Monkeys among Temples at the Sangeh Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali
After experiencing the more aggressive monkeys of Ulu-watu, I enjoyed the experience of walking around the quiet Sangeh Sacred Monkey Forest, just outside Ubud, and seeing the monkeys that call this small forest and its temples home. Mothers were holding babies close, feeding and grooming them, while juveniles ran around and large males watched from above.
The guide, who meets you as you enter and takes you through the park, was very friendly to us and respectful toward the monkeys. Apparently, the monkeys have lived there for a long time, and the place and its monkeys are considered sacred (hence the temples).
A great day is to combine going to the Bali Bird Park and Sangeh Monkey Forest. A driver can be hired to take you to both places if you are not staying close enough to bike there.
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It's Time To Meet The Monkeys
After strolling the streets of Ubud (perhaps on a shopping spree), it's kind of amazing when you realize you're just a hop, skip and a jump from the Wild Side, with the Sacred Monkey Forest just at the edge of town. Buy bananas if you're brave, but be prepared to be jumped on if you do. The monkeys are friendly, but aren't afraid to climb you like a tree, especially if you've got food. Speaking of trees, the forest itself is pretty impressive, with 115 species of trees, some of them of spiritual importance to the Balinese.
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a magical dwelling bustling with life. Wildlife. The ancient grandfather looking long-tailed macaques lounge among massive holy trees surrounding the overgrown temples. The sun glistens in between the branches making a spiritual sanctuary for all. Their grand babies tromp around in troops, some swinging secretly overhead spying down on the tourists in the lush greenery. Their wide eyed parents nibble on unripened mangoes and berries while people watching. As I meditatively stroll around the paths side by side swarms of monkeys munching on flowers sacrificed at a recent ceremony, all I could remember was the overwhelming presence of mother nature combined with a true Balinese place of worship. The feeling whirled around my senses, leaving me tranquil and amazed. This is Bali, I thought. This is Bali.