If you’ve ever known someone who went to Bali, chances are they have a picture with a monkey from the Monkey Forest. It’s a Bali must do! My mom and I actually ended up going to 2 of them, the Sangeh Monkey Forest located 20 km north of Denpasar, and the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud. I got better pictures at Sangeh, but the one in Ubud is a much better experience all around.
Sangeh Monkey Forest in Bali
We first went to the Sangeh Monkey Forest on a half-day tour set up by our hotel. We weren’t really too sure what to expect. As we pulled into the parking lot, we could see monkeys just roaming freely around! A guide met us at our car and escorted us through the grounds/forest. I bought some food because of course, I wanted to feed the monkeys! My mom was a bit apprehensive and didn’t really want to feed them but I somehow convinced her.
Our guide carried a stick to shoo away the bigger monkeys from bothering us, but happened to miss one… Next thing I know, I hear my mom let out a blood-curdling scream. I turn around and the monkey “King” had leaped up onto her shoulders and proceeded to climb up onto her head!
As a good, kind, loving daughter, what did I do? I took out my phone and continued to snap pictures as our guide tried to get the monkey off haha!
I was in tears I was laughing so hard (and am laughing out loud as I write this again, almost a week and a half later hahaha). Luckily she was all good and fine, though unsurprisingly declined on feeding any more monkeys. This was her monkey king:
We continued on through the forest and saw many sweet momma monkeys with their newly born babies hanging on for dear life. They are so stinkin cute!
Giant Fruit Bats in Bali
Then, out of nowhere, were these giant bats?! It was the most unexpected thing. And they were wearing necklaces… I wasn’t able to get a great picture, but you can see how massive they are.
The tour ended with us being escorted to our guides shop and basically bullied into paying a ridiculous amount for a sarong and some pants. But the monkey jumping on my mom’s head made it all worth it haha!
The Bali Monkey Forest in Ubud
The second monkey forest we went to is the famous one in Ubud. We were able to walk from our hotel, and as we got close, monkeys started appearing out of nowhere. They were climbing across the high wires and jumping on street signs.
I think my mom started having flashbacks haha. But once we got in, it was a much nicer experience. It was like stepping into an ancient forest, everything was covered in moss with green as far as the eye could see. Beautiful old statues/sculptures were everywhere. The path you walk along leads you through massive Banyan trees and over intricate stone bridges.
Apparently not learning my lesson last time, I bought some bananas to feed them. Almost instantly one jumped up on my back trying to get at them.
Let’s just say one of us handled it wayyyyyy better than the other and her name rhymes with “shmelsea” I threw a banana a few feet away and he jumped down to get it. From them on I hid them in my pants as to not be mobbed again (and yes, there is a banana in the pants joke in there somewhere).
After walking the ground a little more, we found a section that had mostly younger monkeys, so I fed my bananas to them and got some super cute pics!
One little cheeky monkey went through my pockets to see if I had any more left.
If you’re in Bali I would definitely recommend going to one of the monkey forests. It’s such a neat experience that you wouldn’t normally get, at least not in America, that’s for sure! And maybe be extra careful of those monkey kings
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