One of my favorite places in Bali was the Sacred Monkey Forest. The Monkey Forest is a temple complex located in Ubud, Northern Bali.
When people think of Bali they normally think of the beaches and resorts in Kuta and Legian. While the beaches are absolutely amazing, they are also crowded and touristy. If you are traveling to Bali, the northern part of the island is definitely worth a couple days of your time. This was the next stop for me on my tour which included Jakarta and Bogor.
For me, the hardest thing to do when traveling is to find transportation for day trips out of the city. Luckily, I met up with a few friends in Bali and we were able to hire a driver for a few days. This was actually quite inexpensive, as with everything in Bali (just don’t buy souvenirs in Kuta). Having a local driver made getting to Ubud a snap.
The first thing you should do before heading to the notice at the Sacred Monkey Forest is get rid of any food or loose items you have with you. This means get rid of your water bottles, sunglasses, jewelry. Seriously those monkeys will take anything you have. It was almost comical to see the packs of monkeys greedily chase tourists down the walking paths. I wouldn’t recommend wearing loose clothing that will flutter in the wind. I saw a few women battling with the monkeys for control of their wardrobe.
When You Arrive
When you get to the monkey sanctuary you will notice many people outside selling bananas and other snacks for the monkeys. It’s best to avoid them. Enjoy the monkey sanctuary and walking in the shade under the old trees. The monkeys are pretty fun to watch. They basically chase, fight, and hump each other all day.
Enjoy Bali’s History and Culture
Bali is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world and is a tourism hot spot. But if you take the time you can delve into Bali’s deep history and culture. There are several Hindu temples located in the Monkey Forest. The temples are roughly 700 years old but have been well preserved despite the wars and natural disasters that have occurred over the years. Ubud is Bali’s center of cultural preservation, as it has been less affected by tourism and development. The Kecak Fire Dance is traditional Balinese dance is performed at the Uluwatu temple. It starts just before sunset each day and I highly recommend adding this to your Bali itinerary.
Check out TripAdvisor for the info and map: TripAdvisor: Kecak Dance
See my post on the Kecak Fire Dance:
This guy gave me the biggest laugh of my trip. He stole some perfume from a ladies purse and managed to smash the bottle open. He managed to dribble a few drops into his mouth before shaking violently before sitting still for a few moments. Here he is rethinking his life choices.