One thing you have to do when you visit Ubud, Bali, is to visit the Monkey Forest. Multiple friends recommended it and if you pick up any travel book on Ubud, you will undoubtedly see a few paragraphs dedicated to it. It’s 50,000 IDR per person, which is about £3. So not expensive at all, in fact a bit of a bargain. Shortly after entering the forest you are greeted by monkeys, they’re just chilling out. I loved this one above, proper beard going on and very chilled, just enjoying the sunshine.
I was a bit nervous when we first entered, I had to fight the urge to turn heel and run. I was just so scared of being bitten, I’m aware that they’re not how they’re portrayed in films. So I made sure not to try and anger them or get in their face in anyway. After about 20minutes of making myself walk around them and in close-ish proximity, I started to relax. They didn’t bat an eye, just strolling.
I loved the baby monkeys. They were hilarious. I could’ve happily watched them all day long. They reminded me of kittens and puppies. Their hands were too big for them and they spent a fair amount of time chasing their tail / another monkey’s tail / anything that moved and then falling out of trees, off other monkey’s or into water. Seriously. They were worth the entrance fee all by themselves. I did manage to capture them playing in the vlog, so if you fancy a chuckle you can watch that. They’re hard to get a good photo of, they’re moving constantly!
There were so many full grown adults that just made me think of old gentlemen with big whiskery beards, although a lot of them were female, you can see what I mean though right? They looked like they held a lot of wisdom behind their eyes and they might possibly share some of it for the right banana. They were often found in the shade but with a bit of sun, glancing through the trees.
Can we just take a moment here. Monkey was yawning, a lot. However, as it turned it’s head away it looked very much like it was baring it’s teeth, ready to show who was boss. Bit of a life lesson in a fashion. What we think is happening, often isn’t the case but our bias influences how we interpret the world around us. That’s a discussion for another time, I just found it interesting to see such an obvious example.
It was great just happening upon groups of monkeys. I’m not sure there were enough to call them a troop, but I did none the less. This pair were clearly just having a chat about life, how their day was and maybe about the school run? I also love the picture after it. In my mind, it looks like something from a film with the monkeys dotted about.
The monkeys above are adolescences I believe. They were just as playful as the babies, but less tripping over themselves, more pushing each other over. This troop ended up playfully fighting over a rather sturdy tissue that they extracted from an unsuspecting tourist.
Ooooo I’m the King of the Swingers, a monkey VIP… I may have had this tune stuck in my head after seeing them swinging about. I hope I’ve passed it on. You’re welcome!
All in all we loved wandering around the Monkey Forest. We did it in just under an hour, but you could easily take longer. Quick note, things you shouldn’t do when you enter the monkey forest.
- Do not make eye contact
- Do not run
- Do not shout
- I’d also recommend putting any plastic water bottles in your backpack, as well as anything else – not in the side pockets, but in the main part of your backpack. They’re clever and they’ll have anything they can reach. We did witness some interesting moments when monkeys ripped large plastic bottles from the hands of people.
- Another point, don’t hold onto anything they want, no fighting, they will bite and get aggressive.
OK PSA over. Just apply common sense. I cringed overhearing the odd person – one guy was telling his girlfriend to hold onto the banana and make the monkey work for it…fine up to a point, or up until it bites you instead of the banana, but ya know, up to them. Our friends visited the day after us and they seen 3 people get bitten, just from holding onto things or winding the monkeys up. You’re in their space.