Mean Monkey Monday 13


Love, love, love Ubud and its cheeky monkeys. Not sure I’d feed them though…

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I’m guessing it never crossed his mind to think “how is this game going to end?” Sounds like it ended pretty lucky for him.


“make their home in the area”

I’m always appreciative when others visit my home. I prefer that they call first, but if they show up unannounced and proceed to visit as if I weren’t even there (yes you, Keith), well, sorry if I’m not cute or exhibit a tad of meanness.

They’re fucking PJ’s and I haven’t had my coffe yet, do you want one or not. sigh Come on in. Fucking tourists. How long is polite enough before I ask them to leave?


Habituating wild animals to humans - and worse, having them come to look at humans as a food source - very seldom works out well. In the US, tourists, backcountry travelers, and new transplants to rural areas need to remember this, especially with bears. “A fed bear is a dead bear.”


Could be worse. The Sacred Grizzly Forest sells ladyfingers to feed the animals.


Twenty-odd years ago I got my nose swiped and scratched by one of those tenacious little bastards when I took exception to his attempts to steal my sash. One of the minders/groundskeepers told me that if I was going to walk around the monkey forest, I needed to get myself a “monkey stick”. So I grabbed a stick off the ground and discovered that it worked wonders - no need for man-on-monkey violence, they just saw the stick and chose other targets to harass.


Did you witness the “steal your glasses off your face and wait for proper bribe” trick?


I’ve been to this forest. Watched the monkeys steal a guy’s sunglasses off of his head and the fellow have to bribe a handler/local to give the monkey food to get them back. A nice scam, that.

Monkeys are evil little fuckers.


Ha. I just mentioned this without seeing your mention of it.

Yes, the babies sure are cute.

We were there last year, and it’s a great experience. But I’m baffled by how the author seemed completely unprepared and clueless. If you do even the most basic research on this park you will learn:

  2. Don’t bring in anything that looks like food
  3. Keep iphones, cameras, etc. stowed securely in zippered pockets, as the monkeys will try to steal them.
  4. If a monkey gets close or seems overly interested in you, look away and back off.
  5. Unfortunately, rabies has made its way into this monkey population, so you want to be even more cautious than you might be otherwise.

Also – seems like common sense that you wouldn’t bring children to an environment full of wild animals with giant teeth who have become accustomed to having no fear of humans.

If you don’t act like an idiot and keep in mind that these are potentially aggressive wild animals, it’s a fun place to visit and observe macaques interacting with each other. The temples and other statuary are also interesting.

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That’s a great point, and something I wish I’d thought of before we started down the path. I’m keenly aware of letting wild animals be wild when I’m at home, so I can’t quite say why I fell into the trap of thinking feeding wild animals would be a good idea when I’m traveling, other than perhaps some sort of blanket acceptance (or naïveté) that it was okay because it was something a lot of people did. And I didn’t do enough research before buying those tickets. It was a great learning experience, though, for the whole family.

All good points. But everyone, and I mean everyone was feeding the monkeys. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, of course, but it is sold as part of the family-friendly experience. When the monkey is rushing you, it’s not easy to back off; they move damn fast. Before you can take a step backwards, it’s up your legs and on your head, and trying to open your backpack. And it’s hard to move away from a monkey when it jumps onto you from the top of a statue or launches itself at you from out of a tree.

Maybe things have changed since your visit, because the vast majority of the macaques did very little interacting with each other during the time we were there, aside from fighting over bananas. We saw three of them grooming each other at the cremation temple, but that was it.

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I don’t know when you were there but when I was there two years ago, not only was everyone feeding the damn things but other folks were selling food to tourists in order to feed the monkeys. I’m not sure what “research” you did but that was the reality in the park…


I run a bootcamp in Bali (, and we have our headquarters about 100m from the Monkey Forest. I just came back from 2 and a half months staying there, and I have many stories about the monkeys - who wander off from the Monkey Forest - coming by our villa, usually in the morning.

The worst story had very big monkeys inside the villa, trapping me in my room, and forcing me to phone out to people in the nearby co-work space (Hubud), who showed up with an airgun and a couple of broomsticks. Until then, a very big, aggressive monkey sat above my door to my room, and bared its teeth and acted aggressively whenever I approached the door. NOT FUN.

It’s all reminiscent of the times when I was very young, when bears were fed in National parks. That was bad for all involved, especially the bears.

The merchants and farmers in the area all have slingshots and take potshots at the little bastards in the morning, before the tourists heave out of bed. But the tourists don’t like to see these vermin being shot at, and so they move in during the day.

Two months in Ubud were paradisaical, but interactions with the monkeys removed any idea that they’re other than nasty, dangerous beasts.

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See, if this was me, I’d go in with a big scary mask of some sort that I could slip on to freak the little buggers out if need be. Maybe some sort of non-toxic spray that they don’t like the smell of too.

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Ya! What could possibly go wrong?! Thank you, Mr. Carlson!

“As God is my witness, I thought the monkeys would just run.”


That was our exact experience as well. Tourists are actively encouraged to feed the critters.

I went to the Monkey Forest in Ubud before, awesome place. I am disappointed that you do not have a picture of the mossy monkey statue that is sporting an enormous erection…

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