After shutting its doors for several months due to the pandemic, renowned Ubud tourist destination, Ubud Monkey Forest, finally reopens to the public on 5 November 2020 with the new health and safety protocols intact. If you’re looking for things to do in Ubud, the monkey sanctuary is the perfect place to visit but before you go, you should get familiar with some facts to keep in mind.
Located in Padangtegal Village, Ubud Monkey Forest – also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ubud but it has become a deserted ghost town with zero tourist activity ever since the pandemic hit Bali. This has affected the economic situation of the local community with many losing their jobs or closing down their businesses. In an effort to support the economic recovery in Padangtengal Village, especially the areas around the monkey sanctuary, Head of Padangtegal Village, I Made Gandra, made the decision to reopen Ubud Monkey Forest to the public on 5 November 2020.
On a visit to the Governor’s Office on 27 October 2020, I Made Gandra met with the Vice Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace), declaring “We must do this especially for the monkeys, somebody has to feed these animals and to attract people to come to Ubud.”
Cok Ace appreciated the plan to reopen Ubud Monkey Forest and has agreed to open several tourist destinations in Ubud under the condition that these destinations prioritise and prepare good health protocols for its visitors and local staff. “To ensure that the Ubud Monkey Forest tourism object does not become a new cluster for the spread of Covid-19”, said Cok Ace.
If you’re planning on a visit to Ubud sometime soon and are looking for things to do there, why not make a trip to the sacred monkey forest. To prepare you for this visit, here are some facts you should know before you go to Ubud Monkey Forest.
Things to Know Before You Go
Mandala Suci Wenara Wana or famously known as Ubud Monkey Forest is a 10-hectare, heavily forested and hilly monkey sanctuary, the natural habitat of more than 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys. The monkeys in this sanctuary are separated into 6 groups: the main temple group, the forest conservation group, the central point group, the eastern group, the Michelin group, and the cemeteries group. They are also categorised by age, namely adult male, sub-adult male, adult female, sub-adult female, juvenile, juvenile 2, infant old, and infant black.
Besides being home to more than 180 species of trees and plants, Ubud Monkey Forest has a deep ravine that runs through the grounds with a rocky stream at the bottom, which visitors can access through the trails. There are also three temples within the park, including Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, Pura Beji and Pura Prajapati. Other facilities in the park include a forest conservation area, a public hall and gallery, an open stage, a canteen, a first aid centre, a police post, parking, toilet facilities, and a composting facility.
When visiting the monkey sanctuary, there are certain guidelines that visitors must follow to guarantee their own safety as well as the monkeys:
• The monkeys roam freely in the sanctuary and they are usually not aggressive unless they feel the need to defend themselves when scared or provoked.
• Be sure not to panic when the monkeys jump on you. Simply drop any food you have and slowly walk away when they jump off.
• Remember not to run when monkeys approach! Stay calm and don’t scream, this might agitate them.
• Try not to make eye contact with the monkeys as they might interpret it as a sign of aggression.
• Don’t bring any food with you! When you try to hide it, they’ll definitely find it.
• Please don’t bring any plastic or paper bags to avoid littering in the forest.
• Always take care of your personal belongings! Some cheeky monkeys may steal your belongings such as sunglasses, earrings, accessories, etc.
• It’s highly advised that visitors do not touch, grab or disturb the monkeys ever! The monkeys may make contact with you, but do not touch them back to avoid any unpredictable response. Baby monkeys may look harmless, but their mothers are extremely overprotective so beware!
• Don’t feed the monkeys any kinds of snacks and drinks including peanuts, cookies, bread, candy, etc. as it may affect their health.
The local community considers Ubud Monkey Forest a sacred sanctuary that must be preserved at all cost and is an integral spiritual, educational, economic, and conservation centre for the Padangtegal Village. Therefore, visitors must always be mindful, respect the culture and follow the guidelines when visiting Ubud Monkey Forest.
Ubud Monkey Forest is now open every day from 9am to 4pm. For more information, please call +62 361 971 304 or visit monkeyforestubud.com
Ubud Monkey Forest
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud
+62 361 971 304