A trip to Ubud is not complete without taking a visit to it’s famous Monkey Forest Sanctuary, so what were we to do but go? We went around 9:30 one morning, and although not dead, it wasn’t terribly busy either. A number of people online have said it can get chock-a-block busy, which I think would take a lot of the fun out of it; however, early morning off season seems to be a great time to go to avoid most of the crowds! It costs about Rp 50000 per person (roughly $5 AUD), and there is no time limit once you’ve entered the park.
The sanctuary itself is home to about 750 Balinese Long Tailed Monkeys, as well as a number of species of protected trees and plants. You can visit and walk around the sanctuary on your own, and there are park officials who give tours and answer questions. They also have an educational program for schools who can visit to learn about conservation and living harmoniously with the monkeys. They ask you not to feed or touch the monkeys; however, they’re pretty curious creatures (especially the babies and teens), and they’ll often climb up onto you of their own accord. The adults can be aggressive at times, but as long as you are quiet, respect their space, and don’t look them in the eye, they shouldn’t give you any trouble.
We spent about an hour and a half walking around, which felt like more than enough time. We encountered a few little ones who were very curious and enjoyed climbing up us to explore, and one even started to groom my hair! It was a really neat experience, and felt like a really safe and non-intrusive way to see the monkey’s in their natural habitat.
Well worth a visit if you’re in Bali, especially with so many other things to do and see around Ubud as well. Just remember to respect the monkeys and the culture of the Balinese people as you’ll get so much more out of the experience.