Exploring the Sangeh Monkey Forest in Bali

The Sangeh Monkey Forest affords visitors the chance to see Bali’s famous long-tailed macaques. These highly active grey monkeys live in this sanctuary, also known as Obyek Wisata Bukit Sari Sangeh. The sanctuary includes several temples partly inhabited by the monkeys, located far inside the fine forest (including impressively tall nutmeg and striking mahogany trees) that also serves as their home. The main temple, Pura Bukit Sari, is a sight in itself and is over three hundred and fifty years old.

This holy sanctuary is open every day and attracts visitors fascinated by these creatures and the beauty of the forest. Locals also visit and there are conveniences such as an art shop, souvenirs, places to buy food and drinks, and restrooms. Those who drive themselves will find plenty of parking space.

The art stalls sell a variety of interesting works and make for a nice stop while you are at the monkey forest. There are a number of trails for visitors to explore as well, so you can spend several hours at this site, which covers about thirteen hectares.

There are actually several “kingdoms” of monkeys within the Sangeh Monkey Forest. Each one has its own leader but there is just one king of the monkeys who lives around Pura Bukit Sari (or Pura Pucak Sari) and who rules over all. Besides monkeys, you may catch sight of many birds, reptiles, insects, and even other mammals. Additionally, there are many notable trees in the forest, including the unusual Male Female tree and Milkwood Pines. Some trees are quite old.

There are several other temples in the forest: Pura Anyar, Pura Melanting, and Pura Tirta. All are worth visiting and have been saved from ruin due to better understanding of their cultural and historical research.

It is perfectly safe to visit Sangeh Monkey Forest, but these monkeys were once famous for their skilled pickpocketing abilities. They are much better today, thanks to their increased familiarity with people and the efforts of the local community. The entrance fee is 5,000 IDR. It must be noted that women who are menstruating or mourning the death of a family member are asked not to enter because they are considered impure.

The Sangeh Monkey Forest is open for visitors from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is located about twenty kilometers north of Denpasar.

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