If we go to Australia to see kangaroos, and Thailand for elephants, what do you see in Bali? Dolphins? Snakes? What about monkeys?
Monkeys are cute, infamous animals found in several tourist spots around Bali.
Not only can you see the monkeys, you can get up close and personal, feeding and taking pictures with them. Even though these creatures are used to meeting tourists, they attack! You need to stay alert!
So, where can you find monkeys in Bali?
Unique Facts Between Monkeys and Bali’s Culture
You may not know that there are more species of monkeys in Bali than elsewhere in Indonesia! And, no one knows why. The monkeys were around long before tourists and development in Bali. They are the original inhabitants, and are highly respected by local Balinese.
The locals do everything they can to achieve physical and spiritual harmony between humans and monkeys in Bali. In 2021, after Kuningan, the People’s Servant Movement Unit (SANGKARA) of Bali left out fruit and holiday snacks for the monkeys. As well as avoiding wasted food, the movement also aims to achieve Tri Hita Karana – the relationship between humans, nature, and God.
In Hinduism, monkeys are considered Hanuman – one of the Gods. The Hindu community in Bali highly respects the monkeys, and lets them roam around temples.
Do and Don’ts When Seeing Monkeys in Bali
Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your visit to see monkeys is as safe and fun as can be.
- Visit at the right time – visit monkey hotspots in the afternoon, around 3pm or 4pm. The monkeys willhave already been fed at these hours, so are less likely to attack.
- Recognize which monkeys are aggressive, and which are not – not all monkeys have an aggressive nature when they meet humans. Some are also tame, even though they are in their natural habitat.
- Don’t wear jewellery – if you want to visit monkeys in Bali, it is recommended not to wear any jewellery or accessories. Store sunglasses in your bag and be careful with your phone. Monkeys are very easily attracted to shiny things – aren’t we all?
- Get too close – visitors are advised not to get too close to the monkeys. It may make them feel uncomfortable and lead to an attack.
- Bring snacks and drinks – don’t bring snacks and drinks on a monkey tour in Bali. Your bag will most definitely be raided by the furry fiends, and they could get aggressive about it. Save yourself, and your snacks.
- Make eye contact with the monkeys – avoid eye contact with the monkeys. According to staff who work closely with them, it can make the monkeys feel challenged, leading them to act aggressively, attacking or injuring visitors.
- Hurt the monkeys – even if the monkey snatches your things, don’t hurt them! If you injure a monkey, such as hitting or throwing, they may counterattack along with the herd. Ask the staff for help to retrieve your stolen items.
Where to See Monkeys in Bali
There are many places around Bali that are natural homes for the monkeys. With thick jungles, not only can you see the monkeys, you can take in beautiful natural sights and get in among local Balinese life. Check out these beautiful places!
Ubud Monkey Forest
The first and most famous place to see monkeys in Bali is the Ubud Monkey Forest. This tourist hotspot, also called the Holy Mandala Wenara Wana, is a nature reserve visited by more than 10,000 tourists every month! It is home to about 1049 long-tailed macaque monkeys that cause a lot of mischief.
Despite the vast number of monkeys, amazingly it’s rare to see them outside the temple. The monkeys consider the forest their home, where they are protected and fed by local residents. Cared for by a team of Balinese, the Ubud Monkey Forest is one of the best places to see monkeys are they are well looked after, while still being wild.
The forest has 3 temples that are believed to have been built in 1350! Each representing a different God, they are regularly visited for ceremonies and special celebrations by local worshipers. Some parts are off limits to visitors, but you can still see the intricate architecture and magnificent beauty of the temples. Encompassed by thick forestry, the temples are protected by the wild monkeys.
FYI – monkeys in Bali are considered sacred. You will find monkey statues all around the Monkey Forest. It holds spiritual significance for Balinese people, and represents the energy and power surrounding the temple.
Things to do Around the Ubud Monkey Forest
The Monkey Forest Ubud is the most popular stop on any Ubud tour, and the best place to see monkeys in Bali.
- Interact with monkeys – obviously, the main thing to do is interacting with the monkeys. Make sure you follow the rules, because monkeys can attack!
- Visit the temple – you can visit two temples at Monkey Forest Ubud, small and large. The small temple is where the monkeys play. While the large temple is used by the surrounding community for worship. Visitors are advised to only visit the big temple. The monkeys think that the small temple is their territory. They are more likely to attack if you try to see it.
- Explore the local cafes – Ubud has some of the best cafes and incredible coffee. After exploring the monkey forest, stop by for an ice-cold coffee or sweet tea.
- Wander markets – there are a load of local markets nearby to the Ubud monkey forest. Stop by to buy some souvenirs, gifts or happy holiday memories. Do this before the forest so the monkeys don’t nab your purchases.
- Visit Saraswati Temple – also known as the Ubud Water Palace, this stunning traditional temple is surrounded by beautiful ponds and lotus flowers. It shouldn’t be missed!
- Visit the Ubud Royal Palace – didn’t know that Bali had a royal family? They do, but they don’t have any rule or control over the island anymore. The Royal Palace in Ubud is a must-visit!
Ubud Monkey Forest Information
Location: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Gianyar Regency, Bali
Operating hours: 9am – 6pm
Ticketing service: 9am – 5pm
Ticket prices: Adults – IDR80,000 ($5), children IDR60,000 ($4)
Where to Stay Near Ubud Monkey Forest
Your adventure at the Monkey Forest Ubud will be fun, yet tiring. There are several places to stay nearby. Depending on your preference and budget, there is a spot for you!
Best Hostel Near Monkey Forest
Vintage & Cozy
Gg. Anila, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Sunshine Vintage House is the answer for those who want serenity near the monkey forest.
The hostel has a vintage style that makes you feel like you’re staying in a traditional Balinese house. Located in the village of Padang Tegal, it is far from the bustle of the town.
Sunshine Vintage House can arrange various activities like rafting, trekking, and cycling. After meeting the monkeys you will have a comfortable and calm spot to stay.
Best Airbnb Near Monkey Forest
This B&B has a variety of beautiful rooms with earth-toned colors. Vibes like this will make anyone who stays here feel comfortable and calm. The bathroom is fitted with a bathtub where you can soak after a tiring day.
Outside of the rooms, the B&B has a traditional Balinese atmosphere. You can sit in the poolside bale, overlooking the pool just steps from your room
Best Hotel Near Monkey Forest
Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa is a beautiful and relaxing place to stay. The hotel is surrounded by quintessential, panoramic rice field views that are famed in Ubud. Don’t miss out on the 2 large swimming pools to cool down after a day in the sun. Just a 5 minute drive from the monkey forest, this is a perfect place to stay.
Sangeh Monkey Forest
More Bali monkeys can be found in the Sangeh Monkey Forest. Just 40 minutes from Ubud Monkey Forest, you can hit 2 monkey spots in one day! You will find hundreds of monkeys in Sangeh. As with all of the rascals, some are docile, others are aggressive.
Sangeh Monkey Forest is a protected forest, dominated by nutmeg trees. It is home to two temples, Pura Bukit Sari and Melanting.
Interestingly, the monkeys in Sangeh are divided into several groups, each with their own leader. You can tell who the monkey leaders are as they are often taller, with stronger bodies than the average monkey.
The name Sangeh has an exciting story. It is derived from two words, ‘Sang,’ which means ‘human,’ and ‘Ngeh,’ which means ‘to see.’ When combined Sangeh means people who are watching. This name was given from a legendary ancient Balinese story.
One day, a princess from Mount Agung wanted to move to Mengwi. She travelled at night, and Hutan Pala, the nutmeg forest, accompanied her. Someone spotted her and the walking forest, so the nutmeg trees froze. Where they stopped, is what is now known as Sangeh.
The existence of the monkeys in Sangeh also starts with a mythical story. It is said that in the 17th century, the adopted son of the King Mengwi received a message from a God, Ida Batara, to build a temple (Pura Bukit Sari) in the barren landscape of Mengwi. The son was unsure, as the land seemed unsafe and unprotected for a temple, but followed the God’s message. As if like magic, thousands of trees were ‘sent’ to protect the temple, along with an army of monkeys. Beginning the life of monkeys in Sangeh.
Things to Do Around Sangeh Monkey Forest
There is a lot more to do in Sangeh than checking out monkeys.
- Visit the monkeys – the first fun thing to do is, of course, to see the monkeys. You can feed them, as long as the food is from the venue. The staff will provide bananas upon request.
- Visit the temple – Sangeh Monkey Forest has two temples: Bukit Sari and Melanting. Both temples are magnificent, and located in the middle of the forest. If you visit, behave and dress accordingly as it is a religious spot.
- Hunt for photo spots – it’s not a vacation if you don’t take epic, often cringe, pictures! Sangeh has some cool spots for photo shoots. Check out the gate leading to the temple, surrounded by banyan trees, towering tree trunks, and paths.
- Chase some waterfalls – the Abiansemal area of Bali has some outstanding waterfalls. Taman Beji Griya is 3km from the forest and is used for traditional self-cleaning rituals. Pengampu waterfall is 2km away and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes.
Sangeh Monkey Forest Information
Location: Brahmin Street, Sangeh Village, Abiansemal District, Badung Regency, Bali.
Operational hours: 8am – 5pm
Ticket prices –
Adult foreign tourists: IDR30,000 ($2)
Adult domestic tourists: IDR15,000 ($1)
Children: IDR5,000 ($0.30)
Where to Stay Near Sangeh Monkey Forest
Sangeh is an exciting experience far out from the regular tourist crowds. Here are some epic places to stay for when you want to extend your adventure in Abiansemal.
Best Resort Near Sangeh Monkey Forest
Jl. Raya Mambal Banjar Bindu, Mambal, Mekar Bhuwana, Kec. Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80571
FuramaXclusive Resort is an exceptional stay for those who want to relax. There is a garden full of lush tropical greenery, an onsite sumptuous spa and lots spots to lounge. Plus, there is a restaurant overlooking beautiful rice fields!
Best Airbnb Near Sangeh Monkey Forest
At Zen Hideaway you are promised an unforgettable stay with panoramic sunrise views to start your morning off right. Totally natural and rustic, this spot is one of the most magical places to stay near Sangeh.
Best Hostel Near Sangeh Monkey Forest
If you are travelling in a large group, check out Kememai Hostel. It has cosy bunk beds, a rooftop area and cool air-conditioning. A great spot to stay near the monkeys!
Monkeys at Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is famous for its beauty. It wows visitors with the sprawling blue ocean views, the magnificent sunsets, and the sacred Kecak and Rama Shinta dances. And, of course, the temple is brimming with monkeys. Like other monkey locations, you shouldn’t get too close to these scoundrels. They are pretty aggressive, and known for trying to nab belongings.
The original Uluwatu Temple was pretty modest, but was expanded by a Javanese philosopher in the 11th century creating the beauty which stands today – after further tweaks by another Javanese sage. Still actively used by Balinese Hindus as a place of worship, if you are lucky you might see a ceremony taking place!
Things to do Near the Uluwatu Temple
Monkeys aren’t the only thing to see in Uluwatu Temple – duh! Check out these fun activities.
- See the monkeys – it goes without saying that one of the things to do at Uluwatu Temple is to watch the monkeys. They are interesting little creatures that have interestingly learnt to barter for high value items!
- Enjoy the sunset – the sunset view at Uluwatu Temple is the most popular thing to do. The sky turns golden in the afternoon, making the atmosphere magical. Everyone is hypnotized by its beauty. Make sure you set up your camera for a magnificent time lapse of the sunset!
- Watch the Kecak Dance – Uluwatu Temple is a fantastic place to watch a Kecak Dance performance, which is well known worldwide. What is Kecak Dance? It is a dance that has been around since the 1930s, based on the Ramayana story – the story of Dewi Sita, who was kidnapped by Ravana. It is well-known among Hindus and beautifully presented by dozens of dancers. Kecak Dance is usually performed by men, however, in 2006, female dancers were finally included. Fun fact – no musical instruments are played during the performance. The excellent rhythm comes only from the ‘cak, cak, cak’ shouted by the dancers. You will definitely feel hypnotized by its splendor.
- Visit Garuda Wisnu Kencana – this HUGE statue is the tallest in Asia, depicting the Lord Vishnu riding a Garuda. Made of copper and brass, towering up to 120m tall, it can be spotted from across the island, but seeing it up close is a MUST.
- Stop by some of the best beaches in Bali – Uluwatu is a surfers heaven with magnificent white sand beaches, world-famous waves and outstanding clifftops. Be sure to spare some time to explore the beauties!
Uluwatu Temple Information
Location: Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali.
Operating hours: 7am – 6.30pm (temple), 5pm – 6pm (Kecak dance)
Entrance ticket for domestic tourists: Adults – IDR30,000 ($2), Children – IDR20,000 ($1.30)
Entrance ticket for foreign tourists: Adults – IDR50,000 ($3), Children – IDR30,000 ($2)
Kecak Dance ticket prices: Adults – IDR150,000 ($10), Children IDR75,000 ($5)
Where to Stay Near Uluwatu Temple
The villas and places to stay in Uluwatu are some of the most luxurious and beautiful on the island. For a spot close to the monkeys, these are our top picks!
Best Airbnb Near Uluwatu Temple
Designed like a traditional Balinese home, this gorgeous villa is a beautiful place to stay near Uluwatu temple. Featuring 3 bedrooms, a sunny garden and private pool, it is a perfect base for a small family or group of friends.
Best Hostel Near Uluwatu Temple
Tempekan Heritage Hostel is a great affordable spot near Uluwatu Temple. Combining modern style with traditional Balinese elements, you are promised comfort and relaxation. Pick from one of the ultra-modern rooms or the classic bamboo bungalows, they are all equally as chic and peaceful.
Best Bed and Breakfast Near Uluwatu Temple
Super tropical and comfortable, La Kreyiol is the perfect B&B for a relaxing stay. The deluxe double rooms are affordable and chic, with views out over the gardens. Spend a day lounging around the pool and sipping drinks from the poolside bar. It has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest
Alas Kedaton is another place where you can find monkeys in Bali. The site is about 12 hectares, sprawling and filled with mischievous monkeys, it is a magnificent place even without the primates.
Here, you will find a temple called Pura Alas Kedaton. Inside the temple, there are 2 famous statues:
- Statue of Durga Mahishasura Mardhini – this statue has eight arms and stands on an ox.
- Lord Ganesha – this statue sits on a lotus and two dragons. In his left hand, he holds an axe and a trunk, in the right hand, he holds prayer beads.
Exuding classic Bali beauty and architecture, if you are looking to get off the regular tourist track, Alas Kedaton is a magnificent place to visit.
Things to Do Near Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest
- Watch the monkeys – the main thing to do at Alas Kedaton is to watch the monkeys. The staff make sure that the monkeys here are gentle, and used to meeting a large number of people. Keep in mind they are still wild animals and not to be messed around with.
- Taking pictures – the beautiful scenery of Alas Kedaton is incredibly picturesque. Explore the scenery to find magnificent back drops, or enjoy photographing the landscape.
- Watch the Piodalan ceremony – this Piodalan ceremony is usually carried out 20 days after the Balinese celebration of Galungan. It is held in the morning, and before sunset. Worshippers allow the public to come in and watch, as long as they obey the rules.
- Stop by Tanah Lot – Alas Kedaton is only 30 minutes from Tanah Lot Temple, after wandering the beautiful monkey forest you can stop by for sunset in Tanah Lot.
Alas Kedaton Information
Location: Alas Kedaton Highway, Kukuh, Tabanan, Bali.
Operating hours: 9am – 7pm
Ticket prices: Domestic – IDR20,000 ($1), Foreigners – IDR30,000 ($2), Children – IDR15,000 ($1)
Where to Stay Near Alas Kedaton
Check out these cool places to stay around Alas Kedaton!
Best Guest house Near Alas Kedaton
F5J8+HXF, Desa Peken Belayu Marga, Peken, Kec. Tabanan, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82181
Only a 10 minute drive from the monkey forest, Villa Taman is a cheap and cheerful guesthouse with a shared pool, lush gardens and cosy bedrooms. Ideal for a solo or couple of travellers, this scenic spot is an ideal base for a Tabanan adventure.
Best Airbnb Near Alas Kedaton
Lovers of greenery must stay at Padi Ubud Terrace. The location is idyllic, surrounded by rice fields making anyone feel at home. There is a swimming pool that looks out over rice fields for a relaxing swim at the end of a long day.
Best Hostel Near Alas Kedaton
If you don’t want to be far from the city, you can try staying at Bali Sweet Home. This hostel looks just like a cosy home, living up to its name. It is the aim for guests to be able to rest and relax in the comfortable space.
Monkeys in Bedugul
On the road to Lake Bedugul, you will find a lot of monkeys roaming the side of the road. Many local people and tourists feed the monkeys with vegetables, bananas, and nuts. As always, it is best to remain careful as they are wild monkeys that can attack at any time.
Tourists usually come to Bali to enjoy the tropical weather. They mostly sunbathe, walk along the beach, and surf during the day. This is a common in south Bali, but Bedugul offers something different. The weather is much cooler than in other areas. A perfect place to cool off!
Things to Do in Bedugul
Get up to Bedugul and try out some of these fun things to do!
- Strawberry picking – there are several strawberry gardens in Bedugul – unexpected, I know! Stop by not only to enjoy the view, but to hand pick strawberries.
- Picnic in Bedugul Botanical Gardens – the Bedugul Botanical Gardens are a beautiful place to immerse in nature and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones.
- Waterfall adventure in Munduk – explore some of the beautiful waterfalls of Bali from Bedugul. At the heart of the island, with rolling hills, there are a lot of magical waterfalls to be found.
- Take a stroll around Lake Bratan – Lake Bratan is the most famous lake in Bali. The main attraction is the temple in the middle of the lake, Ulun Danu Bratan Bedugul Temple. There are three buildings with different levels – one has 11 levels to represent Lord Vishnu, the next has 7 levels for Lord Brahma, and the smallest one has 3 levels for Lord Shiva.
Where to Stay in Bedugul
Check out these places to stay around Bedugul to extend your stay in central Bali.
Best Hostel in Bedugul
If you want a unique experience, Wanagiri Camp is fantastic. Tropical camping doesn’t get much better than being surrounded by magnificent nature and stunning panoramic views.
Best Airbnb in Bedugul
This rustic and beautiful home is a mountain getaway with a touch of luxury. Encompassed by nature, the plush space is filled with cosy furnishings and all the homey amenities you need for a comfortable, and serene escape.
Best Resort in Bedugul
Handara Golf & Resort Bali is an idyllic resort nearby to Lake Buyan. With a vast golf course, resort amenities and spacious rooms, it is a beautiful place to stay in the cooler weather.
What do you think? Will you be adding visiting monkeys in Bali to your itinerary?
Even if you aren’t interested in seeing the furry creatures, you can stop by these spots to see some beautiful Balinese temples and magnificent scenery.
Bali is SO diverse – and the monkeys only add to the fun.