Bali’s Monkey Temple

One of the popular things to do in Bali is to visit the monkey temple in Ubud. I don’t really know why. It’s nothing amazing and you can’t enter the actual temples but the grounds the area is on are very lovely…and yes, filled with a lot of monkeys. I’m not a huge fan of visiting places where monkeys are used to people. Once in Lopburi Thailand, I got attacked by some food stealing monkeys (They snatched it right as I was putting it in my mouth…TWICE!!!) and witnessed a few monkeys pulling the hair of a Japanese tourist. When monkeys get used to people they get aggressive.

However, everyone raved about this place so I decided to visit it as part of a long walk around the area. The scenery in the area is beautiful but the monkeys do get quite agressive. I took of a video of my experience and since pictures are worth a thousand words, I’ll let you judge the area for yourself:

Tips for Visiting the Monkey Temple

  • Watch out for the monkeys! Lots of people feed the monkeys so they are used to interacting with humans. This can lead to trouble as some monkeys might get too close to people. If you choose to feed them, put the food on the ground beforehand. Don’t get too close to them. I saw a monkey get “in attack position” at this woman and another attack the leg of another tourist.

All in all, I wouldn’t make visiting this place a priority, especially if you are short on time. There are far better things to see in Ubud than this. Skip this and go on a day trip to the Jatiluwih rice terraces. It’s a far better way to spend your day.

  1. Jo

    At Uluwatu temple in Bali, the monkeys are trained to snatch your belongings and run into a tree area. There are a few men waiting around for this to happen, so off they will run into the trees and emerge with your belongings willing to swop for a fee. Cheeky Monkeys!

  2. Love the monkeys. Uluwatu, Sangeh and Ubud, love those three monkey spots in Bali. It’s not all sweet memory though. When I was only 12, I went to Bali in a school tour. When we were in Sangeh, I monkey jumped to my friend’s head because it was attracted by her colorful hairband. So I took off mine and putting it in my pocket. A monkey spotted me doing that, maybe thought it was a banana. It jumped to my leg, climbed up and reached out inside my pocket. My hand was in the way, so the monkey grabbed my hand and bit my wrist. It was bleeding a lot. Since then, I was becoming more hesitant when a monkey jumps at me, but I still love coming to monkey spots, love them!

  3. The domesticated monkeys in Bali are similar to the domesticated seagulls in New Zealand. One stole the bacon right off my plate the other morning in Picton. Terrible!

    Love the video.

  4. Cris Campos

    Another good tip that not many people know is: don’t smile to the monkeys.
    In their monkey world, showing the teeth is a sign you are being aggressive and want to “fight”.
    So smiling is not a good idea if you don’t want to be attacked. Unless you’re able to smile without showing your teeth. =)

  5. I’ll stick with stuffed monkeys, thank you. Real ones are scavengers, nasty little attackers. I wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark alley.

  6. Monkeys in this area tend to be nice. There are few other areas with a lot of monkeys in Bali. Monkey forest in Sangeh and the the site around rocky temple of Uluwatu are to name some. But monkeys in Sangeh and Uluwatu are really bad. I got my camera stolen and hung on a soaring tee in Sangeh. In Uluwatu I almost lost my glass.

  7. I too am a huge fan of monkey ridden locations! During our time in Lopburi I would spend hours watching monkeys, eat cigarettes, harass shopkeepers, fornicate, clean each other and cause a general ruckus.

    so much fun! great vid Matt.

  8. This article reminded me of one of my favorite days in the entire world. On one of my many trips to Thailand I visited the Tiger Temple near Bangkok. It was soooo great walking among the Tigers all day long. Something everyone should get to experience.

  9. Thanks for this tip on where not to go – the consensus seems to be that one should avoid the “friendly” monkeys! Your tip may just save an arm and a leg! I’ll spend time exploring other parts of Bali – Thanks Matt!

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