Monkey Forest: Bananas, Monkeys, and Fear

Ubud Monkey Forest!!!

Going to the monkey forest was something that I had been looking forward to since before my trip. I absolutely love monkeys! I think they are so funny and cute and weird. Sam told me about the monkey forest, and I searched the hashtag on instagram, and was ready to meet some monkeys! We went to the monkey forest on Sunday, in the afternoon because we read that the monkeys are less aggressive later in the day, because they aren’t as hungry. Sam and I went alone, because when Vriz was little, she went to the monkey forest with her family, and had some bread with her, and was attacked by a monkey that stole her bread so she is now, understandably, quite afraid of them! Sam was hesitant too and pretty nervous, but she knew how much I wanted to go, so she pushed through it. Thanks, Sam!!

Our bungalow was on the same road as the monkey forest, so we walked down to it. It was so hot! I was dripping sweat the whole way there. When we got to the entrance, we bought tickets and went it. The moment we entered the forest and started walking down the path, there were monkeys everywhere! On the ground, on the ledge at the edge of the path, up above in the trees, on the fences, monkeys were everywhere. There were big monkeys, baby monkeys, scary ish monkeys, (cue the postcard song by BNL). I was in heaven!! I saw a little cart where they were selling bananas to feed the monkeys, but Sam seemed a little nervous so we waited on that and just walked around. I walked up to some monkeys that were on the ground and took some pictures. Sam said she felt really nervous being completely open so she went to sit down so her back was to a tree… not super helpful as the monkeys were in the trees to, don’t you think?

I saw a little monkey sitting on a very large rock, and another one playing in the drinking fountain right next to it. The monkey was trying to get water out of the faucet, which was turned off. Now, Priscilla does this at home. She will lick the kitchen faucet until me or L turn it on, and the she drinks the water. I thought I would help the monkey out and turn on the faucet. I quietly approached, reached for the handle, pressed it down, and the water turned on. I think I startled the monkey because it turned around really quickly and gave me a really scary look and showed its teeth. In my head I was like ‘oh s***’ BUT I kept my cool and slowly backed away. Then the monkey helped itself to some water. You’re welcome, bro.

I went to sit by Sam and we just sat and watched the monkeys in that area for a while, and then got up to walk around. The forest is quite large and there is a lot to see and a lot of monkeys to photograph. Some of them are so sassy looking and some even pose for pictures. Sam took one picture of a monkey that saw us coming and flattened itself onto its stomach and started rolling around! We also saw a mama monkey, eating some corn, with her baby hanging on to her tummy. Adorable!!

After walking around and taking a lot of pictures, we came across another banana stand. They were selling a small bunch of bananas for 20k IDR, and a large bunch for 50K IDR. I got a small bunch and there was a monkey guy that was going to help me attract monkeys. He asked if I wanted a big monkey or a small… I was a little nervous, so I said small. We walked away from the stand and had me put my back to the trees, and held a banana over my shoulder. All of the sudden, I realized how nervous I was! The only monkey I’ve ever had on me was this tiny little thing, on a leash, in Play Del Carmen, Mexico. A monkey approached, grabbed my shirt and hopped right up onto my shoulder. I was surprised at how light she was! She took the banana, and began to peel and it eat. She made some really lovely eating sounds right in my ear. The guy offered her another banana, and with one hand on my head, she leaned out and grabbed it. I offered for Sam to try the next banana, but she was too nervous, so instead, she handed the next banana to the monkey. It was great! The monkey jumped down, and another took her place and snacked on some bananas until they were gone. We thanked the monkey guy and went on to explore.

We saw a beautiful temple, over run by monkeys, and I had my next near death monkey encounter. Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, I’m sure my mom would say so (like the time I called her and told her the house was on fire, but really the oven was just smoking a little). We were going down some stairs to see the front of the temple, and there was a cool looking monkey sitting on the edge of the building. Sam and I took some pictures, and I was just looking at him. Apparently, I was looking for too long, too closely and with too much eye contact because the monkey kind of screeched, bore his teeth and smacked the side of the building. I don’t know what happened after that because I ran away pretty quickly. I just think you’re cool man, no need to be so angry.

After that, we took some pictures, imagine that, and I told Sam that she should try to feed a monkey. She was really resistant and didn’t want to. I said ‘Sam, this whole trip you have been telling me to get out of my comfort zone. And I have gone out of my comfort zone so many times, you can hold a monkey!’ She looked at me, shrugged, admitted that I was right and said ok! Yessss, I was so excited!!! We went back to the monkey guy and bought another bunch of bananas. Sam really wanted a little one so we walked over to where some little ones were. The little monkeys all ran away, and a medium sized monkey jumped up onto Sam’s shoulder, took the monkey and ran away. Sam’s face in this moment was pretty priceless. Round two: A monkey jumped up, grabbed Sam’s boob, then the banana and hung out for a bit. When it was done it put some of the banana in it’s mouth and ran away. But instead of just jumping down, it jumped on top of Sam’s head, and then ran away. I got an epic picture of the monkey on her head. After this, Sam was done and said I could have the rest of the bananas. I wasn’t going to turn down having more monkeys climb all over me! This time, the guide said I should try a big monkey. Sureeeee.

We went over to this little bridge, where a big bro monkey was sitting. The guide offered the banana, but he didn’t seem into it. A smaller monkey jumped up and took the banana, and left. Now the big guy wanted some so he walked over to me, grabbed the back of my shirt and climbed up. He was much heavier but still very graceful! Luckily, I couldn’t see what was happening, but he had giant fangs! I saw in a picture Sam took later that night and was like oh my god that thing was on my head he could have eaten me! But it was fine, and I was out of bananas. Sam and I stood and talked with the monkey guy for a while. Then, all of the sudden, this little monkey jumped up onto my shoulder, put his arm around my head and laid his head on my head. It was so cute and I didn’t even lure him with a banana. He just kept looking up, then resting his head on mine, sticking his leg out to pose, and being cute. He was my little buddy. This little monkey stayed on me for quite a bit, considering he wasn’t getting any food. But eventually, he hopped down, and we left the forest.

All in all, we had a great experience. I got to hang out with a bunch of monkeys, and Sam, who was afraid at the beginning, ended up having a pretty good time! Plus we go some awesome pictures, which is the only reason why we do things now a days, isn’t it? 😉



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