The inhabitants of Ubud’s Monkey Forest

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Our cab inched slowly down the street, the driver well and truly lost.

We had driven all the way from Legian in the south of Bali to Ubud in the centre without a hitch, but the last few hundred metres seemed to be more of a struggle.

The directions had said “behind Monkey Forest”.  As we finally pulled up outside and primates proceeded to run riot around the car, I mentally revised that to “damn near inside Monkey Forest.”

We spent a lot of time hanging out with our long-tailed friends over the next few days as they roamed around outside our home.  The least we could do was repay the favour by roaming around theirs…


Fear of humans didn’t play a big part in these monkey’s lives.  This teenage macaque was sitting about a foot away from me in the middle of the street, quietly eating the last of a banana that he’d stolen from somebody else.

Guardian of Monkey Forest

Just in case there weren’t enough of the real things around, a pair of large monkey statues covered in moss guarded the entrance to the forest.  They outsourced the issuing of tickets to the guy in the little office behind them, however.

Coffee and gravestone

(L) This little guy was hanging around waiting for us outside the hotel restaurant when we returned from a walk one day.  More likely, however, he was just killing time until his extra-shot soy latte was ready.

(R)  While walking around the park I had wondered aloud what happened to the monkeys when the inevitable happened and they went off to visit the Great Gorilla in the Sky.  And here’s the answer.

Searching for those fleas

Why look for fleas yourself when you can get a friend to do it?

Watching statue

This suspicious looking statue seemed to spend a lot of time peering down into the depths of the river below.  To be fair I guess it didn’t have much of a choice.


Waiting monkey

The narrow path that ran along the wall beside our guesthouse was technically just outside the limits of the forest.  I guess technicalities don’t matter much when you’re a monkey.

Vines in Monkey Forest

If you’re going to have a forest just for monkeys, you’ve got to have vines.  Lots and lots of vines.  I read Tarzan, you know.

Mother and baby macaque

The baby monkeys were the most adorable of all, although their mothers weren’t keen on people getting too close to them.  Photos from a short distance away were fine, however.  I checked.


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