Sacred Monkey Forest. Or minor place of panic, at least for me.
Monkeys are kind of cute, right? Or at least goofy?
Well, yes. BUT. The Sacred Monkey Forest, just outside of Ubud, Bali, is FULL of monkeys. Monkeys that have no fear of humans. Toothy monkeys.
The Sacred Monkey Forest is a big tourist destination. And, though there are signs asking you not to feed the monkeys, there are also enterprising ladies who will sell you bananas and show you how to get a monkey to jump up and eat your banana while sitting on your shoulder.
I don't have a picture of anyone with a monkey on their shoulder, but rest assured it did happen.
Did I mention that there's a bit of a rabies problem in Bali? Sure, as of 2012 the travel alert regarding rabies was lifted, but it's still a concern.
While it was neat to see the monkeys all over the place, bathing and whatnot, I felt more than a little cornered.
BTW, for you monkey taxonomists, these are Balinese long-tailed macaques.
According to this website, there are just over 600 Balinese long-tailed macaques in the Sacred Monkey Forest.
Even if you have a bit of a monkey phobia (which I, apparently, do - who knew?) the Monkey Forest is beautiful. Atmospheric moss-covered statues abound, sometimes with monkeys posed on them dramatically.
And the shade is welcome in Bali's heat.
Pathways twist and wind up and down rivers while monkeys climb through the trees overhead.
And they aren't even all scary, I promise.
Just don't try to walk through with your groceries. Or water bottles, or glasses, or anything shiny. Or a lot of jewelry, or baked goods. And DEFINITELY, if you have bananas on you, give them up when the monkeys show interest! They've been know to rip zipped purses and bags to pieces if they think you're holding out on them.