One of the most unique experiences for those who are traveling to Bali is a visit to the Monkey Forest in Ubud.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is home to about 1,000 Balinese long-tailed macaques and is a wonderful place for animal or monkey enthusiasts to observe the animals in their natural habitat. The monkeys can often be seen climbing trees, playing in the river, or eating fruit in the forest. Visitors can also explore the three temples located within the forest, and admire the beautiful flora. The Monkey Forest is a great place to learn about the monkeys and their habitat and is also a very peaceful and calming place to spend some time.
Philosophy Behind the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary
The Ubud Monkey Forest is one of Bali’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s easy to see why. The park is teeming with over 500 playful monkeys, and the tropical setting is simply gorgeous. But there’s more to the Monkey Forest than just monkeys and pretty scenery. The park was created as a conservation area, and its founders had a deep respect for the spiritual world.
This philosophy is reflected in the park’s design, which includes a trail system that allows visitors to explore different areas of the forest while observing the monkeys. The monkeys are most active during the day, so visitors can watch as they eat, play together, and socialize in their family groups. It’s an incredibly special place, and it’s clear that the founders of the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary did an amazing job of creating a space that is both beautiful and respectful of nature.
Sights in the Monkey Forest
The Monkey Forest is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ubud, and it’s easy to see why.
Macaques in Bali’s Money Forest
Bali’s Money Forest is home to a troop of long-tailed macaques. These monkeys are native to the island and are often considered to be a good luck charm by the locals. The monkeys are relatively small, weighing between six and 22 pounds. They are mostly covered in grey fur, with a lighter colored face and chest. The most distinctive feature of these macaques is their tail, which can be as long as their body.
The macaques in the forest live in matriarchal groups of around 15 individuals. There are six of these groups in total, and they are often seen foraging for food together. The monkeys are omnivorous and eat a variety of fruits, leaves, and insects. They are also known to raid crops, which often causes conflict with humans.
Beware of the Monkeys
Though they might look like cuddly little creatures, macaques are actually quite mischievous. They’ve been known to steal food from unsuspecting tourists, and they’re not above snatching a pair of sunglasses or even a camera if they get the chance. It’s important to be aware of your belongings when you’re in the Monkey Forest and to keep an eye on your food. If you do happen to have something stolen by a monkey, don’t worry – they’re just trying to get a snack.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is a popular tourist destination for good reason. In addition to the main attraction – the monkeys – visitors can also observe Timor rusa deer in a fenced enclosure. 115 different species of trees and 186 plant varieties are found throughout the forest, providing visitors with plenty to see and enjoy.
Ancient Balinese Temples Inside The Monkey Forest
In addition to being a nature preserve, the Ubud Monkey Forest is also home to three ancient temples. These temples are important not only for their historical value, but also for their spiritual significance.
The first temple is called the Pura Dalem Agung, and it is dedicated to the god Hyang Widhi in the personification of Shiva, who is known as the Transformer. This temple is where Balinese Hindus come to worship, and it is also the final resting place for many of Ubud’s royalty.
On the northeastern portion of the forest, you’ll find the Prajapati Temple. It is used for worshiping Hyang Widhi through the personification of Prajapati. The temple is also where the deceased are brought for temporary burial. The bodies lay here until they are cremated, which occurs every 5 years. Although it may seem morbid, the temple is actually quite beautiful.
The third temple is the Beji Temple in the northwestern part. Is used for spiritual purification. Some parts of the temples are open to the public while other parts are considered sacred and are open only to those who are wearing proper praying attire and have come to use the temples for their spiritual purpose.
Planning Your Monkey Forest Visit
Generally, the monkeys of the forest are calm and do not mind the presence of people. They may even sit next to park visitors. However, it is important for visitors to the forest to remember that the monkeys are still wild animals.
Park rangers help to ensure that people and monkeys maintain a safe distance from each other. Feeding the monkeys is discouraged, as this can often result in bites. In addition, dogs are not allowed in the forest as they can disturb the monkeys.
In addition to its outdoor areas, the Ubud Monkey Forest also contains a public hall, gallery, conservation area, canteen, toilet facilities, and a first aid center, so visitors can plan to spend as much time at the park as they like. A day in the Monkey Forest of Ubud often creates memories that last a lifetime.
When To Visit
The Ubud Monkey Forest is open daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm. It’s best to visit the park in the morning when the monkeys are most active. Afternoon visits can be quite hot, as there is little shade in the park.
The Monkey Forest can be busy, so it’s best to visit during the week if possible. However, if you do visit on the weekend, arrive early to avoid the crowds.
Where To Stay
There are many unique hotels and villas in Ubud close to the Monkey Forest. Our favorites are the Adiwana Monkey Forest (try their Balinese Healing Massage!), Komaneka Monkey Forest (Balinese-styled rooms with views of rice fields), and the Royal Kamuela Villas & Suites Monkey Forest (try the floating breakfast in your private pool!).
How To Get There
The Monkey Forest is located in Ubud, which is about an hour’s drive from Denpasar airport. The best way to get there is by private car or taxi.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Bali. The forest is home to a large population of friendly monkeys, and the temples and grounds are absolutely beautiful. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the local wildlife! Just remember to follow the rules while you’re there – no feeding the monkeys, and be sure to keep an eye on your belongings. If you do, you’re sure to have a fantastic time at the Monkey Forest.
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