The little monkey looked at Ben with a glint in his eye, before leaping around him, grabbing onto his backpack and hauling himself onto Ben’s shoulders. He tried to open zips and rummaged around in pockets, knowing exactly where to put his sneaky little hands. When he realised there was no food, off he leapt to find another unwitting tourist.
Ubud Monkey Forest is great fun. Nestled in the heart of Ubud, visitors can get up close and very personal with the residents, who are protected and much loved by the locals. It’s a large forested area, filled with temples and shrines that hint at the sacredness of the place. Monkeys are revered in Hindu mythology, and here they have free reign, leaping around statues, climbing on tourists and eating all the banana, papaya and sweet potato they could ever wish for.
We got there early in the morning, walking along the paths and wooden walkways between the temples and trees. One of my favourite spots was the holy pool. A small pond lay at the foot of a huge banyan tree, with a stone carved Dragon Bridge linking two sides of a narrow gorge. Everywhere was a perfect blend of nature, culture and history, all with monkeys scurrying everywhere you looked.