Sacred Monkey Forest – the monkey forest of Ubud. Is it worth it?

If you are on a round trip through Bali, the monkey forest of Ubud is a must for every tourist. In addition to the Sacred Monkey Forest, which is located very centrally in Ubud, there is also a second monkey temple in Bali, but we were already here in 2016 and have not really enjoyed the place, because the monkeys in the temple of Ulu Watu were very aggressive and you were actually only busy the whole time to have the monkey gang somehow in view so they do not come too close.

On our first round trip through Bali, some locals have also advised us not to visit the monkey temple of Ulu Watu, because some trainers apparently educate the monkeys specifically so that these tourists steal valuables such as sunglasses and then bring back to the trainers. Therefore, this time our truth at the monkey forest on the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud.

By the way, the Sacred Monkey Forest is not the official name of the sanctuary. The actual name of the facility is Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Where we think that the last part also serves rather only for tourism.

Blick auf das Schild des Monkey Forests in Ubud

How expensive is the monkey forest in Ubud? When is the monkey forest open?

The Monkey Forest is now no longer a cheap place to visit. For the entrance one pays per person meanwhile proud 80,000 IDR what about 6 euros corresponds. When we were in 2016 in Bali on the road, the entrance fees were still much cheaper. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary has daily from 08.30 clock – 17.30 Sundays and holidays he should also have so open, at least we could not find any other information. Cash and card payment are possible, by the way.

Eingangsbereich des Monkey Forests.

The official site of the sight is www.monkeyforestubud.com. You can find the Monkey Forest on Google Maps under “Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud” or also at the address “Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia.”

What monkeys live in Sacred Monkey Forest?

In the monkey forest of Ubud live the Javanese monkeys or long-tailed macaques named.  Males weigh between 4.5 – 12 kilograms when fully grown and the females light 2.5 – 5.7 kilograms. Males have larger canines than females. The fur of the monkeys is mostly light gray with a slight red-brown tinge. The monkeys live not only in Bali, but are also found in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and even now in New Guinea and Hong Kong. Typical habitat of the long-tailed macaques are mangrove and rainforests. The animals usually live on trees and can jump up to 5 meters. Usually they live in groups of 6 – 60 animals.The animals are omnivores, whether fruit, vegetables, or even crabs, snails or mussels on the menu of the monkeys is everything to find. (But does not mean that you should give the animals chips to eat)

The right way to handle monkeys

The handling of the monkeys wants to be learned.The Javanese monkeys can be little beasts, which can bite really nasty and can also transmit rabies. Therefore, still some tips on how best to deal with the monkeys in the monkey forest.

  1. Do not look the monkeys directly in the eyes, monkeys can see this as a provocation and react aggressively.
  2. If monkeys use you as a climbing opportunity, stay calm, take a deep breath, and wait until the monkeys again on their own seeks the distance. It is important not to panic and lash out, this will surely make the monkeys aggressive.
  3. Do not bring food into the park, if the monkeys notice that you have a fresh photo with you, whether chips, bananas or even a sandwich, believe us, the monkeys will get it for sure.
  4. Keep special distance to mother animals with babies, mother animals can react aggressively to you when approaching.
  5. Do not walk through the park with valuables, which the monkeys can quickly steal from your body.
  6. Do not try to attract monkeys to you. Be passive.
  7. Follow the rules that can be found at the entrance of the park.
Offizielles Schild zum Verhalten mit den Affen

Is rabies a risk in the monkey forest?

In many posts about the Monkey Forest, the topic of rabies is brought up. As you can already see from many of our other posts, we have decided to vaccinate against rabies in order to prevent the risk of getting such a disease.

Also, we have read in some forums about cases which got rabies in the monkey forest of Ubud. So first of all there is a risk to get rabies in the monkey forest of Ubud. However, we also think that you don’t need to make the monkeys shy if you follow the rules of behavior and be very passive.  

You can never play it safe with monkeys, though, especially long-tailed macaques, because they are probably just as unpredictable as we humans are. One can minimize the risk significantly if one deals with the monkeys, with the rabies vaccination and with the risk beforehand and deals with it accordingly. However, if you go to the monkey forest with fear, you also run an increased risk of being bitten by a monkey through your own panic attack. Therefore our clear recommendation: Inform yourself, weigh the risk for you and then decide whether you want to visit the monkey forest of Ubud.

Is it worth a visit?

If you have never come into contact with monkeys, the Monkey Forest of Ubud gives you the chance. The monkeys are relatively calm and less aggressive compared to other places we had visited.When we had visited the Monkey Mountain of Kuala Selangor, the Javanese monkeys were much more aggressive compared directly to the langurs. In the monkey forest of Ubud, the animals tend to be lazy and overeaten, and also a bit further tired of being admired by hundreds of tourists day in and day out.

The Sacred Monkey Forest, is that not what you see in many photos on Instagram and great travel blogs. He is also secret tip and he is by the tourist measures that stream through the forest every day also no longer really magical. The Monkey Forest has become a victim of itself and Instagram. 

The nature to admire in the forest is really impressive, huge trees with incredibly great roots characterize the fauna of the forest. When you stand in front of such a tree it is really a great experience, similar to the Amazon rainforest, which we were already allowed to visit a few months ago. 

In our eyes, the forest is worth seeing, but only if you have not had to deal with the monkeys before. For many people, the monkey forest of Ubud is probably the place where they come into contact with these great animals for the first time.

You’ve got the urge to visit the monkey forest in Ubud, but you’re not sure if it’s the right destination for you? Maybe our vlog will convince you.

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