If there is one place which is absolutely recommended to go while on your trip to Bali, it must be the Ubud Monkey Forest Temple. You will not find many other places in the world with such a large amount of monkeys existing in one area quite like this special forest.
According to the official Indonesian Ministry of Tourism website, there are approximately 340 monkeys that live in the forest itself which are known as the long-tailed Macaques species. These monkeys congregate in different areas and can often be seen in the same places as each other.
It is not just the monkeys themselves which makes the Ubud Monkey Forest special and unique though. It is estimated to have over 100 distinct kinds of trees existing on the 27-acre complex including some incredibly large banyan trees (one of them is 100 years old)!
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know and more before visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide To Bali Monkey Forest – Everything You Need To Know and More!
- How To Get There
- Getting Around
- My Wild and Wacky Experience With The Monkeys
- How To Get A Monkey Selfie
- The History of Ubud Monkey Forest Temple
- What Not To Do
- Is It Safe For Kids?
- What Time You Should Visit
- How Long It Takes To See Everything
- All Prices (Table Included)
- Highlights of Ubud Monkey Forest Temple
- How To Make Your Trip More Memorable
- What To Wear Before Entering
- Are The Monkeys Dangerous?
- What Other Cool Things Is There To See?
- How To Book Group Tours
- Facilities Available
- Great Hotels To Stay Nearby
- Other Monkey Forests in Bali
- Travel Tips To Remember In Ubud
1. How To Get There
The Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary is approximately 10 minutes away from Ubud Town Centre when arriving by bike or car. To get there if you are staying in Ubud, drive south from Ubud Palace which is directly in the centre until you reach the small village of Padangtegal.
If you are traveling from Canggu or Seminyak, you can expect it to take approximately an hour to arrive by bike or car. You will have to travel northeast of Bali past Tabanan Regency.
The easiest way to find it would be to use Google Maps or your Satnav which should easily take you there without trouble.
Of course, the best idea would be to add it to your Ubud itinerary and arrange to go while you are already staying in Ubud. This will make getting there a lot easier and your travel plans clearer.
If you are hesitant on driving there, it is advisable to get a motorbike taxi or a car taxi if you are traveling with more than one person. Otherwise, renting a motorbike is the cheapest option if you are a confident driver.
Once you arrive, the entrance is easy to spot by the crowds of people and bikes parked outside.
2. Getting Around The Forest
There are several options you can take when exploring the monkey forest.
Of course, an easy and popular option is to hire a guide who will give you a complete tour of everything there is to see. You will often see many of them waiting outside.
However, it is important to negotiate a good deal if you are going to hire a guide to take you around.
This is because it is common for them to ask for a higher amount so you should negotiate. As long as you choose a price you are both comfortable with, you can ensure that you are getting a good deal.
If you decide to walk the forest without a guide, you will receive a map at the entrance which will show you where to go and what you can see on the way.
In addition to this, there is a full interactive map available on the monkey forest website which provides information on the various places you can visit there.
3. My Wild and Whacky Experience With The Monkeys
There is one thing that you get from being around so many monkeys at one time, and that is unpredictability!
When arriving here, I came with my and our guide Bhre. Upon arriving, it is safe to say I learned more about monkeys from my time here than any book or TV show combined.
I saw them jumping on people; putting their hands over their eyes; trying to climb up their legs and almost tearing the shirt off a guy which we walked past.
The monkeys in this forest are extremely energetic to say the least and they will try to play games with you. The good news is that most of these games are not dangerous as long as you remain calm towards them.
Don’t do what I did the first time I went which is to walk up next to the monkeys and try to take a selfie with them.
I quickly learned from the angry expression on its face that this was a bad idea and my friend said it looked like it was getting ready to bite me.
It sure was not worth it for an Instagram post. Especially because of the fact I could have asked someone working there to take it instead.
Also be wary of trying to come close to baby monkeys, the mother is always around and will take the opportunity to attack you if she feels that her baby is in any danger. We tried to take an up-close video of them and she literally was ready to bite our phone.
With the huge number of monkeys that are roaming around here (over 300), it is safe to say that at least one of them will try to steal something from you.
So be prepared for this and whatever you do, make sure you don’t get pooped on, peed on (yes I am not joking) or the absolute worst… bitten!
It is safe to say you will be experiencing some very socially confident and playful monkeys that are not afraid of some good human contact.
4. How To Get A Monkey Selfie
If you are familiar with Instagram travel posts from Bali, you might have come across the world-renowned, famous monkey selfie.
If not, please allow me to explain.
This is essentially a photo that is taken in Ubud Monkey Forest which looks like the monkey is taking the selfie and not a person. I remember the first time I saw this on one an Instagram profile and I burst out laughing thinking how it was even possible until I managed to get one myself.
To get one of these, ask one of the local security guys who are standing around for a monkey selfie and they will take one for you. They do this by turning on the front selfie camera on your smart phone and then positioning the monkey in front of you.
After this, the security guy will put a small piece of food behind the phone which will cause the monkey to look at the camera and stretch its arm. He will then proceed to take the photo and boom; you have a great photo ready to upload to your social media accounts.
5. The History Of Ubud Monkey Forest Temple
The Ubud Monkey Forest has a fascinating history which is about as interesting as forests can get. It all starts with the three Hindu temples inside of it which were all built in the 14th century. These are known as the following:
- The Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal – This is also known as the temple of death, and it is considered to be the main temple inside of the Monkey Forest. It lies in the south-western area and you can spot the entrance from the small steps it has leading up to the gate. The Pura Dalem is used to worship the god Hyang Widhi which is in personification of the Hindu god Shiva.
- The Pura Beji Temple – This temple lies in the north-western area of the forest and is used for the worship of Hyang Widhi in personification of the goddess Gangga. The temple has a bathing area which the Balinese people often use for purification prior to religious ceremonies.
- The Pura Prajapati – This temple is in the north-eastern area of the forest and is used for the worship of Hyang Widhi in personification of the goddess Gangga. The bodies of dead people are often buried next to the Pura Prajapati and are eventually burned in mass cremation ceremony. This ceremony takes place every 5 years.
You can find ancient Hindu symbolism all over these temples from the incredible statues to the different architectual designs. I particularly liked the animal statues such as the monkey heads which are directly above the door of Pura Dalem Agung!
It is believed that the monkey forest was designed to show the importance of the relationship between humans and their environment. This possibly explains why the monkeys are given the freedom to walk around and be so close to the visitors.
6. What Not To Do While You Visit
It is important to know what not to do so you keep yourself and your belongings safe. Here is a list of everything you should avoid doing:
- Don’t bring food or drink inside – You might think it is a clever idea to take some snacks or other consumable goodies into the forest, but it is advised to not do this. The reason for this is because there are a lot of monkeys around and they won’t think twice about stealing them from you.
- Don’t disturb the monkeys – Although they are comfortable being around humans, it is important to not take this for granted and tease them. This includes trying to scare them; playing games; trying to touch them or looking them directly in the eyes. They will often times take this as a sign of aggression and could bite you.
- Don’t bring any valuables into the forest – This includes important documents such as your passport, jewelery, wallets, watches, or expensive equipment. Anything of value should not be brought into the forest unless you want to risk the possibility of a monkey stealing it.
- Don’t show fear to the monkeys – If one of them jumps on you, make sure to remain calm and it will eventually go away. If you panic or scream, the monkey might attack you because it feels threatened. If you are scared of monkeys, it is best to stay close to the security workers and they will protect you.
- Don’t litter – This might seem like common sense but it still happens a lot. Avoid dropping litter on the floor and save it for the next time you see a trash bin. It could harm the monkeys and you should make sure it is as clean as possible for other tourists.
- Don’t try and touch the monkeys – The last thing you want is to be rushed into the hospital after getting bitten by a monkey. This will be far from pleasant and you could risk getting rabies. For this reason, it is best to keep your hands to yourself.
- Don’t feed them anything artificial – Bringing food from outside to feed the monkeys is a no no. These monkeys are fed a specialized diet by the temple workers and any other food besides this could cause them digestive issues.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is by far one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Bali. It receives an average of 10,000 visitors every month and it has a whopping number of Google reviews which almost reaches 40,000 in total. It is by far the most famous place to visit in all of Ubud and it is definitely worth the hype.
The number of visitors coming here has surely picked up again now after the pandemic and the monkey forest will be receiving similar amounts of visitors to how it was before. You really can’t miss a trip here if you are in Ubud and it will surely add the icing on the cake to your Ubud itinerary.
8. Is It Safe To Go With Kids?
Yes, it should be fine to go to the forest with kids as long as you watch over them carefully. The biggest worry with bringing kids is if they run off by themselves and try to play with the monkeys. It is very possible that young children have been bitten in the past and these bites could have mostly been avoided.
Just make sure you watch over them and don’t play around or provoke the monkeys yourself. This is especially important if you have small children with you.
9. What Time Should You Visit
Like most popular tourist attractions in Bali, the earlier you get there, the quieter and the smoother your experience will be. The Ubud Monkey Forest opens at 9am in the morning every day and closes at 6pm in the evening so getting there close to its opening time will mean it is less crowded and you can enjoy your time there more.
The forest is usually busiest at midday around 12pm, however, it should still be fine to go at this time.
It never gets overly hectic to the point where you cannot get around and being around a few fellow tourists can make the experience more interesting.
In terms of the time of year to visit, it is best to go during the dry season which is from April to October. It rains very often in Ubud during the wet season so you can be confident the weather will mostly be sunny and pleasant in the dry season.
10. How Long It Takes To See Everything
Most people visiting spend anywhere from 1-2 hours in total in the monkey forest which is often more than enough time to walk around and see everything.
It is important to mention that there is quite a lot to see. The walking path alone is over a mile in length (1.1 miles) and there are three temples along the way. The time you spend there will of course depend on how much you enjoy it and how fast of a walker you are.
You can take spend as much time as you want here to explore the 27 acres of land and all the marvellous sights.
11. Bali Monkey Forest Price
Please refer to the following tables for complete pricing information:
Entrance Fees for Bali Monkey Forest
|Tourist||Weekday Pricing||Weekend Pricing|
|Adult (12+ years old)||80,000 IDR ($5.26)||100,000 IDR ($6.57)|
|Child (Age 3-12 years old) Child (Below 3 years old)||60,000 IDR ($3.94) Free Entry||80,000 IDR ($5.26) Free Entry|
Parking Fees for Bali Monkey Forest
|Scooter or Motorbike||2,000 IDR ($0.13)|
|Car||5,000 IDR ($0.33)|
12. The Highlights of Ubud Monkey Forest Temple
Out of everything to see at Ubud Monkey Forest, the most significant of all of them must be the three temples which are on the grounds. This is not only because of their historical and religious significance but it gives you a deeper understanding of how it came to be.
Besides just these temples though, one of the funnest things to do which I did myself was to get a selfie taken for me with one of the monkeys. To do this, you can ask one of security workers nearby to take one for you free of charge and it makes a really good instagram post!
I mentioned more about the special monkey selfie earlier on in this guide.
Apart from this, taking in the impressive scenery is enough to give you a complete sense of what the monkey forest is all about.
13. How To Make Your Trip More Memorable
This one is easy… take as many photos as you can!
Don’t forget to flood your social media pages with all of your amazing photos with the monkeys and make all of your friends jealous.
If you really want, you can also take an organized group tour around the forest with other travelers (you can see how to book an ubud group tour in this article below). This will mean you can make new friends while you are at the forest and take lots of group photos together.
New friends + photos = best memories!
14. What To Wear Before Entering
Knowing what to wear before visiting the monkey forest is important.
Especially if you want to visit the temples here which are a recommended part of the experience.
As with visiting any other sacred temple in Bali, it is important to follow a polite dress etiquette which includes covering the shoulders and the knees before entering inside.
You can do this by bringing a sarong and covering your body with that.
Apart from temple etiquette, it is also wise to avoid wearing loose clothing such as dresses or long sleeve t-shirts. This is because the monkeys like to pull on these and rip them.
Loose shoulder straps on bags are another common thing that the monkeys like to play with. For this reason, you should tighten them up to keep those pesky monkeys away!
15. Are The Monkeys Dangerous?
No, for the most part the monkeys don’t cause much harm to tourists and the worse thing one will do is bite you.
Of course, a bite from a monkey is not pleasant at all and it will hurt. However, it is not likely to cause any serious diseases and it is easily treatable.
Although it is a common fear that you can catch rabies from monkeys in Bali, this is mostly false.
According to Hydro Medical Bali which is a trusted and popular medical clinic on the island, there hasn’t been a single case of rabies from all the bites which have taken place in Ubud Monkey Forest.
It is safe to say that this fear from people is often unfounded and it comes from new tourist’s concerns before they visit for the first time. These concerns seem to pop up a lot on popular travel forums although in most circumstances, it is nothing to worry about.
However, in the case that you do happen to get bitten by one of the monkeys, it is important to find a local hospital and get medical attention. There is actually a small medical facility inside of the monkey forest itself just incase you do happen to get a nasty bite.
Depending on how bad the bite is, you might also need to seek additional professional attention to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
A great hospital in Ubud for this is the Unicare Clinic which offers various rabies vaccinations if you do want to make sure you are safe.
16. What Other Cool Things Is There To See?
When I came here, I really enjoyed the overall vibe of the forest and it felt like I was starring in an unfamiliar movie or video game.
It was more about the experience of wandering around freely with monkeys which gave me this feeling along with the sense of being at one with nature.
However, for the curious ones amongst us, you will particularly enjoy the 100-year old banyan tree which is located in the center of the forest. Its roots intertwined together in a knot-like pattern really looks fascinating and it isn’t likely that you will come across a banyan tree very often which is as old as the one in Ubud Monkey Forest!
Other cool elements of the forest include the different animal statues which are scattered all around the temples and on bridges. This includes cats; dragons (on the dragon bridge); elephants and various others.
17. How To Book Ubud Group Tours
There are lots of different websites out there which offer Ubud Group Tours. These are often posted by the touring companies and most of them do include the monkey forest.
Just a simple Google search brings up lots of different tours from private tours on Booking.com to less popular websites offering fantastic packages.
A great company in particular is Viator which is reputable for offering group tours. You can choose from different tours depending on various factors including:
- The reviews of the tour
- The length of time it is on for
You can check out some examples of these tours on viator by clicking here.
18. Facilities Available
The following facilities are available at Ubud Monkey Forest or at least very close by:
- Public Toilet
- Food and Drinks
- Souvenir Shops
- Parking Area
- Medical Treatment Office
19. Great Hotels To Stay Nearby To Ubud Monkey Forest
If you are looking to stay in a hotel which is located close to the monkey forest in Ubud, here are 5 great options that are nearby:
1. Anumana Hotel Ubud
Distance from Monkey Forest: 200m away
Quality: 4-star hotel
Reviews: Very Good
Average Room Price Per Night: 1,000,000 – 1,400,000 IDR ($65.65 – $92.19)
2. Alaya Resort Ubud
Distance from Monkey Forest: 330m away
Quality: 5-star hotel
Reviews: Very Good
Average Room Price Per Night: 2,000,000 – 2,500,000 IDR ($131.70 – $164.63)
3. Royal Kamuela Villas & Suites
Distance from Monkey Forest: 380m away
Quality: 5-star hotel
Average Room Price Per Night: 4,000,000 – 5,000,000 IDR ($263.40 – $329.26)
4. The Evitel Resort Ubud
Distance from Monkey Forest: 290m away
Quality: 3-star hotel
Average Room Price Per Night: 500,000 – 1,500,000 IDR ($32.93 – $98.78)
5. Tejaprana Bisma
Distance from Monkey Forest: 450 m away
Quality: 4-star hotel
Average Room Price Per Night: 2,500,000 – 3,500,000 IDR ($164.63 – $230.48)
20. Other Monkey Forests in Bali
You might be surprised to hear that the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary is not the only monkey forest which exists in Bali. There are actually two others that are also relatively popular among tourists.
These include the following:
- Sangeh Monkey Forest
- Alas Kedaton Forest Temple and Animal Sanctuary
Although less famously known, these are both great options for those who want a similar experience without going to the more popular one.
21. Travel Tips To Remember In Ubud
The following travel tips will help with your stay in Ubud which goes beyond visiting the monkey forest:
- Stay in Ubud Town Center – This makes it much easier to access the tourist attractions you have listed on your itinerary. It will also save you time if you want to get there earlier.
- Wear Sunscreen – It might seem like a simple one, but I know better than anyone that it is certainly easy to forget. Make sure to wear your sunscreen!
- Download Grab and Gojek – Whether you want fast access to taxis or food delivered to your hotel door. Downloading both the Grab and Gojek applications onto your smartphone will serve you very well.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Bargain – It is normal in Bali to be charged a very high price for something to begin with. This is especially the case around Ubud Market with souvenirs and other goods. Don’t be afraid to bargain so that you can make sure you get the best deal. The locals enjoy doing this and it will save you getting ripped off.
Here are some questions that I can answer. For further FAQ’s, you can find them on the official website of the monkey forest here.
1. What Do The Monkeys Eat at Ubud Monkey Forest?
The species of monkey which live in Ubud Monkey Forest are Macaques which are traditionally omnivores.
They are fed three times a day by the staff who work there and their diet includes bananas, sweet potato, sweetcorn, coconut and papaya leaf.
Although these monkeys can eat meat if necessary, they are typically given a plant-based diet which satisfies them.
2. How Long Do These Monkeys Live For?
Crab-eating Macaques typically live anywhere from 15 to 30 years depending on their diet. Judging by their high quality of life in Ubud forest, it is safe to say that they live at least past the age of 15 years old.
3. Can You Feed The Monkeys?
Due to the relaxed nature of the staff and security alike, it is up to you whether you want to feed the monkeys or not. However, it is advised not to unless you feed them the bananas which you can buy inside of temple grounds.
Do not feed them anything else besides these.
4. Do They Move In Packs?
No, most of the time the monkeys that will be together are the young monkeys with their mothers.
Adult males often move alone although they do socialize from time to time.
Watch out for the baby monkeys in particular because the female mothers are often very protective of them and they will get defensive if you get too close to their babies.
I have seen this level of protectiveness myself from them during my visits and the mothers take it very seriously.
The females do not like their babies getting too close to strangers!
Following all of the steps above should make your Ubud Monkey Forest experience as safe and enjoyable as it can be!
We hope you enjoyed this complete guide and all of your questions were answered as much as possible. It is safe to say that this amazing forest doesn’t get old and it is a reminder of the classic Bali which never fails to amaze the visitors that come here.
Make sure you bookmark this page for your next trip to Ubud to enhance your experience to the max!