Information before you go
The Ubud Monkey Forest is located at Padangtegal village which nowadays is part of Ubud and is the most popular tourist attraction in the cultural village of Ubud. Tourist busses from the south of Bali are packed each day to pay a visit to this sacred monkey forest sanctuary and while you can have a good time some other travelers vow never to return again.
Entrance to the forest in Ubud
This patch of forest ( 10ha ) is inhabited by 4 large group of crab-eating macaques (Macaca Fascicularis) and as the name suggests they should be eating crab all day but since there's no beach here their diet mainly consists of fruits, seeds, plants, flowers and occasionally bird eggs, lizards, frogs and bird chicks.
It is also home to the 3 interesting temples, the Pura Penjapati, the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple, the Holy Spring Bathing Temple and 115 species of trees.
At the Pura Penjapati Temple complex you'll find a graveyard where the recently deceased are buried while waiting for the appropriate days or funding for the cremation. In front of this cremation temple you'll see many statues of Rangda the Witch, who is also known as the 'Goddess of Death'.
Even more interesting is the Pura Agung Padangtegal Temple southwest of the forest which is the 'High Temple of the Dead' of which every Balinese village has one. The turtle at the entrance is called 'Bedawang' and represents the underworld. At the inner temple you can see even more statues of the evil witch Rangda. The gate of this temple is only open during ceremonies.
Entrance to the temple of death
Once you walk towards the middle of the forest you'll run into the huge banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) from where you can descend a flight of stairs and cross a cool-looking stone bridge towered by another large banyan tree. Here you’ll end up at an old carp pool and the mystical Holy Spring Bathing Temple.
From here it's hard to imagine that most tourists come here wasting their time feeding aggressive long-tailed macaques. The juvenile and infant monkeys look very cute to us, but the Hindu Balinese consider every macaque sacred and should be left alone. Monkeys play an important role in the story of the Ramayana. Here the monkey General Hanoman saves princess Sita from the hands of the evil king Rawana.
The big Banyan tree in Monkey Forest
Just outside the entrance to the Ubud Monkey Forest street is lined with tourist shops and banana vendors so you can buy some bananas and feed the monkeys even though they are already obese by the trucks of food brought by the hoards of tourists. Since these macaques have no predators in this nature reserve and have adjusted to humans they can get very aggressive when they don't get what they want. Especially when tourists play with their young they will become very territorial and don't hesitate to attack you.
Moreover the most overlooked fact is that these macaques are easy carriers of various diseases such as Rabies, Tetanus and Herpes B virus which attacks the central nervous system resulting in neurological dysfunction or death. A scratch, a bite or monkey saliva can result into a deadly holiday.
Enjoying each others company...
Rabies is widespread on Bali (something the Government tries to keep out of the press as much as possible) probably because the Balinese believe their monkeys to be sacred and they believe dogs to ward of evil spirits.
Therefore when you visit the Monkey Forest come prepared, have your vaccinations done at home, leave your jewelry at the hotel and shoot pictures with your mobile phone. Then you can admire the temple structures, soak up the special atmosphere and ignore the monkeys.
Open daily 8.30 am - 6 pm, entrance fee Rph 20.000
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Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.