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This guide will give you all the information you need before visiting the Sacred monkey forest sanctuary in Ubud, Bali. We were hesitant to go to the Sacred monkey forest sanctuary at first but we are definitely glad that we did.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali

The sacred monkey forest sanctuary in Ubud was definitely somewhere we wanted to visit while staying in the area. We did however almost not go because we read so many horror stories online. I were glad to see that none of these horrors were really a reality and that if anything bad does happen to you that it was probably due to your own negligence.

The mission of The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud) is conserving the area based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana.
Tri Hita Karana is ones of philosophy in Hinduism. Tri Hita Karana is derived from the word of “Tri” meaning three, “Hita” which means happiness, and “Karana” which means the cause or manner. Thus, Tri Hita Karana means “Three ways to reach spiritual and physical well-being

Is the Sacred Monkey forest sustainable or is it animal tourism?

This was another question I struggled with and had to research quite a bit. Is this holy place really a sanctuary or is it just another animal driven tourist trap? Thankfully I realised that the monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud are completely free to roam wherever they want. You might have also heard about people feeding them bananas in the past but I am happy to report that that does not happen anymore. People are now forbidden to feed them anything and if you get caught the guards will shout at you. We actually saw that happen and the person was extremely embarrassed as everyone stared at her. It is really not worth risking your life and the animals life!

If they feel like leaving the sanctuary they can and some of them do roam the streets. The sanctuary also has really important conservation programs as well as educational programs. Most of them though prefer to stay in the Sanctuary.

There are a few reasons they would rather stay inside the sanctuary:

  • They are safe there.
  • There is plenty of free, fresh delicious food.
  • They have so much to do there. The monkeys have cool jungle gym setups, plenty of ponds and fun things to do.
  • The area is beautiful and lush and there are plenty of areas that people can’t even reach.

Where is the Sacred Monkey forest sanctuary in Ubud

The monkey forest is almost in the heart of Ubud which is not really something I expected. It is really easy to get to with a large parking lot for cars and scooters. It took us about 15 min to get there from our accommodation 2.4km outside of the town.

Here is a map so you can easily find your way to the monkey forest in Ubud. This is one of the easiest “sights” to incorporate into a day trip to Ubud because of its location.


What is the entrance fee at the monkey forest

It is really inexpensive to visit the Monkey forest in Ubud. It costs 80,000 IDR for adults and 60,000 IDR for children. You can book tickets and tours online with different companies but I do not suggest you do that. The forest is very easy to navigate with maps everywhere. Arriving midday there were plenty of people but we did not have to wait in a line to buy our tickets either.

Monkey forest sanctuary opening and closing times and best times to visit

It is open from 8:30 am till 6pm but the ticketing service closes at 5:30pm. Going early or just before closing time is best if you can help it. The light will be better for photos then and the monkeys will be more relaxed. This is due to feeding time being at 2pm. If you go just before 2pm the monkeys are a lot more interested in getting food than anything else.

Things you need to remember before visiting the monkey forest in Ubud

  • Don’t run
  • Do not look the monkeys in the eyes as they take that as a sign of aggression
  • Do not bring any food or water into the monkey forest with you, they can even smell water in your back pack!
  • Don’t wear jewelry, sunglasses or have other small items on you that can easily be removed.
  • Feeding the monkeys is prohibited
  • Touching the monkeys is prohibited
  • If a monkey jumps or climbs on you do not scream or make any sudden movements. Just stand still and wait for it to get off.
  • Be respectful when entering the Sacred monkey sanctuary in Ubud as it is a holy place with temples.

Not wanting to take any chances we went all out. We only took a small Sony Rx100 vi camera with us and locked everything else in our back packs with a small lock. I am pretty thankful we did that as a monkey jumped on Mike’s back pack and was trying to open it but couldn’t.

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