Bali P2: The Sacred Monkey Forest

I was woken up the next day by the sounds of birds chirping. As I slid the door open and walked into the balcony, a guy who I assumed was working there saw me  and smiled “Good morning! Would you like breakfast now?”, to which I happily said yes. I poured myself some tea and took my time to breathe in the Balinese air all around me. IMG_1490.JPG

My boyfriend, on the other hand, was woken up by the sounds of me shouting “Food! Food! Food is here!” in his face. He’s an ultimate foodie, so this is my go-to method of waking him up in the morning.

When we were devouring the sandwiches, Putu came and sat down with us. She’s the loveliest host you can ever wish for, with a bright smile and cute little giggles. A few minutes later, Jojo her doggie joined her in accompanying us.

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Putu gave us a map of Ubud and showed us where we could go for that day: Monkey Forest, Ubud Local Market & Ubud Palace.

On Tripadvisor they said Monkey Forest is just a five-minute walk away from Putu’s Paradise Guesthouse. But in reality it took us half an hour because of the multiple distractions on the way: a Coco supermarket, a “Money Changer”, and several craft shops.

This particular one caught our attention, for obvious reasons:

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(I’ve never seen such big dicks in my entire life LOL)

They say you can’t visit Bali without staying in Ubud, and you can’t call yourself having stayed in Ubud if you haven’t walked the Monkey Forest. This renowned Sacred Monkey Forest costs IDR 50,000 to enter. I knew I would love the place even before setting foot on the island, but I still couldn’t help feeling like I’m in a movie like the Jungle Book or Tomb Raider.

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We were warned about these mischievous monkeys yanking glasses, phones, hats, etc. from visitors, so before coming in we made sure everything except the camera was well hidden in our bag, and carried by the chimpanzee (my BF). A family of four right in front of us weren’t so prepared, and a monkey grabbed the small bag from the little kid, who screamed and cried. The mom tried to calm him down while the dad tried to take the bag back from the monkey, who hissed and flashed his teeth aggressively in protection of the bag. The whole scene was just hilarious.

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You can buy bananas to feed the monkeys, who might climb on your shoulder or lap to get the food. I didn’t like the thought of getting rabies and didn’t care that much about getting that perfect photo for FB or Instagram anyway.

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The thing about this forest is that its raw magnificence is infected with people, so many of them. Even though we visited the place during low/rainy season, everywhere we turned there was always someone trying to do a “deep in the jungle” pose. Sitting on a bridge, leaning on a tree, looking at the mountain, feeding a monkey, etc.

Inside the forest there is a gallery of paintings by local artists, which was worth taking a look at although the display was extremely simple.

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We wandered a good hour in the forest and it suddenly rained heavily. Like everyone else we found shelter and tried to wait it out. Unfortunately the rain refused to stop that day, so we were forced to return to our room early.

The search for a restaurant for dinner was so long that we both got so wet. It was just a 3-minute walk but the rain made it felt like 3 hours. The food at this “Dirty Duck” restaurant was mediocre, but the open garden, the sounds of the falling rain and the waitresses dressed in traditional wear made it somewhat romantic.

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I went to bed early that night while my BF busied himself watching a horror movie. My last thought before falling into sleep was “Fuck this rain. Bring me some sunshine tomorrowplease…

– To be continued

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