If what you seek is to catch a glimpse of an integral part of Ubud’s culture, a visit to the Ubud Monkey Forest or the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, must be in your things to do. Located less than half an hour away from Alila Ubud, a popular Ubud Villa Resort, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is the result of a community effort that has become a key tourist attraction in the area.
Home to several groups of grey long-tailed macaques, you will be walking through several territories on your walk. There is a paved trail for you to walk on, and it is in your best interest that you do not veer off course. Swinging merrily and grooming each other with impeccable care, monkeys will be watching you just as you watch them, and it is highly advised that you do not provoke them in any manner. Apart from the monkeys, you will be able to visit the ruins if Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal as well as Pura Prajapati, both 14th-century constructions. The sunlight filtering through the foliage and creating patterns on the moss-covered ruins, and the screech of monkeys as they go about their daily business is sure to create a feeling of otherworldliness in you.
The concept behind the Forest Sanctuary is one of harmonious living, where nature and all its creations are coexisting in peace. Thus, the community of the village nearby provides sustenance for the monkeys, while making their own living mainly through the income generated by the visitors to the Forest. Thus, you will find plenty of guides who can explain to you the cultural and historical significance of the place in detail. If one of the mischevious monkeys had “stolen” something of yours, there are people around who will retrieve it for you as well.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.