The sacred monkey forest of Sangeh

As the kids are still getting used to Bali’s hot and humid weather and to the time difference, we decide to take it slowly with excursions. A nice half-day trip is to go to the monkey forest in Sangeh.

It is much less crowded than monkey forest, though the atmosphere there is also quite different, more peaceful but less mystical. We arrived there after a 40 minute drive through the countryside. You have to pay the entrance but then you get a local guard to accompany you. He makes sure the monkeys stay at bay and feeds them with peanuts, bananas or papaya leaves so that they come and sit or stand on us. Last time we met with monkeys Ivan got bitten, so we weren’t too keen on the monkeys getting close, but they were really sweet, the younger ones actually afraid of us. And the kids had a lot of fun, though Calli was slightly worried when monkeys climbed on her and her sunburnt shoulders. Ouch!

The forest is made of mostly one type of very tall and straight tree, the pala, which is a medicinal tree and also used for timber to build temples. The main temple inside the forest is very nice, with a very high meru (sacred tower with 7,9 or 11 thatched roofs), and full of monkeys lazying in the shade. Actually, there are also a number of other interesting trees in this forest, including a most impressive double banyan tree. Staying close to that tree felt like being in the Avatar movie!

We were back on time for lunch and very happy about this morning activity, which I thoroughly recommend to all the parents with children visiting Bali and the Ubud area.

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