After a pretty damn wonderful start to the day exploring a bunch of Balinese Temples – it was time to head to the gorgeous Ubud region, about a 60 minute drive north of Seminyak. The appeal of heading to this more mountainous area was a slightly cooler climate, lush forests and the (in)famous Monkey Temple!
The Monkey Temple – or more officially known as Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – is located in the heart of Ubud and is a much loved tourist hotspot. Here you can get up close and personal with many beautiful monkeys!
Entrance to the forest costs around $3 AUD and is a self guided visit. Visitors are encouraged to not try to touch the monkeys, but of course, many people do try to seek them out for a good photo. Within several minutes of entering the park I watched a young German woman trying to get a picture with a baby monkey get badly bitten by its mother – so I was pretty happy to keep a reasonable distance!
I will high five Great White Sharks with no hesitation – but I’m not keen on getting rabies!
My gorgeous red maxi skirt had been a wonderful choice for visiting regular temples, but was not an ideal clothing choice for visiting the Monkey Temple! The bright colour seemed to attract the monkeys and I had several of the medium sized ones bite the hem of my skirt and then try to climb up it! To anyone planning a visit here in the future – neutral colours are your friend.
Another tip: keep a close eye on your belongings – these cheeky devils are opportunists and will take any given opportunity to grab your bags in the hopes of finding some tasty snacks!
As a midwife – I spend a lot of time helping new mums and bubbies breastfeed – it was pretty cool to see these little monkeys do the same! It’s strange how similar human and monkey babies are.
After reaching 9/10 on the sweat-o-meter – it was time to say goodbye to my primate mates and see a little more of what Ubud had to offer.
Next up was the gorgeous Ubud rice terraces. I had come at the wrong time of year to witness these terraces at their most beautiful – but they were still pretty damn gorgeous!
There are several tours taking people on guided walks around these terraces – but some of the best views can be found just by walking along the main drag – helpful for the traveller on a budget!
After all my exploring – I was fast becoming pretty peaky and sitting down with a coffee was pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered! My driver suggested one of the small coffee plantations making Luwak coffee. I wasn’t much interested in trying the Luwak coffee – the beans are harvested from the dung of the Luwak! but there was a large selection of teas and other coffee varieties to try – so off I went.
My favourite of the teas was the extremely sweet mangosteen tea. I cannot put my finger on exactly what it tastes like – but it reminded me of when I used to drink spoonfuls of jelly (Americans: jello) before it had been put in the fridge to set.
The hazelnut coffee was also pretty damn delicious!
After recharging my batteries – it was time to head back to Seminyak for a nice solid nights sleep before my bestie Tessa arrived the following day!
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Denpasar: AirAsia flies from Darwin to Bali almost daily and return flights can be nabbed for between $100-$300 depending on the time of year
Made Paul Artawan: This wonderful and hard-working Balinese driver can be contacted through Facebook Message – he is available for full day hire during school holidays and half day hire during school days
Monkey Temple: Located in the heart of Ubud, it is about 70 minutes north of Seminyak
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm M.Zuiko Pro Lens
Threads: I am wearing a cute as maxi by Aussie label Tigerlily
Remember: Wear neutral colours, hold onto your bags and don’t pick up baby monkeys!