Getting Attacked By Monkeys In Monkey Forest Ubud, Bali

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When my brother and his girlfriend decided to visit us in Bali, a trip to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud was high up on their to-do-list as my brother is (eh…was) a BIG monkey fan. They were looking forward to seeing the hundreds of monkeys that inhabit the dense forest and the three holy temples. Currently, there are more than 600 monkeys in the forest, belonging to four different groups.

It ended up being a very memorable experience for us all, although not quite in the way we had expected!

The Monkey Forest entrance
The Monkey Forest entrance

As soon as we entered the Monkey Forest gate, I felt that something was different. Espen and I have been there two times before, but this time, there were a lot fewer people in the forest, and the monkeys seemed somewhat restless. Since it was off-season, maybe they had not been fed as much food and bananas as usual? They appeared to be a lot more eager to approach people.


Friendly Start

It all started quite friendly. My brother bought a bunch of bananas at the entrance since he (at this time…) loved monkeys so much. Once we got inside, he started feeding them bananas and tried to hand them out evenly. The animals seemed happy and at peace, and they gently grabbed a banana each out of my brother’s hand. But then a bigger monkey came along, and he was not happy with only one banana. He followed my brother around, and my brother ended up giving away all his bananas to this big-ass monkey, except for one that he managed to tuck away in his pocket.

I must admit, the grey-haired long-tailed Balinese macaques monkeys are kind of cute and adorable (from a distance).

First Attack – Banana

Further into the forest, we saw some people encouraging the monkeys to climb on them, like this girl.

It looked pretty fun and peaceful, so my brother and his girlfriend decided they wanted to try it too. But just as they were talking about it standing with their last banana in their hand, a huge monkey all of a sudden jumped on her back! The monkey climbed on top of her head and clung to her back while reaching for the banana. It all went so fast, and we all kind of panicked a little (ok, a LOT!). The monkey scratched her nose and lip, so she started bleeding before it finally jumped off when my brother threw the banana on the ground.

Apparently, there are a record number of monkey bites occurring daily. In the worst cases, an animal bite can lead to rabies or other diseases. Luckily for us, my brother´s girlfriend did not get bit, just scratched. We immediately went over to the emergency house in the forest, where she got some antiseptic on her bleeding wounds.

Second Attack – Water Bottle

After that dramatic monkey-banana-attacking episode, we were all a bit shaken. The monkeys were not quite as cute and adorable anymore. But being Vikings and (still!) monkey-loving people, we continued into the forest, to have a look at the three monkey temples that are inside. The temples are beautifully decorated with statues and ornaments and overrun with monkeys. It all has a very cool Indiana Jones feel to it!

_DSC7191 _DSC7188

We had just started to calm down and relax again when all of a sudden a monkey grabbed my brother’s water bottle! The monkey held on to it and did not want to let go. When the animal started to growl and show his teeth, my brother realised that he had lost the battle and let go of the bottle.

This monkey was quite bright, and it was evident that he had done this before, as he immediately unscrewed the cap and started drinking from the bottle. But his water joy did unfortunately not last for long, as a big monkey jumped at him, grabbed the water bottle and emptied it in front of his eyes. Such a mean monkey! The first thirsty monkey just has to sit there and watch him pour out the bottle. Poor little monkey.

Third Attack – Flip Flops & Tic Tac

Now we had nothing left, neither bananas or water, and we thought all the drama and attacks were over. Oh, boy were we wrong! Now the real show started.

As we were walking towards the exit gate, a small monkey all of a sudden tried to jump up on my brother! My brother managed to shake him off but lost his flip-flop sandals in the process. We attempted to get the flip-flop back, but the monkey just growled at us and started running with it in his mouth.

More animals came along and decided to jump on my brother, with the result that he panicked completely and began to run away from the aggressive and growling monkeys. It was a hilarious sight for all the onlookers – my brother running like crazy through the forest without flip-flops with a bunch of growling monkeys at his heels! LOL! 🙂 For my brother, on the other hand, it was not that fun…..

We finally managed to get hold of a guard, that luckily took control of the situation, and my brother got his chewed up flip-flops back. The guard asked him if he had anything in his pocket, he answered no but then suddenly realised that he had a small pack of tic tac (small mints) in his pocket! OMG! So that`s the reason why the monkeys had all of a sudden attacked him! My brother had completely forgotten about the small tic tac pack in his pocket. He gave the tic-tacs to the guard, and we all walked quietly out of the park. This time the monkeys left us alone.

One of the guards took control of the situation and helped us stop the attacking monkeys. Happy ending!

We were so happy that we “survived” the monkey attacks without anybody getting bit!  We also saw others getting jumped on by the monkeys. The monkeys can be aggressive and they go for your pockets and handbags. So be aware if you ever visit the sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud!

The monkeys look innocent, fluffy and cute, especially the small ones, but they are still wild animals.

Lessons Learned

Yep, we did everything wrong and against the “rules” during this visit to Monkey Forest. Well, at least my brother did….

1. Do NOT bring any bottles or cans into the forest.

2. Do NOT buy bananas. Yes, the monkeys are cute and you think it would be fun to feed them, but they will not settle for only one banana and they can get aggressive till they get them all.

3. Do NOT have ANY food or candy in your pockets, handbag or backpack. The monkeys have an extremely well-developed sense of smell, and they will smell everything from a tiny bit of chocolate to a package of chewing gum. You can`t hide any food or candy from the monkeys, they will find it.

4. Do NOT encourage the monkeys to climb up on you. They can bite and scratch, which in worst case can give infections and rabies or other diseases.

5. Walk around the forest calm and peaceful, and do not approach the monkeys or get too close.

6. If a monkey tries to climb onto you, don`t panic and scream and run (like my brother did….).


We had a dramatic visit to the Monkey Forest! We were all a bit shaken afterwards, and my brother is no longer quite such a naive monkey loving person….

Monkey Forest is a cool forest, don`t get me wrong, just as long as you are educated and prepared, and know the risk of being bitten if you get too close to the monkeys. Be careful about giving them food and don’t encourage them to climb on you. They look so small, cute and innocent, but they can be very aggressive!

Just be aware of your surroundings and don`t go too close to the monkeys, and you will have a great time in the Monkey Forest. As for me,  I think this was my last visit to the Ubud Monkey Forest…..

Travelers Information

How Much Did It Cost?

The entrance fee is 30 000 idr = 3 us$ per person for adults, and 15 000 idr = 1 us$ for children.

Opening Hours

The Monkey Forest is open daily from 8:30 am – 6 pm.

Where To Stay in Ubud

There is no shortage of accommodation options for any budget in Ubud. Here you can find anything from inexpensive homestays to some of the finest boutique hotels in the world.

We stayed at Ubud Inn Resort and Villas 

We stayed at Ubud Inn Resort and Villas, which is a real authentic Bali style resort with many small houses with rooms scattered around a big and stunning garden with a pool. It is perfectly located in the main street of Ubud, close to shops, restaurants and Monkey Forest. Although it is located centrally, it is tucked away in a peaceful garden so there is no noise. We really liked it! They also have different kinds of rooms, from cheap rooms with a fan to more luxury style suites.
Click here to check the latest prices

We stayed at Omah d'Taman _DSC7288We also stayed at a homestay called Omah d`Taman. The family has built two houses with three rooms in each that they rent out. It is very private and cozy in a big homey garden with views over the jungle.

In the morning they bring you delicious breakfast on your terrace. It is not as centrally located as Ubud Inn, but you are just a ten-minute walk away from the main streets.
Click here to check the latest prices

Top End

The Samaya Bali Hotel
Ubud is also a great place to splurge on fabulous hotels, like the Samaya Bali. It is such a beautiful hotel. I wish we could have stayed there.
Click here to check the latest prices

The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah
If you are looking for paradise and have the budget for it, then this is it! This hotel looks like heaven, with its huge swimming pool and lovely surroundings.
Click here to check the latest prices


Kenanga Boutique Hotel
Tucked away among the rice fields, the Kenanga Boutique Hotel looks stunning and peaceful. And it is not that expensive.
Click her to check the latest prices


Sri Bungalows/ Ubud Bungalow
We wanted to stay at Ubud Bungalow (changed its name to Sri Bungalows), but it was unfortunately fully booked. We did, however, have a look around the compound, and it is very nice with bungalows set in a beautiful garden. Centrally located in the main street of Ubud.
Click here to check the latest prices

Travel Guides to Indonesia

We used Lonely Planet`s Indonesia book on our travels around Indonesia and Bali. It was great! Click on the pictures below to read more about each book on Amazon (affiliate links):

Hoover over the pictures below, and press the pin it button that pops up

monkey forest2      monkey_forest

Have you ever met monkeys, unfriendly or friendly? We would love to hear about your monkey experience! Please leave a comment in the comment area below. If you like this post and find it useful, please share on social media. Thanks! 🙂 


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About The Writer Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.


  1. I’ve heard horror stories about people being attacked in Monkey Forest, but our experience was much like your first one. We went in the early morning and the monkeys were very calm and disinterested. We didn’t buy bananas or really try to engage them at all, since I was afraid of them a little – haha! Hope your brother’s girlfriend is ok!

    • We tried to warn my brother and his girlfriend about the monkeys, and that they should not bring any food or water into the forest. But you know how brothers can be when big sister is trying to teach him something….. He just would not listen. So they kind of brought it on themselves. 🙂 Just glad they did not get bit. His girlfriend is fine, she just got some wounds in her face that healed up fine. Luckily the monkey did not grab her eyes.

  2. I’m so glad no one got seriously hurt!! Those monkeys are no joke. I was in Lopburi in Thailand recently and went to the monkey temple, and they were all jumping on me too even though I wasn’t encouraging it (I think it’s because my shorts had some drawstrings), and one of them bit me. It was a very small bite but did draw blood so I’m going through the series of rabies shots now. (I recently published the story on my blog). They sure are cute though, especially the baby ones! But just like you said, I don’t think they’re all that adorable anymore and avoid them whenever I see them now, lol.

    • Oh no Anna! So sorry to hear that you got bit! 🙁 And that you have to go through rabies shots, that sucks. Hope you are fine and that the bite is healing alright.

  3. It has been more than 20 years, but my daughter still remembers visiting Ubud’s monkey forest when she was 4 years old, and especially how one of the monkeys pulled down her shorts to look for bananas. I thought it was funny, she was embarrassed. Nothing scary about them back then, though. Sounds like they might have become a bit more aggressive these days

    • Hehe, I can imagine it was funny for you but not as much for your daughter. 🙂

      Yeah I think the monkeys might have become more aggressive in Monkey Forest. We were there in 2005 the first time, and had no problems with them back then. I think some of the problem might be that they have become so many, over 600, and they have formed four rival groups competing for food.

  4. Absolutely love this blog – couldn’t help but laugh but feel sorry for all of you at the same time. We are heading here in May – will definitely be prepared!

    • Thanks a million Alex! Have a great trip to Bali and Ubud in May! I`m sure you will love it. Watch out for the monkeys though! 🙂

  5. Great blog you are building here, I appreciated the post on the ‘Divi’ logo sizing for a project I am working on – you can enjoy the adventures of traveling through your clearly and well written posts. Take it easy and I’ll definitely look in to check your progress!

    • Hi Michael!

      Thanks a lot for commenting! So happy to hear that you enjoy our blog. Glad we could help you out on the Divi logo size custimization.

  6. I’m laughing, but this is not really funny – at least not for your brother! I would hate to be attacked by a monkey! We just came back from Costa Rica and we visited Manuel Antonio National Park. We were told not to bring no food/drink with us, as the monkeys are quite overt and will grab anything you have. Frankly, I like looking at them from far away… :/ Ha, ha!


    • Hehe, we were laughing a lot too, but it was of course not fun for my brother at all. He is a bit embarrassed now looking at the photo, as the monkey is not much bigger than his flip-flop, hehe. I am a bit wary for monkeys too after this. They can be pretty mean, even though they are small and cute! 🙂

  7. Te monkeys were so cute! But they stole my water and my sandwich! Great pictures… One tried to take my camera!

    • Oh no, glad the monkeys did not steal your camera Sally! It is bad enough that they stole your water and sandwich. 🙁 The monkeys in Monkey Forest are really cheeky! Best not to bring any food or drinks into the forest. From now on I only watch them for a distance.

  8. OMG! I was in Ubud twice and never went to the Monkey Forest. Apparently, this was a good decision, and not just paranoia! I hate monkeys. I wasn’t crazy about them in the first place, and in 1997 I had a bad experience with a pet monkey while in Laos. I avoid all places with monkeys. Here are a few of my animal adventures:

    • Hehe, I have also started to hate monkeys after this trip to Monkey Forest. Cheeky bastards! 🙂 Great article about you love-hate relationship with wildlife! That moment when you were getting eye contact with a rhino must have been pretty intense. I think I would be shaking too! 🙂

      You should come visit us in the Northern Norway one day. We have wild polar bears on an island called Svalbard. I saw one there once eating a seal on the snow that he had just killed. It was awesome and a bit scary at the same time. We did of course have weapons so we were in no danger, but still. They are famous for killing people.

      Galapagos is high up on my bucket list, would love to check out the wildlife there and walk in the footsteps of Darwin.

    • Hi Andika,

      Ubud is a great place to visit! We have mixed feeling about Monkey Forest after we got attacked by the monkeys. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  9. So it’s not just us then, we went in 2013 and it wasn’t quite what we expected, although we luckily didn’t get any bites or scratches, we saw some people getting bitten and we were pretty much chased out of there by the monkeys. It’s just a case of keeping in mind that these are wild animals that don’t have any fear of humans…

    • Hi Andrew,

      Oh no, so sorry to hear that you too had a bad experience in Monkey Forest. 🙁 Those Ubud monkeys are pretty crazy and mean! Yep, important to bear in mind that this forest is not a zoo and the monkeys are definitely not tame.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your monkey story.


  10. wow.. it s kind of challenging for visiting the monkey forest (so scary for me i guess..). ill be there in Ubud for my Christmas holiday and i have listed monkey forest as one of my destinations. But Now i guess, i need to reconsider that again since i m not really into free-hanging-climbing apes. thank you for the information.

    • Hi Nionova,

      I`m sure it will be fine if you take precaution like not bringing any food or water into the forest, not even in your handbag/backpack or pockets. And do not run or talk loud, and do not try and touch the monkeys. My brother did everything wrong on this matter, hehe. We have visited the Monkey Forest two times before this incidence without any problems or attacks from the monkeys. Just be careful and get help from one of the forest guards if anything happens or you get attacked.

      Have a great trip to Bali and Ubud! 🙂

      Best regards,

  11. Thanks for your tips Maria!

    We plan on visiting Monkey Forest tomorrow and definitely won’t be bringing any food or water with us now. Fingers crossed we won’t get attacked ????

      • We did! Had a great time between those monkeys. If you don’t have any food or shiny things on you they leave you alone. Plenty of other tourists ignored those rules so they could easily find another victim 🙂

        We just posted our blog post about the visit:

  12. I really do want to see the Monkey Forest in Ubud and I am willing to follow all of the safety tips in this very informing article, and respect their territory . But if one of them gets on me and tries to hurt me, I would spray it with my mosquito repellent. >:) At one point one has to defend themselves……

    • Hi Lilya,

      Hehe, good idea about the mosquito repellent! LOL! 🙂 I`m not sure that it will work, but it`s definitely worth a shot if you get in this kind of desperate situation.

      Monkey Forest is worth a visit if you are in Ubud, just be cautious. The baby monkeys are very cute, you will love them.


  13. It is a nice blog. It’s good to hear that none of you got serious injury. In some cases, the monkeys will get close to the guests because they just carry some food, mineral water, colorful stuff like hat, slippers, bracelet or any other accessories and those will attract the monkeys attention and the monkey forest management has already put some notice around. So as long as we follow the rules, nothing will happen. As we know that those monkeys are wild animal, they will try to get them like their food. I really appreciate your tips, it will be so helpful to the new guests who will visit the monkey forest.

    Best regard,

    • Thank you, Mario! I agree, as long as people don`t bring food and bottles of water into the park, the monkeys will most likely not attack. But it is important to remember that these are wild monkeys, and not trained to be around people. The park is well worth a visit!

      Thanks for commenting!


  14. Hi , enjoying reading your blog ! I was at the monkey forest yesterday and a big monkey jumped up on my back and scratched my shoulder ! I’m getting paranoid about the rabies ! The scratch didn’t bleed at all. So hope I will be ok !! Don’t want to go back there ever again !

    • Omg, Hayley! So sorry to hear that you too got attacked by a monkey in this forest! 🙁

      As long as it didn`t bleed, you should be ok. At least that was what the forest guard told us after we got attacked. The monkeys in this forest are like little monsters….don`t like them at all anymore.

  15. Hello Maria
    I am from India visiting Bali …
    We are used to monkey behaviour back home whenever we visit our temples
    But nothing like this …’s very scary
    I guess they learnt and got used to people feeding them and with so many in number they might not be getting enough from nature there …
    So the monkey trouble
    Hope they are fed well by authorities so they feel content and watch /gape in amazement the human antics ……thinking here they come the two legged animals….ahahah
    Thank you Maria for your post
    Today we were to visit but now I am sure I am not, I know my husband and sons will be too happy to know my decision coz they reluctantly agreed earlier
    We are driving down to ubud today
    We are at beachfront hotel
    Grand Aston
    It’s very good
    We are enjoying Beautiful Bali
    Happy travelling

    • Hi Nandini,

      Thank you so much for commenting! Sounds like you have a great time in Bali!

      We don`t have monkeys in Norway, but have met several in other Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia, but no place are the monkeys as aggressive as in this forest! I got a bit scared, to be honest.

      I agree, it probably is connected to people feeding them, and that there are too many monkeys in the forest so they can`t find enough food.

      If you choose to go to the forest, I`m sure you will be fine as long as you don`t bring any food or water bottles.

      Enjoy Bali! I really miss it!

      Best regards,

  16. don t go to this place!!! it s very dangerous! i ve been attacked yesterday by a big monkey, i was just standung still and this monkey attacked me jumped on my arm and made 2 big cuts, i ve been in surgery with total anestyzia ar bimc hospital in kura! i m very bad injured!

    • Oh no, that is terrible! 🙁 So sorry to hear this!

      Hope you will be fine. Get well soon, Laura!!

      Best wishes,

  17. I went there recently and had a similar experience. Of course, I’ve known the generally naughty and dangerous nature of monkeys so I carried no food or lose items in my pockets and made no attempts to get up close and personal. But I saw some over enthusiastic nature lovers get the treatment. It was quite hilarious to watch from a distance.

    Very nice write up. Keep writing!!

    • Thank you, Mayank!

      Good decision to not bring any food or bottles into Monkey Forest. I just don`t understand those people that engage with the monkeys and encourage the monkeys to climb up on them. They are so asking for it……

  18. I enjoyed reading your story. We had a great time in Ubud. I wanted to post something you might find nice and relevant. On our first trip to Thailand in 2012 we were attacked by a pack of Macaque monkeys on Monkey Beach in Koh Phi Phi. Because of that I was SO FREAKED OUT in Bali at places like the Monkey Forest. I was on my guard. My mom got bit by a monkey once and had to get a bunch of rabies shots. Anyway, I made a song with my buddy who was there. We shot the video in Thailand on vacation there last month. It’s about getting attacked by those monkeys. It’s called “Macaque Daddy” and you can find it on YouTube. I don’t know if posting links is allowed. I’ll put it in the next post and you can just delete it if they aren’t!

    Oh I noticed there’s a “Website” field. I’ll put the link to the video there if anyone is interested in checking it out.

    • Hehehe, love your monkey rap song and the video on YouTube! It is awesome!! 🙂 It summarize really well the fear that I have of these bastards monkeys. Great job!


  19. Going here tomorrow!! And am now really scared ??after reading this whole page is there any advice on what to do if a monkey attacks or how to prevent it! I feel to reconsider the journey but dont want my girlfriend to think im chicken out on this ?

    • Hi Steven,

      No need to panic, I’m sure you will be fine 🙂 Just observe the park rules, keep calm, don’t take water bottles or ANYTHING eatable into the park and be careful around the monkeys.

      Best of luck! 🙂

  20. Hi Maria, on another note, do you have recommendations regarding beachfront budget villas? We’ve taken your advice and reserved the last room at Sri Bungalows. Thanks!

    • Hi Fatima,

      We always stay in the small beach town Sanur when we visit Bali. It has many beachfront villas/ hotels, which are usually cheaper than in Kuta/Seminyak. Sanur is also quieter, more relaxed, and not so party-party as Kuta/Seminyak.

      Have a nice trip to Bali! 🙂

  21. As a foot note, worth everyone one knowing, it is less likely yes, but entirely possible to get rabies from a scratch. You do not need to have been bitten. This is due to the fact that rabies is spread through saliva – and animals often have saliva on their claws, especially if they, like monkeys, use them to eat. Worth noting, that as yet, there has not been a recorded case of rabies in the monkeys at the forest, but given it is present in dogs etc in Bali, its spread to wildlife is considered likely at some stage. So please folks, you get bitten OR scratched, seek medical attention.

    • Hi Rick,

      Thanks for the advice on seeking medical attention if one get bit or even just scratched by a monkey. Rabies is a very serious and deadly disease that should be treated as soon as possible.

  22. I grew up in the military and I am American but was born in the Philippines. While there my dad rescued a monkey from a flea market and we kept it as a pet. It only liked my dad and was very nasty to my mom and she was afraid the monkey would harm her or me so my dad eventually found another home for it. On a trip a few years ago to Peru I was at a wild animal sanctuary with some monkeys, one being a capuchin that we were told to be careful around because he could get very aggressive when he wanted something. Our tour guide showed us the scratches and bites all over her arms and legs from this particular monkey. My bf at the time fell in love with this monkey and said he wanted one as a pet. From personal experience I know this to be a bad idea! Lol

    • Hi Jenna,

      That`s quite a monkey story! Monkeys are really cute, so I can totally get that people want them as pets. But having experienced aggressive and nasty monkeys all over Asia, I agree with you, it is a very bad idea! Dogs and cats are sooooo much better as pets. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!


  23. Hi, would like to share my story too. We took all the precautions and followed the rules since we are travelling with young children.
    Still I got bitten in my head by a monkey just outside of Ubud monkey forest for no reason whatsoever. I am wearing glasses, so monkey might have been attracted to that according to the locals here.
    Going through rabies treatment at the moment. By the way, also for scratches you need to get the treatment.
    With everything I know now, would never visit Ubud monkey forest and definitely not with children.
    These monkeys are used to attack people to take food and whatever else they find interesting. Have never seen such aggressive monkeys….

    • Hi Veerle,

      OMG, that is terrible! I feel so sorry for you! Hope your children are ok, I`m sure it must have been very scary and upsetting for all of you.

      I agree, having traveled all over South East Asia meeting and seeing monkeys everywhere, the ones that are in Ubud are crazy and super aggressive! Like you, I will never set my foot in this forest ever again.

      Hope you are ok and that you will not have any complications from your monkey bites. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      All the best!


    • Hello Veerla,

      Sorry to hear about that. I got scratched on my head yesterday at the Ubud monkey forest, got my first Rabies shot last night but still little as it happened on my head and its faster to get rabies that way. Was wondering if Immunoglobulin shot was taken in your case.

      Would appreciate any kind of information on this .



      • Hi Krishnan,

        Sorry to hear you were scratched in the head as well. I was advised to take the immunoglobin shot at the time. Luckily I had good insurance covering it as it’s a very expensive shot to get in Indonesia. It’s a lot less expensive in other countries (e.g. Flying to Singapore to get the shot might be cheaper at the time).

        Hope you are well,


    • Hi Ed,

      The Monkey Forest is not that big, so spending half an hour or around an hour walking around in the park is fine. It`s not much to do in the park except for walking around looking at the monkeys and see the temple inside the park.


  24. Yup. Same thing happened to me except I had no food, didn’t egt too close, didn’t stare at them and had nothing they wanted. I had read some horror stories but thought “sounds simple. Follow the instructions, don’t do anything silly and it will be fine”. So I went to Monkey Forest today and kinda got attacked by a monkey.

    The place itself is lovely and I had seen quite a few monkeys by the time I got to the temple. A medium-sized monkey then decides he wants to attack the bottom of my black linen trousers so I move swiftly away and he chases for a bit then gives up.

    I then wander off but end up doubling back and I came back up by the temple. This time the monkey (dunno if the same one) decides he’s going to have another go at the bottom of my trousers and then climbs me like a ladder until he’s on my freakin’ head. It sounds funny now but I was actually terrified.

    Not sure what to do and fighting off the rising panic, I moved nearer to a statue so he could just climb off. I could feel his claws digging into my shoulder and head and I was really worried he was going to bite me. Every fibre of your being just wants to shake the thing off but you don’t want to get bitten. It was horrible.

    Eventually he moved off me on to the statue but then decided to try to claw my hair tie off as I moved away. I got away and left the area. I was actually shaking – which really surprised me. You read things and think you’ll know how you’ll react but then it happens and you don’t feel so calm about the whole thing!

    They look all cute but they are right little ba*****ds. I’m in Ubud for a month and I won’t be going there again. They have no fear whatsoever and are really unpredictable.

    • Oh no, sounds like you had a very scary experience in the Monkey Forest! I have heard several people telling similar stories like you, that they got attacked for no reason. These monkeys are so unpredictable!

      Hope you are ok now. Enjoy your time in Ubud!


  25. I too was attacked at the sanctuary within probably 15 minutes of being there. I purposely didn’t buy bananas for the reason of being harassed by monkeys. Turns out they don’t really appreciate being laughed at. I was giggling at a monkey trying to snatch a purse, and a bigger one came up behind me and bit my arm. Lesson learned : don’t laugh at the monkeys. Currently looking into a clinic to get a shot for rabies at.

    • OMG! I can`t believe that they reacted to you laughing, the monkeys at Monkey Forest are really crazy and mean! Good idea to get the rabies shot. Hope you are ok, get well soon!


  26. hi Maria , thank you for writing about your experiences at Monkey forest in Ubud , judging by the number of comments from people who have also been attacked it would appear that the monkeys there have no fear whatsoever of visitors & can be aggressive for no reason ( apparently ) also . Who knows perhaps they resent tourists entering into what they consider their territory ?

    To be honest this is not altogether surprising since they are wild animals ! I am glad I read your blog because after reading this , I will never be tempted to visit a monkey sanctuary anywhere in the world . my daughter is going to Bali in a few days time so I will give her a heads up about the monkey forest , ( although I do not think it is on her itinerary )

    • Hi Eithne,

      I agree, it is really not that chocking that the monkeys attack visitors since, as you say, the monkeys are wild and not pets. But we have visited several temples and parks with monkeys (both in Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka) and none of them have been as aggressive as the ones in Monkey Forest in Ubud. After this experience, I have become more afraid of monkeys and I never feed the monkeys or go near them.

      I`m sure your daughter will have a great time in beautiful Bali! Wish her a nice and safe trip!


  27. I lived in Ubud about 8 months (now i live in Java) and i’ve walked through the forest several times. So, i was lucky that the monkeys didn’t attact me. Perhaps they were full of bananas at that times.

    • Hehe, yeah the monkeys were probably too occupied by eating bananas. 🙂 As long as you take precautions you will be fine walking through the forest.

      Happy travels!


  28. Heading to Bali in May and reading all these comments abit 50/50 on wether to go here I really like the monkeys but they seem to not like people so much. I worry about them taking my camera or mobile phone as being a photographer it a vital part of my life to have both.

    I just wondered where the best place to get rabies jabs if you get attacked I have option of buying jab before I go expensive though and still need to take two more jabs if get bitten!.

    • Hi Richard,

      We brought both our cameras and mobile phones into Monkey Forest and we were not robbed of any of our photo equipment. But of course, one never know, so you should be cautious and not provoke the monkeys in any way. Do not bring any food, bananas or water bottles into the forest as this will make the monkeys attack you.

      I don`t know anything about rabies or rabies vaccines, sorry.

      Have a great trip to Bali!


    • Hi Richard! Hubbie and I visited the Monkeys last year and will be back again next week so might see you there! I did get bitten the first time but I was silly not to listen to our driver who said don’t bring any food in (unless you want to buy bananas inside from the staff) as the older ones will try and get it off you. I gave mine an apple but still got a nip! The ladies at the clothing stall however saw me washing my cut and took me straight in for iodine and a plaster; job done! All the monkeys are treated for rabies and I had already had tetanus boosters etc before arriving from the UK. As for them taking cameras etc, we had no problem filming them and taking lots of photo’s. They are mainly curious about trying to get into an open rucksack or take bottles of water from your hand as they like to play with the plastic lids! That said, if you read the guidance notes, as long as there is nothing like loose chains, earrings or something else “shiny” they might think looks attractive, you will be fine. The babies are especially cute and will happily jump onto you or an extended arm to have a good look as us “funny humans”! Please don’t be put off – I can’t wait to go back. 🙂

  29. I’m reading this as I sit in an ER room in the US getting my second round of rabies shot from a monkey bite haha.

    My experience was similar to the writers. Honestly, I feel that the monkey felt threatened. I put my hands up to other people freaking out and he grabed my hand and bit me. I got jumped on a total of 3 times and a water taken away. I had essential oils in my backpack ?. If I go back it will be with only my camera and empty pockets. I wasnt upset with the monkey but I am a little upset with the fact that they let you in with things that can intice the monkeys. I mean how hard is it to say empty your pickets and leave your belonging in your car or put them in a locker. It would make things safer for everyone. When entering there you are entering their world. They are only doing what is natural to them.

    • Hi Angie,

      OH MY GOD!!! I can`t believe you too got bit by the monkeys!!! I`m so sorry to hear that! 🙁

      Yeah, I agree, they should ban bringing food and water bottles into the Monkey Forest. When we visited, some ladies were selling bananas at the entrance of the forest, encouraging people to buy bananas and feed the monkeys. That is like asking to be attacked if you ask me!

      Hope you are ok though!!

      All the best,

    • Hmm, I have never heard about this B-virus, but yes it seems like humans can get it from monkeys if getting bit or scratched but it is very rare. Sadly there are no vaccines available for B virus. One more reason to be careful when visiting the Monkey Forest in Ubud!



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