The Evil Inhabitants of Bali’s Monkey Forest


monkey forest ubud

I’d been in Ubud just a few days when I was viciously attacked by monkeys. It was an incident that had me in tears, lost me a bottle of Sprite and reluctant to ever return to Monkey Forest. It just wasn’t safe.

Monkey Forest is, as you would expect, a large forest filled with monkeys. There are over 300 of them and after spending five minutes there I had deduced that all 300 are evil.

Tamed by the presence of humans over the last 20 years, these monkeys will do anything to get their hands on any food you may be carrying. It’s not uncommon to see them jumping and climbing over tourists, and they’ve been known to get very aggressive – stealing earrings, food and cameras.

Despite the aggression, if you manage to keep your distance, make sure not to carry anything valuable, and definitely don’t bring any food (don’t try and hide it either – they WILL find it!) into the forest then you’ll be able to somewhat safely hang out with the monkeys… and realise just how cute they are!

My favourites were the babies and even though I knew they were far from innocent, I couldn’t help but squeal at how adorable they were.

monkey forest ubud

 

monkey forest bali

 

monkey forest ubud

 

monkey forest ubud

 

monkey forest ubud

 

monkey forest ubud

When I wasn’t running around like a madman taking photos of babies, I was creeping up on adult monkeys to take photos of their testicles.

monkey forest ubud

The monkeys of Monkey Forest were cunning, aggressive and yes, pretty terrifying. And it was frightening venturing into the forest on your own and trying to avoid being attacked.

If you stay far away from them, however? Then you can appreciate just how cute they really are!

Share this post:

Previous Is Chefchaouen the Prettiest City in the World?
Next How to Pack for a Trip to Croatia

24 Comments

  1. Amy
    September 10, 2012
    Reply

    This is brilliant Lauren! I am putting this on my list of places to go – I love monkeys!

  2. Josh - Badge of Awesome
    September 10, 2012
    Reply

    Ah, monkey testicles. Classic :) Great photos – glad you survived your experience! I almost got bit my a monkey in Hong Kong once. I still think they’re cute though.

  3. Amanda
    September 11, 2012
    Reply

    Okay, those baby monkeys are TOO CUTE! Too bad they will grow up to be evil…

  4. Gina
    September 10, 2012
    Reply

    Sorry to hear about your stolen Sprite. Hope the cute baby monkeys made up for it. (Cause they are pretty darn cute!)

  5. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    September 11, 2012
    Reply

    If you would like a monkey-viewing experience that is full of delight and not one jot of terror, I highly recommend visiting the monkey park in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto, Japan. It was one of the highlights of our Japan trip and the monkeys who are there are all very docile and used to humans. You are allowed to feed them, but only from inside a special room, but while we were outside with the free-roaming ones, they all pretty much ignored us and couldn’t have been less interested in what we were doing. I don’t know what might have happened if we had a bottle of Sprite, but I’m glad I didn’t find out!

  6. jmayel el-haj
    September 11, 2012
    Reply

    this sounds like my nightmare! lol i hate aggressive animals.

  7. Shaun
    September 11, 2012
    Reply

    Looks like the monkey in the last picture crossed some line with a female monkey and is now suffering from the consequences, lol.

  8. Steve Whitty
    September 12, 2012
    Reply

    Could have been worse though. You could have been injured. Glad to see it did not put you off.

  9. Daniel McBane - Funny Travel Stories
    September 12, 2012
    Reply

    I think the worst thing about the monkeys is not that they’re little thieves it’s that they’re so damn cute. It makes it impossible to hate them: “Damn you!! Get back here you little bast…….awwww, look…he’s eating my wallet. Quick, where’s my camera?”

  10. Mimo
    September 12, 2012
    Reply

    Girl, please check out my comment on your Hot Ballon Adventure at Bled.

  11. Tom @ Waegook Tom
    September 12, 2012
    Reply

    Hahaha at the last picture! I was like, “SHEESH! That’s a baby?!” until I read more carefully.

    These monkeys do sound terrifying. Now go get in a fight with an orangutan – that’s a challenge. I’ve never heard of that happening before. Then again, I’m sure you’d make it happen ;)

  12. Andonis
    September 13, 2012
    Reply

    Even the cute ones are evil? Surely not…

  13. Mike
    September 13, 2012
    Reply

    Those monkeys are really cute. I am amused whenever I see monkeys in zoos. They’re really energetic but beware, some of them are really aggressive when being handed with food.

  14. Elle of Solo Female Nomad
    September 14, 2012
    Reply

    These photos are really amazing! I have to ask, what camera did you use to take these great photos?

  15. leandra / adbenturera
    September 14, 2012
    Reply

    sorry for your sprite, but u’re right they’re sooo cute hehe! noted your tips, thanks! ^_^

  16. Travel Links of the Week: 9/14/12 - Travel Junkette
    September 14, 2012
    Reply

    […] MONKEY FOREST? That sounds like somewhere I desperately need to be. […]

  17. Vicky
    September 18, 2012
    Reply

    Awww, they’re just so cute. I don’t like to think of them as mean. When I was in the Serengeti the jeep drivers would get really annoyed with them for stealing stuff. They’re definitely a pest out there.

  18. Lizzie@Visa USA Migration Expert
    September 24, 2012
    Reply

    My first encounter with a monkey is when I was a kid for educational trip at school. Yeah, some of them are evil because one monkey actually pee on one of my teacher. Good thing she bought extra clothes and there is a comfort room at the zoo.

  19. Stephanie - The Travel Chica
    September 29, 2012
    Reply

    Awww! He has a mohawk!

  20. Laurence
    October 6, 2012
    Reply

    lmao. Creeping up to take photos of their testicles. Amazing :D

  21. Turtle
    October 10, 2012
    Reply

    There is no way these things are cute. They are just pure evil. I went there once and vowed never to return!!

  22. Ali
    October 10, 2012
    Reply

    I didn’t hear good things about it before I was in Bali, so I opted to skip it. Some of them are cute, but not enough to make me want to get that close to them.

  23. Lisa
    November 26, 2012
    Reply

    LOL, this totally reminded me of an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Roe where he visits a monkey sanctuary. The whole episode was him and his team trying to keep from being attacked from above. I’m sure it was a beautiful place, this just added that extra dose of “hunted” fun. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Dian Emery
    February 22, 2013
    Reply

    I just got back from a visit to Bali and we also visited the Monkey Forest.

    I was in turns, scared out of my wits and utterly enchanted.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.