Typically, when I revisit a place I often have fond memories and the anticipation of seeing it again, through wiser eyes, has a certain appeal. However, Ubud Monkey Forest is not a stroll down warm and fuzzy memory lane 😉
When I first visited Bali, back in 2008, I went to Monkey Forest as a wide eyed backpacker. With my tiny Casio digital camera I tried to capture as many photos as I possibly could of the cheeky monkeys playing, fighting, eating and trying to steal objects from tourists. These spoiled monkeys, living in a sanctuary with no natural predators, put delinquent teenagers to shame with their obnoxious antics.
Having spent nearly half an hour roaming around, I developed an artificial sense of confidence as I slowly got closer and closer to the monkeys to take that perfect shot. This one particular cute little monkey really caught my attention. As I inched closer, suddenly I noticed an Alpha male flash its teeth in an aggressive manner. Surely, that’s not being directed at me? Within nanoseconds this agile beast sprung on my leg sinking its teeth into my my shin and dashing off. I literally stood in a state of shock – my heart beating like a tin drum. In hindsight, I realize I had invaded its space. Fortunately, the bite wasn’t severe and only involved minor medical treatment to heal.
You must think I’m crazy for coming back here again? I’m not here to deny that. My only goal this time around was not to get bitten again. Check out the travel video above to see if the 2014 version of Sam is more fortunate than the 2008 rookie form.
A tourist attraction to consider when visiting Bali is the Ubud Monkey Forest. A nature reserve complex with over 600 monkeys spread out over 27 acres featuring a Holy Spring Bathing Temple and a Cremation Temple.
We’re in Bali and this morning we are visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest. Now I’m slightly terrified about this attraction because the monkeys are not afraid of humans. They do not have any predators here in the park and they are also very used to tourists coming through and feeding them bananas. I’ve heard stories of monkeys just jumping on people’s heads on their backs. There have been cases of monkeys biting. Fingers crossed that we do not get attacked today.
I was in Bali in 2008 and I did visit this place and I was attacked. The problem was that I was too close to one of the baby monkeys and an Alpha male didn’t like that. It ran up to me with like superhuman animal agility and just took a big bite on my leg. Today my goal is no bites.
Some tips for visiting the monkey forest: I would actually recommend coming later in the day when there is more people here. I think there is safety in numbers. Sam and I came here as soon as the park opened and we were one of the first people in. It was honestly kind of scary walking down the paths and just being surrounded by monkeys with no one to protect you. So, safety in numbers people!
To visit the monkey forest it cost 20,000 Rupiah and if you want to feed the monkeys – or have a park guide – both are available for an additional fee. We found that we just enjoyed going around by ourselves and that was good enough for us.
If you’re not afraid of monkeys I think it is kind of a cool attraction to visit – especially if you’re staying in the town of Ubud. However, I’m not so sure I would recommend people drive all the way in if they are elsewhere in Bali.