Its head popped up from behind a tree its eyes gazed over towards us concentrating on our movement, waiting, waiting to strike, well that is what it would have us thinking before quickly scampering up the tree. We were in their territory, their forest as we strolled through the Sacred Monkey Forest, home to the grey-haired long-tailed Balinese macaques.
These monkeys are well-known for their aggressive behaviour, their quick hands but to be honest they were nothing like the monkeys that have inhabited Uluwatu temple that are trained to take things from the unexpected tourists.
Following the winding path through the cool and dense swath of jungle you soon forget that you are just a short walk from the hub of Ubud the art centre of Bali.Deeper into the forest there are more monkeys and they are definitely not afraid of human interaction as they climb all over the tourists who in general think it is a great place for a photo opportunity while on the other hand I’m thinking these are wild monkeys known for doing the most unexpected things, a scratch here, a bite there and you might wind up in a hospital ward.
Tourist really only come here to look at the monkeys but the forest itself is also where locals come to pay their respects at the interesting Pura Dalem Agung (Temple of the dead) Away from the tourists you get the feeling of being in an Indiana Jones movie, as an eerie feeling comes over you as the Rangda figure with buldging eyes, flowing mane like hair and stretched out tongue entwined around the body of a child as it is about to devour it at the entrance to the inner temple.
Deep in thought, the silence was broken from another troop of monkeys this time scrambling over the temple happily engaged in a game of tag. Like we had escaped the tourists, the monkeys also needed their freedom as we wandered on back the winding path.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
open everyday 8am-6pm
For more information, check their website.