It is widely known that the Island of the Gods is one of many safe havens for the monkeys in Indonesia, especially the long-tailed macaques species, which Balinese often calls “monyet”. There are a lot of places in Bali where you can get up close and personal with the monkeys. Are you interested? Here are our recommendations on where to find them!
Known by the locals as Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud is a famous sanctuary of Macaca fascicularis or long-tailed macaques. There are approximately 749 monkeys here, which are divided into six groups based on their placement: in front of the main temple, forest conservation, central point, eastern, Michelin, and cemeteries group.
Aside from the monkeys, this place also has 186 species of plants within a 12.5 hectares of jungle. It also has three temples inside, namely Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple, Holy Spring Temple and Prajapati Temple. This place will allow you to feel relaxed while watching the monkeys. Moreover, it’s only 55 kilometers from Kuta and easily accessible from the main street of Hanoman or Monkey Forest in Ubud. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
the presence of the monkeys, but also for the 10 hectares of homogeneous nutmeg (Dipterocarpus trinervis) forest as well as Bukit Sari Temple, which is a relic of the 17th Century during the glorious days of the Mengwi Kingdom. This place is strategically located near the main street of Jalan Raya Sangeh and only 35 kilometers away from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The most exciting thing about Sangeh Monkey Forest is that there’s not only long-tailed macaques here. You can also find other friendly animals like falcons (Elanus hypoleucus), brahminy kite (Haliastur Indus), owls (Typte alba javanica), bulbul birds (Gouvier ahalis), civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), wild cats (Felis bengalensis), and also Asian woolyneck (Ciconia episcepus). You can take as many pictures as you want with them!
If you’re looking for the one that is closer to many other tourist attractions, Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest might be suitable for you. It is a conserved forest with an area of 12 hectares inhabited by approximately 2,000 long-tailed macaques. That’s a lot of monkeys, isn’t it? In fact, you will be welcomed bythem immediately when you arrive at the entrance!
Inside the forest area there is also a temple called Alas Kedaton Temple. The atmosphere is calming, serene, and preserved. When you’re done exploring and taking selfies with the monkeys, you can also explore other tourist attractions nearby, such as Tanah Lot and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.
Situated on top of an astounding cliff, Uluwatu Temple is also one of the places in Bali where you can say hi to charming long-tailed macaques. This temple is famous for its stunning sunset scenery with the silhouette of a temple and ocean as the background. Furthermore, you will not only be enchanted by the cute monkeys, but also by the Kecak Dance performance; which is always performed at the amphitheater when the sun goes down.
Uluwatu Temple is only 25 kilometers away from Ngurah Rai International Airport. We suggest you come near evening so you can experience one of the most spectacular sunset sceneries you’ll ever have – of course accompanied by the monkeys as well.
Eager to see the monkeys in its natural habitat? You can hike up Mount Batur instead. With a summit elevation of more than 1,700 meters above sea level, this volcano is especially popular not only because of its amazing views of the sunrise on top of the mountain, but also because you can meet wild monkeys directly along the trekking route.
Mount Batur is on the northern side of Bali, so you need to look for a lodging service around the area if you want to hike up on your own. Alternatively, you can also look for tour operators providing sunset trekking to Mount Batur.
Before you’re going straight to these places, we need to give you some advice on how to handle the wild monkeys in Bali safely.
Make sure that you’re not bringing or wearing any unsecured items like sunglasses, cameras, hats, water bottles, plastic bags, and jewellery on your body because the monkeys will try to grab it from you.
It is important to understand that baring teeth is a sign of aggression in primate communities. The monkeys’ might be funny, but try as best as you can to not make eye contact and smile at them, especially towards large dominant males, as they can take it as a challenge and a threat.
One of the things that you should remember when it comes to wild monkeys is to never tease, approach, or threaten the large males. Moreover, don’t get too close to mothers and their babies. They need their personal space to be respected.
The keepers of the place already fed them. Furthermore, they are always foraging on their own. If you still try to feed them anyways, there’s a chance that the monkeys will get aggressive, so it is best to proceed with caution.
If they suddenly climb onto your body, it is advised not to panic. Most of all, avoid directly grabbing them to try and get them off you. Keep calm and continue walking normally. They’ll soon realize you have no food or interesting bits they can make off with, and then they’ll lose interest and drop off. They’re just curious little animals, so don’t be alarmed or you’ll alarm them instead.
In celebration of Monkey Day on 14 December 2022, let’s keep the spirit of preserving the animals by interacting with them in a safe manner, which will benefit both you as a traveler and them as friendly monkeys. Before you’re planning your trip to Bali, we want to kindly remind you to comply with all the health protocols, be a responsible traveler, and keep practicing healthy habits such as wearing a mask in public places, washing hands frequently, and implementing social distancing. Learn about the latest international travel regulations and follow our social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok for updated information regarding travel and creative economy in Indonesia.
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