Monkey Business at the Sacred Monkey Forest
Monkeys. A lot of monkeys. Ahhhhh my backpacking shindig in SouthEast Asia involved a lot of monkey encounters. In Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and most of South East Asian countries, it’s highly improbable for someone to not at least see a monkey. In Indonesia, in the island of Bali, there’s a place dedicated for monkeys in Ubud – The Sacred Monkey Forest. (This place is considered sacred because it represents a “Sacred Balinese Hindu Site”) But don’t be fooled by this place being “sacred”, the monkeys are very NAUGHTY! They will try to lure you, look cute and then *snap! they will take something from you! Some cheeky little buggers! :s
If you’ve read my previous posts, like my Encounter with Chiang Mai Tigers, you would now be used to my fear of animals. Yes, it’s true and I’ve never had a pet in my life. So this visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest was another challenge for yours truly.
So there I was, in Ubud, about to pay the entrance fee, half listening to the person assigned at the gate, half contemplating what the heck I’d do if a monkey ever get near me. First 5 steps from the gate, BOOM! A monkey jumped onto me! Yes, a monkey jumped and landed on my chest. My shirt was covered with mud and I’m not sure what else, but it didn’t smell nice. I screamed, of course. One Balinese guy ran to my rescue and told me to relax while trying to push the monkey away. Guess what? I continued screaming! The bl**dy bugger was pulling my hair and the strap of my camera. I was screaming and gripping my camera while the monkey continued to pull the sanity out of my morning. So the guy threw something in a plastic towards the trees and the monkey got distracted. I was almost running out of breath when the monkey left me alone. Don’t even want to imagine if more than one monkey attacked me! Super nice way to start my day. I wanted to go back to the hostel and just hide from the monkeys but then realized, “No, I won’t let these buggers defeat me!” Bahahaha!!! So the Balinese guy showed me where I can get some clean water to wash away the dirt and thank goodness I had an extra shirt in my day backpack.
So yes, I continued my walk through the forest, but I was always less than 2 meters away from the Balinese guy who saved me and the girl I met at the hostel. I was always following them, just in case another monkey jumps onto me. I eventually calmed down and sort of enjoyed looking at them. They are quite funny. I don’t spoil them with attention though as too much time looking would have probably given them the chance to attack me again.
The forest doesn’t only house these cheeky monkeys but inside it is a temple, the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Of course, in the temple, there are still monkeys lurking around! :s
Inside Pura Dalem Agung
Well, you would definitely have a fun time there if you’re not a scared chicken like me! I remember some people even trying to feed them with bananas (of course! lol) and carry them and take photos with them!
Happy travels!!! Have fun with the monkeys!