Over 300 wild macaques roam free in this protected park in Ubud, Bali. This is not a zoo, there are no cages, when you visit you will see monkeys walking freely, feeding their young and playing around the watering hole! This is a photographer's dream but also a monkey-fearful person's worst nightmare! This place is swarming with these playful, intelligent creatures.
With freedom comes responsibility. This is a large park with little to no supervision. If you or whoever you're traveling with can't follow the rules below, don't bother going. You need to be very careful not to trigger these cute but dangerous mammals.
Rules at the Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud Bali
No outside food allowed in the park.
Of course feeding the monkeys with outside food is not allowed. But also the monkeys are smart enough to find hidden food in your bag! There are specific vendors who you may pay to buy some food from if you wish to feed the monkeys and take a picture.
No plastic anything.
The monkeys are very attracted to plastic, they want to crunch and bite it. If you have a plastic water bottle or plastic bag they will come over and take it from you! We didn't bring any but unfortunately others did. At the end of my video above we tried to clean a water bottle up form the park but the monkeys wouldn't allow it!
No loose valuables.
If you are wearing sunglasses, jewelry, hats etc., hide them in your sealed cloth bag. The monkeys love trinkets and will take what they can. We even saw a monkey who was so proud to have nicked a small stuffed animal. He hugged it like it was his most valuable possession. Just think of Abu from Aladdin, same thing!
No eye-contact with the monkeys.
Most wild animals view eye contact as a direct threat. This includes monkeys, even if they are adorable and have very human-like eyes. Direct eye contact could trigger them into attack mode. Just look at their fuzzy bellies instead.
No touching the monkeys, not even when they touch you!
The monkeys will climb on you. They are very curious and want to see if you'll give them food. Just let them do what they are going to do without touching them yourself. A monkey bite can have rabies or many other diseases. You don't want to have to go to the hospital because you tried to pet a monkey.
No freaking out! No panicking, no screaming, no running away from a monkey!
As I said before, if you are afraid of monkeys, don't go to the park. Staying calm around the monkeys is very important to keeping everyone safe and happy. Only walking and soft voices are permitted at the park.
Respect their space.
If they want to come up to you they will. If they are busy feeding their young, grooming their friend or just minding their business in the sun, leave them be. For the most part, try to keep a safe distance from the monkeys. If they want to say hello they will!
All-in-all, if you treat these animals like the wild critters they are and you show respect for their home, they will return the favor. We had no bites or scratches inflicted on us during our visit. Plus, they didn't seem to mind the camera so we were able to capture lots of footage and fabulous pictures!
In addition to the monkeys, there are also beautiful architectural temples around the forest to discover and explore. And even many monkey statues to take pictures with if you are too shy to pay for a photo with a real one!
Here is some more information about the Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary:
Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary Address
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Hours & Fees at the Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary
Hours: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Entrance ticket for International:
Monday - Friday IDR 80,000 (adult) ($5 USD) and IDR 60,000 (children) ($4 USD)
Saturday-Sunday IDR 100,000 (adult) ($7 USD) and IDR 80,000 (children) ($7 USD)
Entrance ticket for KTP BALI:
Monday - Friday IDR 30,000 (adult) ($2 USD) and IDR 20,000 (children) ($1 USD)
Saturday-Sunday IDR 50,000 (adult)($3 USD) and IDR 40,000 (children) ($3 USD)
*Note USD amounts are rounded up*
If you are wondering whether this tourist-activity is for you, I say go for it! Firstly, the price for entry can't be beat! Secondly, you don't need a tour guide for this activity, just ride or walk over. This place is very casual so if you enter and it's not your thing, you can leave at any time. It's a perfect simple afternoon activity for couples and families with well-behaved children.
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