Ubud Monkey Forest is home to over 600 cheeky long-tailed macaque monkeys. Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest is definitely a must see for all backpackers visiting Bali.
Monkeys are extremely important in the Balinese culture and so the forest is actually seen as a sacred site rather than merely a tourist attraction. There are several holy temples inside and the grounds are kept in very good condition.
How to get to Ubud Monkey Forest
The Ubud Monkey Forest lies in the village of Padangtegal in Ubud. Get there with a short bike ride or 15 minute walk south of Ubud’s center.
From Kuta to Ubud Monkey Forest: 33 km, about 1 hour with car/scooter.
Ubud Monkey Forest Price
There is a very small entrance fee of Rp50,000 ($3.70 USD). When you enter the forest there are several stands where you can buy bunches of bananas to feed to the monkeys. It costs Rp20,000 for a small bunch and Rp50,000 for a big bundle.
How much time / best time to visit
We spent about 3 hours in the Ubud monkey forest, taking pictures and feeding the little creatures but there is no time limit on how long you can spend inside!
The Monkey Forest is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ubud so no matter what time of the day you go, it will probably be quite busy!
However, the forest is pretty big and there are plenty of monkeys to go around so you definitely don’t need to worry about not seeing enough of the little creatures!
How to approach the monkeys
When we first entered the forest, we were a bit anxious about getting too close to the monkeys but after a while we saw them climbing on top of other people and decided we should try it to get the most out of the experience!
We got a tip from another tourist which proved really helpful. You should hold your arm straight up from your shoulder with the banana in the opposite hand to where the monkey is sitting. In this way, the monkey naturally jumps onto your shoulder first, grabs the banana and sometimes even sits eating it on your shoulder if they feel comfortable. If you follow this tip you’ll be sure to get that instagram-worthy photo!
Tips When visiting the monkey forest you should remember that monkeys are clever little animals, who can get pretty aggressive if they perceive you as a threat.
7 Ubud Monkey Forest tips
Here’s a few tips to keep in mind for your visit:
1. Treat the monkeys with respect because they do bite!
2. Avoid bringing snacks in your bag. Monkeys are clever and if you have food in your pockets, they will find it.
3. Don’t tease the monkeys. Speaking from experience, I would strongly advise never to pull back an offer of food from a monkey as you can get a pretty aggressive response. Remember that bananas are like gold to them and if they see you trying to hide them , you’ll be in trouble!
4. Put a lock on your backpack! In parts of the forest, the monkeys love to pickpocket. Make sure to have a lock on your bag to protect your valuables. Monkeys can open zips so just having your bag closed will not stop them!
5. Keep your distance. Make sure not to get too close to the monkeys when taking pictures. To avoid getting bitten, use the zoom lense on your camera instead of getting up close and personal.
6. Avoid eye contact. Prolonged eye contact with the monkeys can be perceived as a threat!
7. Vaccinations. Make sure to get vaccinated before you come to the forest and if you do get bitten, go straight to a doctor to see if a rabbies injection is needed.
Why should Ubud Monkey Forest be on my bucket list?
For monkey lovers, this forest is definitely one for the bucket list. When else would you get the chance to get up close and personal with monkeys! The beautiful forest grounds and hilarious, entertaining monkeys make for a funny afternoon and definitely one not to be forgotten!