Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest and Elephant Safari

Tom and I visited the monkey sanctuary on our third day in Bali as it was something we both really wanted to experience. I had this idyllic picture in my head of the monkeys playing with us and posing on my shoulder for a photo, however unfortunately I was either a bit naïve or the monkeys just didn’t take to me.

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The sanctuary was huge and the grounds were so beautiful. It felt like we were really out in the wildlife or a jungle. It was absolutely beautiful and we both said we would have visited even without the monkeys, it was just stunning, we could have spent hours walking around.

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The monkeys were very cheeky, if you had a banana or they took a liking to you they would climb onto you. Some of them get vicious if you stared at them for too long or tried to approach them, others would get vicious with other monkeys, which is completely to be expected as they’re in their natural habitat and they have a load of hulking tourists imposing on them. We took the approach of admiring from a distance and were careful when taking pictures not to aggravate them.

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However, they aren’t as cute and innocent as they look! We were walking round the grounds making our way back to the entrance when a little monkey jumped onto Tom’s bag and starts opening the zip (which was already half open). He reached in and grabed a bag containing a box with a ring we had just bought from Chez Monique, a silver smith class in Ubud. Running off with it, he proceeds to go into the bag, open the box, open the pouch containing the ring and run off with the jewelry!

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While at the time we were horrified as we had spent quite a bit of money on it, when we talked about it later that day we couldn’t believe how incredible it was that the little monkey understood that there was a box inside the bag and then in opening the box and in turn the pouch he was getting to the final, desirable object, as though he knew he was unwrapping something. Perhaps this was just us in thinking this way, but if you had given a bag to another animal they would have chewed it or played with it until they were bored, they wouldn’t have understood the concept of the bag and box concealing something.

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Anyway, there was a member of staff nearby who had seen the monkey getting up to mischief and managed to retrieve the ring by luring him back with bananas (thank god!). There is a little dent in my ring from where the monkey chewed it but it makes me love it even more. It might sound weird but it was the perfect way to end the visit to the sacred monkey sanctuary.

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We visited the Elephant Sanctuary a while after our visit to the Monkeys. There was a hotel you could stay at here amongst the elephants which we thought was really cute. They had an Elephant show and we could then feed and pat the elephants. There were baby ones too which were soooooo cute! You would pass fruit over to them and they would grab it with their trunks and feed it to themselves, they were the loveliest creatures.

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Towards the end of the day we had the opportunity to ride the elephants around the grounds, which concluded with the elephant going into the lake and squirting the water around with his trunk. It was such an incredible experience to be so close to such a beautiful and ancient animal, something I will never forget.

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