Ubud Monkey Forest - Top Tips
The Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud
Arguably the most thrilling, and terrifying, experience you will have during your entire Bali trip. Upon arrival at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, you are presented with warning signs about the monkeys reading things like, “Do not panic”, “Do not run”, and "Do not look the monkeys in the eyes”. Needless to say, you should definitely make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into before visiting the Ubud monkey forest.
While this is a truly incredible experience and I would highly recommend adding the Ubud monkey forest to your list of things to do in Bali, I should caution you about a few things. Remember that these monkeys are wild animals, not pets, and you must be mindful of the rules in place at the monkey forest. Therefore, I would suggest following a few best practices for a fun, yet SAFE visit to the Bali monkey forest.
How much is the Ubud Monkey Forest?
The Adult entrance fee for the Ubud Monkey Forest is IDR 50,000. The Child entrance fee for the monkey forest is IDR 40,000. You do not need to purchase tickets in advance; the temple is open daily from 8:30 AM until 6 PM, and the ticketing service closes at 5:30 PM.
How many monkeys are there at the Ubud Monkey forest?
There are more than 700 monkeys, split into several groups. You can find monkeys in the following areas:
East part of the main temple
North East area
New Forest area
Do not bring food with you into the monkey forest
One of the most important tips to follow: do not bring outside food with you into the Ubud monkey forest. Check any and all pockets/bags for food before entering the temple. The monkeys will smell it immediately, even if it is secured in your bag. They are quite persistent about retrieving something once they become fixated on it. It’s best to simply leave any and all food behind.
Do not feed bananas to the Bali monkeys!
On the food note, there will be a woman sitting at a table selling bananas, who you will see upon arrival. Seriously, just don’t buy the bananas. There are a countless number of horror stories involving food and feeding bananas to the monkeys (come on- no one wants to run the risk of getting monkey rabies!). However, as long as you resist the urge to buy bananas or bring in food (like the responsible traveler I know you are), you will be just fine!
Don’t touch the Bali monkeys- don’t even look at them!
I wish I could say that I was just kidding. I looked a monkey in the eyes purely on accident while getting a close-up shot on my camera (I was using my prime photography lens which doesn’t have a zoom). Needless to say, I overstayed my welcome with the monkey… and my friend and I were nearly attacked. Fortunately, the monkey got distracted with something in the distance and ran off before anything drastic happened.
You should avoid eye contact with the monkeys, and you should definitely avoid any physical contact with the monkeys. While most of the monkeys in the Ubud temple are tame and comfortable with human interaction, you should still never touch the monkeys in any circumstance. They can become aggressive and territorial out of nowhere, and you don’t want to be around when this happens (this looks something like: monkeys hissing and baring teeth, while you are fearing for your life).
Hold onto your belongings in the monkey forest!
One last tip, which involves a quick story. If the monkeys grab onto something important, then either say goodbye to it or remain calm and hang on tight. My friend nearly had to say goodbye to her small purse with all of her important documents (ID, money, passport). She was kneeling down, admiring how adorable one of the monkey was, when it suddenly ran towards her and attempted to steal her bag. She held on tightly, but suddenly a second monkey joined in on the action. She had one monkey on top of her head and pulling at her hair while the other monkey attempted to yank the purse away. Fortunately, growing up in Costa Rica with plenty of wildlife and animals, she knew that she needed to stay calm. She held onto the purse securely, put her head down and remained calm throughout the entire bizarre affair. As this was unfolding, I was of course screaming uncontrollably and acting anything but calm. The monkeys eventually got bored and found something new to distract them. Needless to say, it was probably best that the monkeys jumped on her instead of me- I probably would have landed in the hospital with several monkey bites due to my irrational behavior/screaming.
Final thoughts and best tips for Ubud Monkey Forest:
Hopefully this post doesn’t scare you away from visiting the monkey forest
Do not bring food in with you, and don’t buy bananas from the banana lady at the monkey forest entrance.
Do not look the monkeys in the eyes, seriously. I did this purely on accident while getting a close-up shot on my camera, and my friend and I were nearly attacked. Luckily the monkey spotted something in the distance and ran off before anything drastic happened, but it could have ended badly.
Hold onto your phone for dear life, and place it somewhere secure when you aren’t taking photos. The monkeys will try and grab anything and everything they can- especially phones.
I would suggest leaving anything loose or small at home if you can. If you do bring something loose, such as a small bag, hold onto it securely.
In general, be smart about what you choose to bring into the Ubud monkey forest.
Again, while I highly suggest this unique experience, just be smart about your visit to the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest, and be mindful about what you choose to bring in with you.
Have you visited the Ubud monkey forest? I would love to hear your thoughts on the experience below! If you are planning on visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest and have any questions for me about the experience, feel free to drop a comment below and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Hi there! I’m Fallon. A Florida native who, after receiving my masters degree in the U.K., decided to nix the 9-5 path in search of something more. Now, I run my graphic and web design business straight from my laptop, all while traveling the world. I’ve now traveled to over 25 countries and have knocked some pretty big adventures off my bucket list… and I’m just getting started. Follow along my journey as I present tips, guides and resources on solo female travel, photography, videography, entrepreneurship & the crazy lifestyle of a digital nomad.