Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud.

Well, we are now settled in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

We took the bus from Kuta, which took roughly an hour to get here. Only cost us $5 a person! When we arrived, we walked around for a little bit before finding a nice little place near the Monkey Forest to room for the weekend. After a walk around downtown and the local Art Market, we had dinner at the Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck) and I introduced Indi to the crispy duck I enjoyed so much last week. She was not as impressed. Today we had breakfast and headed to the nearby Sacred Monkey Forest: a small wooded area with paths that hold roughly 500 monkeys and is home to a sacred temple. I’m not such a big fan of monkeys, but Indi couldn’t be more excited. She bought a bunch o’ banana at the entrance and we set in.

Truth be told, monkeys are amazing creatures. These were not afraid of people in the slightest and were even keen to climb aboard at times. Indi fell victim at one point, with hilarious results. Nothing was lost, thankfully. We were partly guided by a local, who explained to us the temple was in honor of the Hindu goddess Shiva, and the monkeys themselves were considered holy. As a matter of fact, they were in the middle of a five day ceremony at the temple, held every evening.

There were many, many tourists there. It was amusing to watch the monkeys play around, both with each other and other tourists. At one point, a particularly wise monkey took a plastic juice bottle out of a lady’s purse, grabbed the lid with it’s mouth, turned the REST of the bottle with it’s hands and feet, and proceeded to drink all of it. HE DRINKS IT UP!

In the middle of the walk was a small pond with some branches above that kept a group of four quite entertained, to everyone else’s amusement. Many baby monkeys were with their mothers, too. We’d occasionally hear the fighting in the distance or watch as an unhappy female chased an even unhappier male about. We even sat and watched one work on a coconut for twenty minutes, finally breaking into it for the milk and flesh.

It was a good visit, and a peaceful one. Although this area is more heavily touristy now, it’s easy to imagine the symbiotic relationship that this area had with the wildlife and the human population.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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