Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

©Anita Surewicz/Lonely Planet

Ubud Monkey Forest


This cool and dense swath of jungle officially houses three holy temples. The sanctuary is inhabited by a band of over 600 grey-haired and greedy long-tailed Balinese macaques who are nothing like the innocent-looking, doe-eyed monkeys on the brochures – they can bite, so be careful around them. Note that the temples are only open to worshippers.

Enter the monkey forest through one of three gates: the main one is at the southern end of Monkey Forest Rd. Useful brochures about the forest, macaques and temples are available at the ticket office. Free shuttles to get here and back drive a loop around central Ubud every 15 minutes, stopping on JI Raya Ubud, JI Hanoman and on Money Forest Rd – look for the lime-green buses.

Note that the monkeys keep a keen eye on passing tourists in hope of handouts (or an opportunity to help themselves). Irritating recorded warnings (and signs) list all the ways monkeys can cause trouble: avoid eye contact and showing your teeth, including smiling, which is deemed a sign of aggression. Also, don't try to take bananas from the monkeys or feed them.

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