Most trips to Bali will include a visit to Ubud, unless you're a surfer and only plan on staying near the coast. Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali and a place for yogis, but it's also the location of the famous Sacred Monkey Forest.
Known locally as Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, the Monkey Forest is owned by the village of Padangtegal and attracts over 10,000 visitors a month.
The forest comprises approximately 27 acres and contains at least 115 different species of trees, as well as three Hindu temples. It's also home to hundreds of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicuiaris), a species of monkey that is found throughout Southeast Asia.
The monkeys belong to four distinct troops that occupy different territories in the forest, and some can even be seen wondering around the streets near the entrance.
The monkeys of Mandala Suci Wenara Wana have become accustomed to seeing humans and now have very little fear of them, often times jumping up on tourists if they think they have food on them.
Some tourists find this entertaining but for others it can be a downright terrifying experience, particularly if you have small children with you. Visitors can also buy bananas to feed the monkeys, but be prepared to get a little closer than you may expect!
There are three temples within the forest, namely Pura Dalem (death temple), the Holy Bathing Temple and Pura Prajapati (cremation temple). All three of these temples are sacred, as is the forest and the monkeys, who are believed to protect the area from evil spirits.
Visitors can enter the forest through three gates: the main one at the southern end of Monkey Forest Road; 100m further east, near the car park; or from the southern side, on the lane from Nyuhkuning.
Shopping around Monkey Forest Road is another reason to visit. You can pick up souvenirs, beads, jewellery, clothing, sarongs and batik fabric, but remember not to accept the first price often and have a little fun bargaining!
Kura-Kura Bus has three bus stops in Ubud, the nearest bus stop to Monkey Forest being at Plataran Resort on Jl. Raya Pengosekan. It's within easy walking distance from this famous attraction and the bus actually passes right past the forest en route to the next bus stop at Puri Lukisan Museum.
|Opening hours||Monday - Sunday, 8:30am - 6pm|
|Entrance Fees||Adult: Rp. 30,000 Child (12 years and under): Rp. 20,000|
|Nearest Kura-Kura Bus Stop||Plataran Resort|
|Address||Jl. Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali|
|Tel||(0361) 971 304|