Bali Monkey Forest: Everything You NEED To Know Before Visiting

Daaaaddd…. can we go to the Monkey Forest?? Sure kids, sounds like fun! Well that was how our trip to the Monkey Forest started and before we knew it we had a driver picking us up to take us up to Ubud to visit the sacred monkey forest! 

One of the adult monkeys at the sacred bali monkey forest
One of the older monkeys relaxing on the side rails

Where in the Bali Monkey Forest is located?

Scared figure at the entrance of the bali monkey forest
A welcoming statue on arrival

The Bali Monkey Forest is located in the village of Padangtegal, Ubud.  If you’re heading there from areas such as Kuta or Seminyak then you want to allow at least 1hr to get there.

ticketing area at the front of the bali monkey forest
Ticketing area once you arrive at the monkey forest
different types of monkeys at the monkey forest ubud bali
Different types of monkeys you will see at the monkey forest

Are the monkeys scary?

a monkey enjoying some corn at the sacred bali monkey forest
A monkey showing his teeth whilst eating one of their favourite snacks…corn on the cob!

If I was to be honest, Yes! Both I and my sons found the monkeys to be quite intimidating at first and a little bit scary, though once we got to spend some time with them we felt more comfortable in their presence.

The main reason for this is that we didn’t really know how to act around them and at first we did all the wrong things like looking them in the eyes and reaching out to them as they were close by.  It wasn’t long until we soon found that acting this way can make the monkeys feel threatened and act more aggressively toward you.

A key behaviour to look for to tell if a monkey is getting aggressive is if they open their mouth and show their teeth with a slight hissing noise, and raised eyebrows, whilst staring at you.  One did this to my son and my son quickly move on!

How should I act around the monkeys?

guidelines for visiting the monkeys at bali monkey forest
Guidelines to follow whilst walking around the monkey forest

When you go to the monkey forest it’s important that you follow these key guidelines:

1. No eye contact!

Do not make eye contact or look the monkeys directly in the eyes.  My son looked at one monkey near the start and it looked right back at him whilst hissing at him.  This was the last time he made eye contact with any of the monkeys there hehe

2. No running or screaming

If the monkeys are around you it’s important that you don’t run or scream as this can spook them causing them to become frightened and act erratically.

Do not panic if a monkey jumps on you. If a monkey jumps on you and you feel uncomfortable then there is no need to panic.  Simply drop any food that you may be holding and try to slowly walk away or lower yourself so the monkey can jump off you.

3. No hiding food

If you have food on you the monkeys are good at sensing this and are likely to come up to you or climb over you looking for the food.  Hence, if you don’t want to entice the monkeys to jump on you ensure you get rid of your food before heading off around the forest.

4. Do not bring valuables

Although it didn’t happen a lot, whilst we were in the forest we did see the monkeys attempt to grab valuables on people, such as sunnies, necklaces etc.  Therefore, if you do have some valuables you are concerned about I would recommend leaving them behind or placing them in your bag or pocket.

Do the monkeys bite or scratch?

Although I believe this is rare, I have heard and did actually see someone get scratched whilst we were there.  However, I must add that the person wasn’t acting appropriately around the monkeys as he was trying to keep food hidden from them which I think left them a little frustrated!

Are there monkeys outside of the forest?

Yes, when we were visiting we were quite surprised to see the number of monkeys outside of the Forest area, with some in the car parks and others walking around the reception area prior to entering the Forest.

How much does it cost to enter the monkey forest?

price for entering the bali monkey forest
Price for entering the sacred monkey forest

Unfortunately, it’s not free to enter the monkey forest and the cost when we were visiting was around $8 each and cheaper for a family.

How much time do you need?

When we were there we spent around 1-2 hours walking around the forest though, to be honest as it was toward the end of the day and we had to get back to the hotel so we were in a bit of a rush.  If I was to go again I’d allow 2-hrs to thoroughly enjoy the experience whilst also giving you enough time to sit down and relax for a bit whilst you venture around.

Can you get photos with the Monkeys?

Yes, there are some staff located around the forest that for a fee, will help entice monkeys around you so you can get a photo.  However, apart from these spots, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get some happy snaps of the monkeys as you walk around.  You will often see monkeys resting along the side rails which provides a good opportunity for a pic.

What else to see at the Monkey Forest?

monkeys on bridge at monkey forest ubud bali
Monkeys relaxing on bridge at the monkey forest

Apart from enjoying spending time with the monkeys I found the rain forest and surrounding areas to be very tranquil and nice to just sit back and enjoy the surrounding environment.  Therefore, be sure to take the time to look around and enjoy the scenery.

In addition, there is also an art gallery within the forest which was interesting to walk around.

the art gallery within the bali monkey forest

What to do after the monkey forest?

As you’re in the area of Ubud there are plenty of things to do in and around Ubud after spending some time with the monkeys.

Whilst I was there we also visited Bali Bird Park, Bali Reptile Park and in the mornings we had breakfast with the Orangutans at Bali Zoo which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Final thoughts

You often hear people say…”don’t go to the monkey forest”… “the monkeys are scary”…”they bite you”…”they take your stuff”.  

However, I can honestly say that yes although they might feel a little intimidating at the start as long as you act appropriately around them and follow the guidelines it’s an experience you’ll never forget and something I definitely recommend looking into.

Here are some more happy snaps of the monkey forest in Bali – enjoy!

Check out my other Bali Guides

If you’re keen to read some more about Bali and what it has to offer, be sure to check out my other Bali guides below:

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