Besides doing yoga or going to the spa, one of the most common activities for tourist to do in Ubud is visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. According to its website, the village of Padangtegal owns it. Village members serve on a council that tries to keep up the forest’s integrity and sacred value of nature.
Liam and I visited and were amazed at the number of monkeys on the property. You could see them in family groups playing in the trees or grooming one another. For a small fee, you could buy bananas to feed the monkeys from vendors in the sanctuary. Because of this, some of them were really humanized and food aggressive.
In addition to the monkeys, there is the remains of a temple called Pura Purana, which was built during the mid-14th century. The structure of the temple has been renovated many times over the years, but you’d never know because the materials that are used degrade quickly in the Balinese climate.
When Liam and I were walking through an area that looked like a nursery for the monkeys, a brave monkey climbed up my leg and sat on my shoulders. It quickly began cleaning my hair of any bugs. Needless to say, I was surprised that it adopted me as one of its own. However, I was a bit perturbed by its assumption that as a backpacker I had bugs in my hair.
In any case, I was careful about keeping a grip on my bag. These monkeys are sneaky buggers and often try to nick any food out of your bag. They’ve become so used to being fed by humans that they assume all people are hiding something yummy.
Overall, I thought the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary was a nice way to spend part of the day, especially since I am such an animal lover. It’s wonderful to see animals in their natural environment and not from behind a fence at a zoo.