The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is a pretty popular tourist destination. The forest is managed by thepeopleof a nearby village and it costs the equivalent of $2 CAN to go in, and the money goes to the upkeep of the forest and the sacred monkey temple inside. The Monkey Forest website says that there are about 600 resident long tail macaques (hee) that live in the forest. Having heard stories of rabies from monkeys, as well as being somewhat of a wimp, I was a little afraid before going. Rhiannon had visited with Matt previously and had already been mugged by one of the little buggers (jumped on her, unzipped her backpack and then took off with a water bottle). Knowing this, we prepared accordingly by removing hats, sunglasses and any shiny objects from easy access, and headed trepidatiously into the forest.
A first I was actually too afraid to pull out the camera, thinking that it would tempt a pickpocket monkey to attack, however the hordes of adorable (yet potentially rabies infested??) monkeys begging to be photographed soon changed my mind. I also reassured myself that the tourists buying bunches of bananas in order to have the monkeys climb on them for a photo op may draw them away from me.
The forest was a nice and shady retreat from the 30 degree, motorbike filled, streets of Ubud and we hung out there for a couple of hours with only one minor incident in which a teenager monkey decided to hitch a ride on my back while I jumped around squealing for help. Between bugs and monkeys I am finding myself doing more squealing than is acceptably not embarrassing!