Monkey Forest temple in Ubud, Bali.
03.04.2013 - 03.04.2013
Our week of Yoga had been pretty regimented in terms of schedule as we wanted to immerse ourselves in it as well as slow down a bit during our downtime. It wasn't till the last few days that we ventured out and about more to see what Ubud had to offer. Having seen BAWA clinic in action and deciding to take on volunteering we wanted to make sure where the office was for pick up. And conviently it was on the road called Monkey Forest, which meant we could fit in some culture by visiting the temple that is situated within the forest. The other attraction, which I kind of understand, is to see the vast amounts of Long Tailed Macaques who roam free around the grounds.
Before we headed to the grounds we stopped off at this idyllic restaurant called Tropical View which offered a fantastic view of the rice fields. And the meal was pretty damn good too!
The temple grounds itself is quite cool, in that like Ta Prohm temple within Angkor Wat the jungle and the stone carvings have moulded together over time to create a mystical imagery. Indiana Jones fans would be in their element! Within the grounds there is a Balinese Hindu temple that is very sacred to the Balinese people. The walk from the entrance to the temple is a nice one and as you meander along the paths you instantly see the second attraction at work.
As soon as we entered a macaque ran up to a pram and stole the food from the bottom ....cheeky bugger ! But to be honest if your dumb enough to leave it there you deserve it really. It clearly states that the monkeys will find whatever food you have, even if its in your pocket.
This one had stolen someone's ticket!
What I didn't count on was one of the Macaques being interested in my water bottle which I let drop to the floor because it said to do so in the guidelines, probably because they could become dangerous if refused what they are going after. I've seen some wildlife program's where these types of monkeys flip out and bite people and consequently transmit a disease, so I wasn't going to tempt fate by keeping hold of my plastic bottle.
It was a bit funny watching it figure out there was water in it and pouring it everywhere other than in its mouth.
I think it is good that these monkeys are allowed to roam free but the problem is that people are more often quite stupid and have this narrow idea of how to interact with a wild animal, making it potentially dangerous in some cases. There were a few times when we saw parents allowing their small child to run around without keeping an eye on them, as they were too engrossed in trying to take a photo of monkey scratching its butt for all I know. One toddler was running straight towards a big male! Sarah and I both were on edge at that moment.
We made our way down some steps to another area and it was there that we got a glimpse of what the Komodos will look like when we make it too Flores! I hope they re not this big!
It was in this area that you got the real Indiana Jones feel to it all. I was thinking where was the secret passage to the golden shrine!!
Walking onwards to the temple we had to pass more and more Macaques and watching them steal or clean each other was quite fun but to be honest I was a bit wary of them to enjoy it at times.
The temple itself was true to Balinese design with beautiful stone carvings. Before we entered we had put on traditional Balinese attire and were given sarongs so as to cover the lower part of our body as a mark of respect. As we walked in the Macaques were doing their thing. Some even licking the walls which I can only imagine was for the water in the stone or getting nutrients from the moss.
As we looked around the small area I did end up watching one Macaque search for water out of the tap whilst defending it from the others which was quite funny.
I also got a picture of this pretty thing as well.
After walking around we headed back to the entranced not before encountering this small fella being fed...
It was a nice experience to see the area and I think we felt better for taking the time to venture out from the shops/cafes/resturants of central Ubud.
The next day would be our first day at BAWA clinic....
Stay tuned for more tales