10 Reasons to Visit Ubud Monkey Forest
Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali is an amazing and unique experience that should not be missed! Don’t believe the hype! We almost skipped Ubud Monkey Forest because of all the bad press about monkey attacks. Luckily, we still chose to visit and are so happy we did. We wanted to write a quick post for anyone debating whether to visit Ubud Monkey Forest.
1. Ubud Monkey Forest is SAFE.
You can have fun, play with cute monkeys, and stay safe if you take a few precautions and follow a few simple rules.
PRECAUTIONS: Don’t bring food from outside Ubud Monkey Forest. The monkeys will smell it and hound you until they find it. Also, don’t bring unnecessary items or things you’re not willing to lose. Monkeys love to steal jewelry, sunglasses, loose hanging bags, and anything else that gets their attention. You should leave as much as possible in your vehicles. You can also leave items at the ticket counter. The staff will watch it for you.
SAFETY RULES: The officials at Ubud Monkey Forest preach 3 key rules.
RELAX. The monkeys are emotionally sensitive and reactive. If you show aggression, they show aggression. If you panic, they panic. Staying calm and relaxed, is the best way to ensure they’re calm and relaxed.
DON’T TOUCH THE MONKEYS. LET THEM TOUCH YOU. You may see other visitors breaking this rule with no problem. Don’t do it. They are playing with fire. The people that break this rule are the group of people who get hurt. Most of the monkeys are friendly and docile. Some people may get away it, but sooner or later, someone always gets hurt. And it’s always their own fault. Follow this rule and you’ll never be hurt. We had some fun and thrilling close encounters, all initiated by the monkeys. Many will approach you under the right conditions.
AVOID PROLONGED EYE CONTACT. Staring a monkey in the eye is seen as aggressive, and they may respond with aggression. Prolonged eye contact is the issue, not normal observation.
There is also a huge staff at the sanctuary who work hard to keep you and the monkeys safe. These are the guys in the green uniforms. Always follow their advice and feel free to ask if you have any questions. They’re there to help. If you just abide by these few rules and precautions, you will have a great and safe time.
2. Ubud Monkey Forest has Cute, Playful Monkeys.
The monkeys are the stars of the show at Ubud Monkey Forest. The monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest are cute, playful, and friendly. The absolute best thing about Ubud Monkey Forest is being able to experience the monkeys’ behavior and interactions in a natural setting. This is no zoo. There is no confinement whatsoever. The monkeys are free to go where they want. You can even spot them outside the forest, walking around town.
Monkeys can be seen SWINGING through the treetops. They can be seen LOUNGING on benches, next to people. Visitors can see them SWIMMING in pools. The monkeys will also be seen CHASING and PLAYING with each other. You can see them NURTURE and care for each other. The monkeys interact with each other constantly in fun, fascinating ways. And they love to interact with humans too.
We could just sit around and watch them for days on end. For example, sitting next to a monkey while he eats some veggies may not sound that interesting, but when you’re there, inches away, it becomes absolutely captivating. They have so much energy and personality that everything they do is entertaining.
3. Ubud Monkey Forest has Wild Monkeys
These same cute playful monkeys are also WILD. The overwhelming majority of the time, the monkeys are peaceful and playful with each other. But occasionally FIGHTS flare up. We witnessed a few fights during our visit and each one was INTENSE. The monkeys move with lightening speed and surprising strength. Most last only a few moments, but the damage can be severe.
**Obvious safety tip** – Stay away from the fight. Don’t try to get close for photos and you’ll be fine. We hated to see the monkeys hurting each other, but it’s completely natural and real. Watching the cute monkeys go from funny to fierce in a split second was a great reminder of the harsh, raw reality of nature.
4. Ubud Monkey Forest takes Great Care of the Monkeys.
This is NOT a tourist attraction that abuses the animals it features. Ubud Monkey Forest is owned and operated by the local town of Padangtegal. They hold the forest SACRED and the monkeys are very significant to their deeply held religious beliefs. The sanctuary provides the monkeys 3 daily feedings of healthy fruit and veggies and veterinary care. Ubud Monkey Forest is not only a tourist attraction. It is also deeply concerned with RESEARCH and CONSERVATION. International scientific teams regularly visit the Monkey Forest to track the HEALTH of the forest and the animals.International scientific teams regularly visit to track the HEALTH of the forest & the animals.Click To Tweet
5. Ubud Monkey Forest is a Beautiful Forest.
The monkeys are such a riot to watch that it’s easy to forget how beautiful the forest is. There are a wide variety of trees, plants, and flowers. The colors are lush and the fresh air is rejuvenating. The gigantic banyan trees and intricate vine systems are iconic, alluring, and the highlight of the forest.
6. Ubud Monkey Forest has Ancient Temples
There are 3 temples that date back to the 1300’s. These are active temples that the local people have been using for centuries. The long history of these beautiful temples is astounding and their continued use is inspiring.
7. Ubud Monkey Forest is an Exotic Wonderland
The great thing about Ubud Monkey Forest is the mix of incredible features in one place. We would visit to see only the monkeys, or only the verdant Balinese forest, or only the ancient temples. While each alone would be impressive, experiencing them all together is magical. You can watch a wild monkey leap from the rooftop of an ancient Hindu temple and catch hold of a vine. He then swings onto a giant banyan tree and disappears into a dense green canopy. And that is just one of the moments you can have. Ubud Monkey Forest is the type of exotic wonderland we all dream of visiting.
8. Ubud Monkey Forest has Easy Walking Trails.
The Monkey Forest is large, covering 28 acres. You can explore the forest on paved trails that make for an easy stroll. We loved interacting with the monkeys in the park, but they were clearly born for the trees. Seeing the monkeys be free and fly through the trees is exhilarating and uplifting.Ubud Monkey Forest is the type of exotic wonderland we all dream of visiting. Click To Tweet
9. Ubud Monkey Forest has Convenient Amenities.
Food, drinks and modern bathrooms are all available on site. You don’t have to worry about packing it all along or being stranded with no options.
10. Ubud Monkey Forest is Cheap Entertainment.
An adult entry ticket is about $3USD, and the natural scenery, temples, and monkeys can provide hours of entertainment. We spent more than 3 hours there, and we didn’t want to leave.
Good to Know:
Address: Jalan Monkey Forest – Padangtegal – Ubud – Gianyar- Bali (80571)
Operating Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Dress Code: Casual. There are temples, but no need for sarongs or special clothes.
Private Tour Guide:
Bali Golden Tour: There are so many great tour companies on Bali. We used this one and were very happy. They offer very professional and very affordable private tours. Read their reviews on TripAdvisor.
Anumana Ubud Hotel
Anumana is a prime 4-star hotel in Ubud, walking distance to the Monkey Forest and conveniently located the rest town. This gorgeous hotel offers free wifi, breakfast, shuttles into Ubud, and all the other services you’d expect from a 4-star hotel. Their lagoon-inspired pool is gorgeous. The prices at this luxury hotel are quite reasonable.
Check the latest rates on: Agoda | Booking.com
Read Reviews on: TripAdvisor
Plataran Ubud Hotel and Spa
Plataran is another great 4-star hotel in Ubud within walking distance of the Monkey Forest. The Plataran also offers free wifi and breakfast and has big, beautiful pool. Breakfast is served on the second-floor terrace and provides a great view of the traditional Balinese village. It is close to the main attractions, but far enough away to be peaceful and relaxing. They also offer some very affordable rates for such a nice hotel.
Check the latest rates on: Agoda | Booking.com
Read Reviews on: TripAdvisor
TamiPosted at 15:16h, 14 November
Another fascinating experience very-well documented. I’m glad to know the monkeys are not exploited. It would be wonderful to watch them play and interact with one another!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 15:57h, 14 November
Hi Tami. Thank you for your lovely compliment. Yes, it was so awesome to learn that this was a sanctuary where the monkeys are well taken care of. The adorable monkeys are free to do whatever they want whenever they want. Watching them interact with one another was so amusing!
ChrisPosted at 07:21h, 15 November
I’m glad you enjoyed it, but the Monkey Forest and its swarms of tourists weren’t to my liking
The Travel NinjasPosted at 07:38h, 15 November
Chris, wow we must have lucked out. Either we went during an extremely low season or at the perfect time of the day because there really weren’t many people around. We were able to get great photos, easily walk around and interact with the monkeys.
Doreen PendgracsPosted at 11:36h, 15 November
I loved this post, Vanessa, as I love monkeys. Would love to visit the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali. The way you’ve described it, it really reminds me of the Bear Sanctuary we visited in Minnesota. And I totally loved that, too.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 11:45h, 15 November
Hi Doreen, you would definitely love the Ubud Monkey Forest! It was both surreal and humbling to witness such incredible creatures in such close proximity. The Bear Sanctuary in Minnesota sounds amazing. We may need to plan a trip there as well. 🙂
nehaPosted at 09:32h, 16 November
A monkey forest. And then on top of that ancient temples within the forest. Definitely a one of a kind place. Those monkeys seem to be quiet friendly. My little one will love to make friends with few of them
The Travel NinjasPosted at 10:39h, 16 November
Neha, yes it’s definitely a unique place. It was even more impressive than we expected. Your little one would love it as long as the safety precautions are followed. 🙂
MimiPosted at 01:43h, 17 November
This experience seems amazing – would love to get there and try it! We didn’t spend too much time in Ubud last time we went to Bali. Also that hotel is quite beautiful outside for a 4*!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 03:44h, 17 November
Mimi, we didn’t spend nearly as much time as we wanted to in Ubud either 🙁 But that just means we all just need to go back and visit Ubud again! 🙂
LewiPosted at 19:31h, 17 November
My brother just came back from here and said it was one of the highlights of his trip to Bali. Except for the part where the monkeys tried to steal his phone haha
The Travel NinjasPosted at 20:48h, 17 November
Lewi, it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip as well. Haha, those monkeys and their grubby little hands 😉 So glad your brother didn’t lose his phone. 🙂
Mar PagesPosted at 00:51h, 20 November
This place is beautiful! Like a sanctuary for monkeys. I love how we can interact with them and yet they are not caged up. Everything seems perfect, have to be there to see it for myself. Thanks for sharing as I didn’t know about this place despite being a wildlife enthusiast.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 02:56h, 20 November
Mar, yes this place is absolutely gorgeous and filled with so much history. It’s funny that you say that because that is exactly what it is. In fact, the official name of this amazing place is “Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary”, Ubud. The adorable monkeys are free to come and go as they please. The grounds of this place are impressive and it has a few lakes.
We got a kick out of watching the cute monkeys dive and swim in these! Not because they were forced to but because that is what they felt like doing at the time. It was so awesome watching them interact with each other freely.
You absolutely must plan a trip sometime. You are going to love it!
Matt AngelesPosted at 09:31h, 20 November
I’ve always wanted to visit Bali. Planning to visit early next year. I might just give this a whirl… but taking your tip on leaving most everything I can. Hopefully my camera won’t catch their attention as much…
The Travel NinjasPosted at 09:35h, 20 November
Hi Matt. Oh how exciting! You are going to absolutely love Bali. There is SO much to do. Yes, you definitely need to stop at the Monkey Forest. From what we noticed, the monkeys were not typically interested in cameras. Of course, if you decide to interact with them then put your camera away or have someone hold it while you interact with them. We had no issues and had an absolute blast!
BetchayPosted at 09:41h, 20 November
Wow! I would love to go there someday ~ the monkeys seem to be really friendly. And the entrance fee is really cheap.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 09:49h, 20 November
Hi Betchay. You would absolutely love it!
Pia UyPosted at 20:58h, 20 November
Nice photos! Amazing enviroment! But monkeys freak me out.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 20:59h, 20 November
Hi Pia, thanks for the compliment. The environment is gorgeous! The monkeys typically don’t bother people unless the people are carrying food or other stuff (sunglasses, refreshment bottles, caps, etc) or if the people are interacting with them.
AnnPosted at 02:32h, 21 November
I have never been in Indonesia and this post is totally like having a walk with the place! You have captured not just beautiful pictures but the fun and the learnings on how to be safe while having fun with the monkeys is properly described! Added to my – Ann (www.annyamagishi.com)
The Travel NinjasPosted at 02:35h, 21 November
Hi Ann. Thank you. We had a blast at Ubud Monkey Forest. It’s fun and gorgeous.
JoannaPosted at 02:37h, 21 November
I have visited monkey temples before and I remember how scared I was due to the unpredictable behavior of the monkeys. It’s good to know that the monkeys from Ubud Monkey forest are actually friendly and they will not attack you. I guess it’s a general rule not to bring any food when going to visit monkeys 🙂
The Travel NinjasPosted at 02:40h, 21 November
Hi Joanna. The monkeys are friendly and so fun to watch. Yes, bringing food in is bad for them and bad for you.
John PenaPosted at 03:40h, 21 November
Definitely a must-go in Indonesia and it’s pretty cheap too! I have been to a similar friendly monkey habitat and that was in Kuala Lumpur and it was so much fun to be inclined with these fun and friendly mammals :))
The Travel NinjasPosted at 03:45h, 21 November
Hi John. Ubud Monkey Forest is great fun. We saw some nice monkeys near Kuala Lumpur too. Those were even friendlier.
Adel CPosted at 07:09h, 21 November
A lot of people seem to visit Ubud. It looks gorgeous and such a breath of fresh air. Although I’m afraid on interacting with monkeys. I love your photos and the hotel you recommend seems fancy. Nice photography!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 07:31h, 21 November
Hi Adel. Thank you. Just watching the cute monkeys is also extremely amusing. They are literally all over Ubud Monkey Forest. The cute monkeys never seem to run out of energy.
Ruth AlarconPosted at 10:44h, 21 November
OMG! Those are real ones!! Lucky you!! If given the same chance I’ll probably not take it. Lol. You’re a brave gal – indeed a ninja! =)
The Travel NinjasPosted at 11:15h, 21 November
Hi Ruth. Thank you. Getting close to the cute monkey was fun, but just watching is also a blast. They are constantly running around, chasing each other, wrestling, even swimming. We could spend days just watching.
Stargazer WritesPosted at 22:38h, 21 November
I find it a bit scary that some monkey are wild. What if they see you as a threat and scratch you?
The Travel NinjasPosted at 22:46h, 21 November
Hi Stargazer. All the cute monkeys are wild, but they don’t scratch unless provoked. We have a longer post all about safety at Ubud Monkey Forest. The basics are don’t carry food or loose items that will attract the monkeys and don’t try to touch the monkeys. Thousands of people visit every week without problems. You can read the full post here.
Claire santiagoPosted at 02:27h, 22 November
This reminded me of our pet monkey in the province when I was still a kid. It used to take away the head lice from the kids, it was friendly I don’t remember it became wild and scared people
The Travel NinjasPosted at 03:55h, 22 November
Hello Claire. Wow. You grew up around friendly cute monkeys. That’s so cool.
Sandy N VyjayPosted at 00:49h, 26 February
It is so nice to note that the monkeys are well-taken care of.and the authorities are involved in the conservation of the region. It is always fun to watch the antics of the monkeys, but yes they can go from gentle to fierce in seconds and the entire mood changes. One, of course needs to exercise caution in such cases. Loved the way you have described your visit.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 01:00h, 26 February
Hi Sandy N Vyjay. Thanks. Yes if you do the right things Ubud monkey forest can be safe and fun.
James LongPosted at 03:49h, 19 March
Great article on the monkey forest in Ubud. We visited several years ago and the kids did love it although were a bit freaked out by some of the monkeys. Top tip about not having anything valuable as they definitely try and steal stuff as we found out.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 08:58h, 21 March
Hi James. Yes we had a similar experience and think the same way.