The Ubud Monkey Forest is a nature reserve and temple complex in Ubud, Bali. It houses approximately 340 monkeys which are known as long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis). There are four groups of monkeys each occupying different territories in the park. The Sacred Monkey Forest is a popular tourist attraction in Ubud, and is often visted by over 10,000 tourists a month.
The Monkey Forest is owned by the village of Padangtegal and village members serve on the Monkey Forest’s governing council. The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation manages the Monkey Forest and serves to maintain its sacred integrity and to promote the sacred site as a destination for visitors.
The Monkey Forest street provides many choices of restaurants, from western cuisine to Balinese dishes. Remember to visit Bebek Bengil about 500 meters from there. It’s a popular restaurant at Jalan Hanoman, known for its specialties: fried/roasted ducks. Do also try the ribs. They’ll leave you wanting more.
Shops at Monkey Ubud Forest alone offer a wide variety of beads, baskets, wooden carvings, ikat textiles, paintings and silver jewelries.
Various lodgings are available in Ubud, from a simple bed & breakfast to resorts or private villas.
Good choices for comfort and services at Monkey Forest Street are Komaneka Resort and KajaNe Mua Villa. A bit far, but worth the distance are Maya Ubud Resort & Spa and Four Seasons Bali (at Sayan, Ubud).
Walk around. Enjoy the serene atmosphere.
The forest comprises approximately a tenth of a square kilometer (approximately 27 acres) and contains at least 115 different species of trees. The Monkey Forest contains the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple (shown on the left) as well as a “Holy Spring” bathing temple and another temple used for cremation ceremonies.
Walking around Ubud is an experience of its own. There’s a famous story told by Janet DeNeefe, initiator of the Ubud Readers & Writers Festival, that once, a speaker had a block before his event and decided to went out for a walk around Ubud. He was so fascinated by the beautiful landscapes that he forgot to return for his talkshow.
You can also rent a bicycle or a motorbike. A lot of visitors prefer bikes for environmental reasons. However, since Ubud’s located on a mountainous area, the roads tend to be steep. If you have something against sweating, motorbike’s a more logical choice.
Cars are usually only used when you want to to go outside Ubud.
Ubud is about an hour and a half drive from the airport. Taxis are available in the airport. Any travel agent in Denpasar will also be able to get you there. If you stay in a hotel, the management usually provides a shuttle service for a reasonable fee.
The sacred forest is situated at the Monkey Forest Street (shown on the right), which is the main street of Ubud, so you won’t miss it. Shops and restaurants line up the streets, so you might as well check them out while you’re there.
In Monkey Forest Sanctuary, even if you really admire Robert Frost, stay on the path. The forest is lest travelled for a reason: it may provoke the monkeys into thinking you’re trying to invade their home.
Treat the monkeys with respect. Don’t feed them unless you’re accompanied with a guide to supervise you. And do realize that they’re creatures of a curious nature. So keep your possessions in check. If they “borrow” one of your items, just go to the nearest guide and ask for his help.