One of the main attractions in Ubud is definitely monkey forest (Sacred monkey forest sanctuary). It is situated right next to the town, so you can’t really miss it.
Monkey forest offers a unique combination of nature, animals and temples. In the middle of forest there is a Hindu temple. When we were in the forest, there were no ceremonies, just tourists. And monkeys, of course.
By searching the web, we obtained the information, that there were more than 600 monkeys (long-tailed macaques) in the forest in 2011. We cannot confirm the numbers, but there definitely are a lot of them (seems like thousands). They are very confident and not afraid of people at all. They easily climb people for some food and even fight with them. We saw them climbing on everyone and people were very happy seizing the moment for photos. In one case a kid was hiding a bottle of water behind his back. Monkey attacked him from behind, stealing the bottle and running around, celebrating majestic victory – typical monkey business. They are lying and hoping around everywhere, not minding people at all (except for their food).
We witnessed quite a few fights among male monkeys for domination. In one of them a full grown male came charging towards us with full speed and it was a bit scary. We had a bad experience with similar monkeys when we were in Kenya (monkeys attacked Maruša), so we keep our distance.
Monkey forest is a nice place to visit, especially in a hot day. There is a lot of shade and it is cooler than elsewhere in town. You can hike on a path through the forest, where you see all the monuments and lovely nature.
If you are in Ubud visiting monkey forest is a must. But be sure to follow the rules. If they attack you, it can get really nasty. And monkeys bite, of course. In that case you also need a shot against rabies. Also leave all your bags outside. They can even steal your sunglasses, wallets from your pocket etc. Try to carry as little as possible and do not hide any food from them. If you do, monkeys will smell it and find it for sure. And then you will have a lot of explaining to do to the monkeys. 🙂
Oh and one more thing: monkeys are very well fed, which shows. 🙂 The bananas which you can buy at the entrance are not necessary.