Thursday, 16 May 2013

Monkeys of the Sacred Forest, Ubud, May 10th 2013

Monkey Forest...

Breakfast delivered to the veranda - a toasted banana sandwich, plate of fruits and a flask of black tea, no milk though, never mind. So, looking across the rooftops of Ubud munching on the sandwich and contemplating the days activities. Actually not that much in terms of visitor attractions here earlier research concludes. A couple of museums, temples here and there and the Sacred Forest of the Monkey. Spoilt for choice then, but I think the Monkey Forest sounds interesting.

Back down Hanoman street, first right into Jalan Monkey and into a plethora of tourist shops with their wares spilling out onto the pavement at times. Every few metres a group of taxi drivers, calling out. A polite decline of their services as with these shop owners - I'm not the worlds best tourist when it comes tack, even less so here because this is just the tourist blatantly getting ripped off. Aussies seem to be going for it though, and a few Chinese too.

20,000 rupiah to get beyond the gate and into this sacred forest, where I'm sure there must be a temple or 2 lurking amongst the trees. Plenty of tourists queueing up, infact coach loads, I guess on a day trip from Kuta since Ubud is just 90 minutes away. Another 20,000 for a bunch of bananas! And there are the monkeys, watching, waiting patiently just beyond the entrance, a group of about 15 Macaques waiting their chance to grab a banana. A pathway leads up beside a fence that defines the forest boundary, and is quite a good vantage point to take some photos of the antics below. Monkeys everywhere, not just confined to the forest either, better locate me a sturdy stick, just incase trouble should erupt.

The path leads into a rice field, bordered with a few villas proclaiming services of a spa and massage therapy. Paths and lanes in abundance, quite a nice gentle meander between the rice field, monkey forest and these villas, ornately decorated and looking more like ancient religious buildings.

Back to the monkeys, and a platform is available for those who might not enjoy the prospect of getting mugged, accosted and possibly even attacked since I did spot some aggressive behaviour earlier! The monkeys seem to mingle nicely for the most part, occasionally jumping on an unwary tourist carrying those bananas which disappear within a second or two. Women shriek, kids squeal, this is one tourist spectacle I can safely say is fun to watch!

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