~ The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud ~

So credit where credit is due this little guy is pretty cute, as long as he is only in 2D and on my computer screen. To say I am scared of monkeys would be a huge understatement, after several devastating traumatic events. Including being bitten ( hard, drawing blood and instilling the fear of rabies ) by an alleged pet at a dodgy villa we stayed at, having a 3 foot tall male monkey in Ulu’s try to steal my baby ( or perhaps it was the mango we were sharing still undetermined) and being deep in the Sacred Forest, 8 months pregnant and having my “friends” (yes you know who you are) and the banana seller lady (with the  big stick) think it funny to throw bunches of bananas at my feet and call all 605 monkeys in from the forest to feed off me ( or the bananas again undetermined).  I think I am quite within my rights to never want to look at a monkey again. However the novice Bali traveller may wish to visit the Sacred Monkey Forrest in Ubud. There are approximately 605 (according to the website)  long tailed macaques which live in the monkey forest being of 4 distinct troupes. Within Balinese Hinduism, monkeys represent positive and negative forces. The Balinese both loathe and revere monkeys for example the ones that that occupy sacred Balinese Hindu temple sites (like the Sacred Monkey Forest) tend to be revered and protected by the Balinese. One reason for this is that monkeys, in the form of a Barong, are believed to be capable of guarding temple sites against evil spirits. However, they are also of the belief that monkeys can be negative in nature which is reinforced when, for example, they raid rice fields or snatch items from their shops. There is a small fee to enter the forest and I recommend you do not have any items like sunglasses, water bottles, snacks or phones in your pockets or on you, as they will be taken by the monkeys. You have been warned !

Monkey Forest Road, Padangtegal Ubud.
photo Copyright © Kalle Kiander ( http://www.kiander.se )

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