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Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest in 360°
There are three well-known monkey forests in Bali: Ubud in Gianyar Regency, Sangeh in Badung Regency, and Alas Kedaton in Tabanan Regency. You can also find monkeys at many other temples in Bali, since Hindus consider the monkey a holy animal, and they seek to maintain good relations with nature. Whenever a temple got established within a forest where monkeys live, it has been necessary to preserve the surrounding natural habitat. Communities living near forests have always shown respect and protected the forests.
1. What to see
The forest of Alas Kedaton in Kukuh village has a population of around 400 monkeys, mostly the long-tailed or grey macaque (Macaca fascicularis). They are considerably tamer than the monkeys at the other tourist attractions, and run free in a 12-hectare forest. It is also worth noting that monkeys are cheeky here as well, so try to keep your zips closed to avoid your values (phones, cameras, pockets) getting stolen by them.
Aside from the tame monkeys, this place is also the home for hundreds of large bats (Pteropus vampyrus) hanging in the trees at the back end of the forest.
Right in the middle of the monkey forest stands Pura Alas Kedaton (also called Pura Dalem Kahyangan Kedaton), the local temple, which has four gates. The interior of the temple is a holy area, situated at a lower level, unlike the more common temple design in Bali in which the central holy area is at a higher level. Historic evidence suggests that the temple dates back to the megalithic period of Bali. Some of the relics found here are believed to be from the pre-Hindu period – prehistoric, in fact, from the era of the megalithic tradition in Indonesia.
2. When to see
The monkey forest is open daily 7am-6pm except on Nyepi day.
4. How to get there
Most tourists visit Bali on a package tour that includes an option to select from a range of excursions. If travelling on your own, probably the easiest way is to rent a car with a driver for an entire day. It is not recommended to drive on your own in Indonesia due to the general negligance of driving rules. Singposts are written with Latin alphabet, but it might be difficult to find remote places on your own.
5. Where to stay
There are plenty of hotels to stay in Bali, the best beaches can be found at Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dusa. If you prefer sightseeing, Sanur area is highly recommended since it has the best location to avoid the traffic jams of Denpasar.