very curious

Mischievous young were swinging from low hanging tree branches and jumping onto their parents as part of their game.  Protective of their young, mums and dads lazed about seemingly oblivious to their young clambering all over them.

It was a magical sight to see monkey families hanging out and playing together.

It was interesting to watch the hierarchy and ranking of importance in their tribe.   When there is a potential threat, the ‘leader’ of the pack puffs himself up and hisses and snarls to demonstrate his superiority.   It’s wise to move away when one of them starts demonstrating this behaviour as it’s likely he will jump on your shoulders or launch an attack in an attempt to demonstrate his status.

Trev had a rather aggressive monkey pounce on him as we were leaving the forest.  He was unprepared when without warning it shinnied up to his shoulder, bared it’s teeth and attempted to peel his head like an apple.

The monkey was very quickly kung-fu’d into the bushes!

That was our cue to exit the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest!

It’s a fascinating walk through the forest watching the monkeys in their natural habitat and I recommend adding the Sacred Monkey Forest to your ‘must do’ list.

Have you been to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud yet?