Travel Diary: Monkey Forest, Ubud Bali

Bali, Indonesia–this destination has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time now but it was only until last month that I got to visit it with my blogger besties. Although we booked our tickets as early as April, we were all so busy no one bothered to make an itinerary. As you can probably tell, we’re a little more relaxed than your average traveler and we procrastinate like no other. Thank God Access Travel PH is here to save the day. They helped us book a luxury villa that also provides plenty of tours around Bali’s most famous attractions. One of which is the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal in Ubud.

The Monkey Forest represents a sacred Balinese Hindu site that is both a nature reserve and a temple complex. Currently, it’s estimated to have 605 Balinese long-tailed macaques monkeys living here. Clearly, there is no shortage of monkeys in this forest. Even before we reached the main entrance, we were already spotting monkeys left and right. Although a lot of them are cute to look at, I must warn you that if you do decide to visit the Monkey Forest, you must be alert at all times. These monkeys are smart and are experts at grabbing anything they set their eyes on. (We even witnessed one stealing a little girl’s bag thinking there’s food inside.) So leave your hats inside the car, don’t bring food with you, and most importantly, make sure your belongings can’t be grabbed easily. I know I sound like I’m prepping you for battle but our Monkey Forest experience was so eventful I can’t help but share these tips with you.

Our tour started out like any other, with the 3 of us ooh-ing and ahh-ing and ogling at the monkeys’s cuteness from a safe distance. A lot of other tourists were braver than us and bought bananas sold by the vendors inside to feed to the monkeys. These monkeys would climb over their shoulders, hug their legs and pull their hands to get the food. Although it was definitely an experience for them, the 3 of us were content just watching all these unfold. (We’re scaredy cats, I know.) We eventually gathered the courage to feed the monkeys when we saw a guide giving away some corn for a little monkey. Ideally, the little monkey would ride your shoulders and eat from your hand. When it was my turn, the monkey that went near me was a bit bigger and lazier so it just grabbed my hand. LOL! I was still terrified out of my brains though. The two photos of me with the monkey eating from my hand are so meme-worthy I just couldn’t help but include them here. A word of advice to those of you who want to feed the monkeys as well, please make sure you’re with a guide. There have been cases of monkey bites here so better be safe than sorry. I actually had a really close encounter with one and I personally saw how sharp its teeth were. Kryz managed to take a photo of the moment that led up to what we now call, the climax of our Monkey Forest trip. You see, Laureen and I sat a few feet away from a monkey for a hilarious photo op and in just a few seconds, it charged at us, grabbed on to my camera strap and bag, and showed us its angry face and sharp fangs. We jumped up and screamed like there’s no tomorrow! I’m sure we looked hella funny but boy did we get the fright of our lives! Looking at the brighter side, at least we got the money shot. (LOL! You can’t take the blogger out of me.)

After all that happened, I still have no regrets visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal. I believe it’s something a first-time traveler to Bali must experience at least once. It may not present the most ideal circumstances but at least it’s never boring. As long as you take precaution (and don’t sit with a monkey possessed by Regina George), then you’ll be fine.

60 Responses to “Travel Diary: Monkey Forest, Ubud Bali”
  1. presyl

    I remember when I read this post last year, I decided that I won’t go there cause I’m scare with the monkey. but now I’m coming back to read again cause my friend already booked hotel which is so near with monkey forest and I’m sure she’s going to force me to go to see the monkey! oucchh
    thanks for the tips camille, i’ll prepare myself. wish me luck.

    Reply
  2. Family Bali Tours

    Good thing the monkeys did not open or scratch your luxury bag! Some tourists get their things stolen when they leave their bags open. Just a tip! Always close the bag :)

    Reply
  3. Honey Lyn

    Bali is such a wonderful place to visit. I went there last week with my habibi. You should visit the temples in Bali when you go there again. Tanah lot and Ulun Danu are only two who have superb views. :)

    Reply
  4. Ericka Garcia

    The monkeys look adorable but we need to be careful when we they are around. :) The photos are so cute! :D

    Love,
    Ericka Garcia

    Reply
  5. Sandy

    Wow!!!! will definitely go to Bali next year!! miss you sis sa blog nalang kita nakikita! (clingy much??) hahahaha :p see you next week!!!!:P

    Reply
  6. Katrin

    Haha it seems like Laureen is super happy to see Mr. Monkey sitting beside you. Meanwhile, you look so terrified but still cute! Haha what a funny story. For sure, I’ll be afraid of them too but I think you really had a wild and cool adventure in here. :D

    Reply
  7. MUMu

    Hi Camille. I know you probably hear this everyday.. but.. i am A BiG FAN of yours!!! You are my fashion inspiration, my girl crush. My day isn’t complete without reading your blog. Before i don’t really know how to mix and match and i am kinda “baduy” until one day i came across your blog through facebook (Coexist ONLINE shop

    Reply
  8. Joanne

    Hi Camille! I love your fashion style and way of writing to bits! Of course, there’s always a room for improvement. I noticed that you tend to mix up “their” with “they’re.” =)

    Reply
    • Camille Co

      I’m always in a hurry I forget! I know the difference though so don’t worry. The worst is when I mistake are for our! :(

      Reply
  9. Kate

    The monkey forest was one of my favorite places to go in Bali!! I was terrified of the monkeys, mostly because when they get in fights they are LOUD, but they’re all quite tame and content enough to go on their own ways as long as you don’t do something to aggravate them.
    xx

    Reply
    • Camille Co

      The monkey beside me wasn’t tame! Haha! :) But it’s a good experience, at least once :)

      Reply
  10. jill diala

    I love the way you looked at the monkeys Ate with Ate Lau! haha priceless

    Reply
  11. Mariel Grace

    HAHAHAH!!! angsaya naman ng expi nyo.. i imagined how you looked when that monkey grabbed your bag..AHAHAHHAHAHH! :D priceless.. :D you’re sooo cute Ate Camille!! keep the good vibes! God bless..

    Reply
    • Camille Co

      Super funny for sure!!! Sayang walang photo yung actual moment :)

      Reply
  12. Jo

    Hahah some of those shots are really priceless! I’ve been to a temple in Hong Kong that was also suppose to have monkeys. My friend told me about it and there were signs everywhere but the day I went I couldn’t find any!

    Reply
  13. Maica

    You’re so cute Ate Cams while feeding the little monkey!!!! You looked like a little kid! Reading your blog about these terrifying monkeys are really not to be ignored! By the way, is Laureen Uy related to Kryz Uy?I can’t help but to wonder about that because they have the same last name. :)

    Reply
    • Camille Co

      Haha they’re not :) Uy is a common family name for Filipino-Chinese here. Just like mine :)

      Reply
  14. Anne

    A Regina George monkey? Jeepers creepers! Haha. My friends and I have been talking about Bali for a long time now and I’m glad you’re doing travel diaries Cams. Your like my very own fashionista tourist guide to the world (cyber edition if I might add)! And before I leave, allow me…

    Monkey: Hey Laureen, who’s your stylist? Love your hair color!
    Laureen: Awwww thank you Mister!
    Camille: Did the monkey just talk and ask about your hair?

    Anne’s Scribbles and Doodles

    Reply
    • Camille Co

      LOL at the caption! :) Thanks Anne! Glad to be your virtual tourist guide :)

      Reply
  15. Clariss

    What a beautiful place! I saw many photos of bali already but what i always see is beach so this is a new one for me :)

    whenever you wear a long dress/long skirt/loose pants that hang on the floor you always look like a goddess ate cams! :)) your pic with the monkey is so cute hahaha and your pic wt ate laureen and the monkey is so priceless! hahaha you looked fierce/shocked/cute there haha. this line tho —> “don’t sit with a monkey possessed by Regina George” hahahaha

    Reply
  16. Rocel Dana Alulod

    do you feel frightened at the first time you touch those monkeys? :) haha the place was great :) and you + Ms. Laureen were lovely :)

    Reply
  17. Yana

    Hahahah such a funny story!!! I want to go to Bali too together with my besties!! #squadgoals haha anyway Ate Cams, what camera do you use? and do you edit your photos before posting each of them? :)

    Reply
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