Can I start by being honest here? I think monkeys are the most unpredictable animal on the planet, and should not be trusted. I am
slightly scared scared of them (don’t be fooled by the cover photo above), but that doesn’t usually deter me from visiting a place that has monkeys. Is it okay to be scared and fascinated at the same time…especially of a creature that won’t likely harm me? We had previously visited Monkey Forest, Ubud back in 2012, and couldn’t help but “walking down memory lane” with a revisit last summer. There’s something magical about Monkey Forest, and it keeps drawing me back, despite the fear I have with its main attraction. Magic I tell you.
The particular day we re-visited was in late June, and at the height of tourist season. We try our best to avoid large crowds, but sometimes it can’t be helped. We arrived at the forest as early as possible, but I guess everyone else got the memo to go early too. Because of this, our Monkey Forest adventure wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be: just us and the monkeys roaming around ancient ruins and through gigantic jungle trees, listening to the sounds of nature and eating bananas. Oh well.
A few words of advice:
- Bring a small bag that is well secured to your person, or big pockets that can easily hide bananas you buy for the monkeys. If food items are just open and visible, trust me, they won’t be in your hands for long (as in say goodbye in less than 30 seconds after you enter the forest). Same thing goes for shiny objects, small loose purses, sunglasses, and beverage bottles.
- If you have food, don’t worry, the monkeys WILL come and climb all over you. Don’t make any sudden movements, don’t stare them in the eyes, and remain as calm as possible (this one may be a bit difficult). The monkeys in Monkey Forest are used to people, but they are not trained and are still wild, unpredictable animals. Be respectful.
- Keep your camera out at all times (secured to your person via strap), the monkeys are hilarious! You would never want to miss a moment.
- Bring bug spray. I put this one in bold because it is for your benefit, trust me. I swear the second most populated creature in Monkey Forest is mosquitoes. If you don’t prepare, you’ll be itching for days.
- Early mornings or later in the afternoon will be better if you’re trying to avoid gigantic crowds. However it can’t be guaranteed…like the day we went. But just know that’s part of traveling and going somewhere super popular. Just be flexible. If you go and notice there are huge crowds, maybe leave and come back another time if you have the schedule for it.
And with that I’ll leave you with a picture that didn’t quite turn out focus-wise but still cracks me up every time I see it.
Have you been to Monkey Forest? Would you go if you had the chance?