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 a sanctuary for about 1,000 Balinese long-tailed monkeys (also called macaques) and is the perfect area for animal or monkey enthusiasts to observe the animals in their natural habitat as they go about their daily lives. Visitors can also explore the forest’s three temples and the area’s beautiful flora.
Philosophy Behind the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary
The Ubud Monkey Forest was created as a conservation area and is built around the idea of harmony between people, nature, and the spiritual world. The forest is about 27 acres, and an extensive trail system allows visitors to explore forest areas, a ravine, and a peaceful stream, all while observing the monkeys. The monkeys are most active during the day and are fed three times daily, so visitors to the park can watch as the monkeys eat, play together, and socialize in their family groups.
Sights in the Monkey Forest
As visitors enter the Monkey Forest in Ubud, they will immediately notice the large, gray monkeys the forest is named for. These macaques, which are also known as the Balinese long-tailed monkey or long-tailed macaque, are usually about 15 to 22 inches tall and weigh between six and 22 pounds, depending on the monkey’s sex. The tail of the monkey is as long if not longer than the entire length of its body. The monkeys form matriarchal groups, and the forest contains six of these groups.In addition to the monkeys, visitors to the Ubud Monkey Forest can observe Timor rusa deer, which are kept in a fenced enclosure. 115 different species of trees and about 186 plant varieties are also found in the forest for visitors to enjoy. In addition, the park also
contains three ancient temples, most likely built around 1350. One temple, the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, is dedicated to the god Hyang Widhi in the personification of Shiva, who is known as the Transformer. The Prajapati Temple is used to worship Hyang Widhi in the personification to Prajapati, and also has a nearby cemetery. The Beji Temple 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 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.
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!).
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