After our visit to Kuta, we headed to the inland area of Ubud, which had a much different vibe. This town is made up of very old buildings and temples and all looks very sacred, until of course you walk past the random Pandora or designer clothes shop. If you’re lucky, you can see people flying unbelievably high kites in little park areas, which can be seen for miles. Ubud can be seen as a pretty ‘hipster’ area with lots of funky coffee shops and vegan cafes, we had some absolutely amazing food during our stay. Bali may have been my favourite location for food during our whole trip looking back on it.
The two most amazing things we did in Ubud were definitely visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and going on our own little jungle trek.
The Monkey forest is exactly as it sounds, a conservation area of forest and temples home to hundreds of monkeys. One of the really interesting things about this sanctuary is you can see which territory the different groups of monkeys occupy as you are walking around. There are five groups in total and they are all very territorial, so if an outcast monkey wanders into another one’s space, there is gonna be trouble.
The forest is truly beautiful and it is amazing to see both the animals and the ancient architecture. However, monkeys are very dangerous animals when provoked and they will try just about anything if they suspect you have food, so it’s important to keep your belongings safe and not to get any food out.
You are able to buy a bunch of bananas to feed the monkeys and if you pick your moment well, this can lead to a great photo opportunity with them. Not carefully choosing your timings though can lead to a monkey running up and stealing the fruit out of your hands before you have even paid for them.
I’m going to put a little disclaimer in here just to say that anyone who knows me knows I’m 100% about animal welfare. There is no way in hell I would take a picture with an animal unless I feel completely comfortable that it is in good conditions and is comfortable with being around me. There were no other people involved here, we sat down with the bananas and the monkey then jumped on our shoulder and ate them up there. We took the photo without flash, let the animal come and go as it pleased and didn’t touch it in anyway. I ask you all to do the same in similar situations.
Having a monkey jump on you and nibble a banana in your ear maybe one of the strangest experiences I have ever had. It is such a strange noise that makes you giggle and cringe, which makes for way more unattractive photos than useable ones.
If you look up the top things to do in Ubud, most of the suggestions are walks. Now, I’m not a very outdoors person (especially in the heat), but my boyfriend really wanted to go on some and now I’m extremely glad that we did. The Kajeng Rice Field walk is simply gorgeous (even if we did get lost and have no idea where we were going when it started to get dark). These rice fields just felt so traditional and beautiful, walking along them felt like we were in the real Ubud, opposed to the high street with the Pandora shop about a mile away. The path takes you through the forest and past rice farmers, many of whom will ask if you would like a coconut that they will then knock off of a tree for you. It’s a real shame when you reach the point of the luxury 5-star honeymoon resorts, the sight of which drags you away from the authenticity of the Balinese countryside. Many people believe that all of this land will be bought by these resorts within the years to come, making this walk unmissable before it is too late. I hate to think that someday, people will watch the sunset under the roofs of hotels, rather than the beautiful rice fields.
Well, that was Ubud in a nutshell and now I’m depressed and want to go back. Anyone else up for it?