Tips for visiting and surviving the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali
Everybody loves monkeys. They are funny and look cute. The Ubud Monkey Forest in the village of Padangtegal in Ubud, Bali, is home to over 600 long-tailed macaques and is a must-visit when traveling to Bali. The Monkey Forest is a sanctuary place for the monkeys and a spiritual and economical place for the Balinese inhabitants. Nowadays it is a well-known tourist attraction, but not an attraction that you can visit without caution… The monkeys are wild animals, so you need to be prepared and mindful. This post will give you ten tips for visiting and surviving the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali.
Tip 1: Clothes
Be mindful about what you wear. The monkeys are smart and will empty your pockets before you know. Make sure your pockets are empty, before you enter the park. Also consider bringing a backpack. The monkeys can easily unzip a backpack and grab something out of it. Another tip is to wear closed shoes. Some monkeys may step on your feet or even worse, bite in your toes.
Tip 2: Attributes
As said in tip one, consider bringing a backpack. Monkeys love to pickpocket. Try to bring as less things as possible. So, no sunglasses, purse, camera case, food, drinks, money, flashy jewelry, or anything you might have hanging off you. I did bring my sunglasses and unfortunately one of the monkeys stole it and destroyed it by chewing on it. You can bring a camera or your phone, but make sure to hold it anytime.
Tip 3: Feeding
Feeding the monkeys with peanuts, chips, water, or candy is strictly forbidden. The caretakers make sure the monkeys get enough food every day. There is a woman outside the entrance selling bananas to feed them. It is fine to give the monkeys some bananas, but be aware! As soon as you get the bananas, the monkeys run out to you, climb on you, and even may get aggressive until you give them the bananas. I did buy some bananas and it was quite scary for me. As soon as I got the bananas, I threw them out of my hands towards the running monkeys.
Tip 4: Keep distance
Keep a distance from the monkeys. Remember it are wild animals, and some of them might not like to see you come close to their territorial. Don’t touch or pet them. Prolonged eye contact or any slow movements can be perceived as threat. Also try to avoid coming close to baby monkeys.
Tip 5: Hepatitis C and rabies
The monkeys in the Ubud Monkey Forest are known for carrying Hepatitis C and fleas. They can even bite you and give you rabies. Make sure you are vaccinated for Hepatitis C and perhaps a pre-rabies vaccine. Rabies can spend up to two years incubating in an animal before any symptoms appear and a bite from a rabid animal can be deadly if you’re infected and don’t receive treatment fast. Come prepared or be sure to seek medical attention immediately after being bitten.
Tip 6: Photographing
When photographing, use the zoom instead of getting up close. Also make sure to hold your camera tightly, so the monkeys cannot grab it out of your hands.
Tip 7: Follow the paths
Follow the paths. As mentioned before, the monkeys are wild animals. They might become aggressive when you step out of the paths and enter their territorial.
Tip 8: Religious attention
The Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali is a religious attraction. There are three temples available in the park, all apparently constructed around 1350. When you would like to visit a temple, make sure to wear a sarong. For the female travelers, make sure you are not menstruating, because than you are not allowed to enter the temple.
Tip 9: Places to see
Be sure to check out the temples and to make a stop at the water fountain. It is fun to see the monkeys play with the water.
Tip 10: Costs and opening hours
The entrance fee for an adult contains IDR 50.000 (around € 3,00) and for a child IDR 40.000 (around € 2,50). The park is open from 08:30 AM till 18:00 PM. Please note that the prices or opening hours are subjected to change. For the most current information, I recommend you to visit the website of the Ubud Monkey Forest.
So, a short summary; if you’re planning to visit the Ubud Monkey Forest, please be careful not to bring unnecessary things with you, cover up, don’t bring any food, try not to touch the monkeys, and respect the religious sights.
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