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Entries in Monkey Forest (3)


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Komodo Dragon Sculptures Protects The Holy Bathing Temple

Balifornian's Art and Culture Eco-Tour

Todays Bali Photo of the Day comes to us from a recent Art and Culture Eco-Tour. We stopped into Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest, crossed the Dragon Bridge over the The Holy Bathing Temples where these two fellas have kept watch over the natural springs that pour from the side of the Monkey Forest Gorge.

Bali wellness komodo tourBali's Sacred Monkey Forest features two Komodo Dragon Carvings that protect the Holy Bathing SpringsSome say these beautifully carved Komodo Dragons have been overlooking these sacred Bathing Springs for hundreds of years. The Balinese still use these springs to cleans themselves and don't be surprised if you see naked or nearly naked locals taking part in the ritual.

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Bali’s Dragon Bridge of The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud

One of my favorite places to visit in Bali and one of my wife’s least favorite places is Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana. More commonly known as The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud. She has a slightly irrational fear of the mischievous simians but for most travelers and locals, a visit to The Sacred Monkey Forest is a fun one. Mind your shiny valuables and don't try to hide food in your pockets, but if you are aware of the potential pitfalls, the forest has much to offer.

best bali tour monkeyA mother monkey enjoys a tasty yam as her infant clutches her breast as another monkey flies by crossing The Dragon Bridge in Bali's Sacred Monkey Forest
Much has been written about the three troupes of playful long tailed macaques that call the forest home. Depending on whom you ask, there are somewhere between 200 and 600 of our primate cousins living amongst the 115 different speicies of trees in the dense forest. Instead here I would like to focus on one of my favorite places within the Monkey Forest.

There are many remarkable aspects of the Monkey Forest. There are three major temples, the oldest dating back to the 14th century, neatly one hundred fantastical sculptures, impressive huge trees and plants (complete with Tree Spirits), and there are even not one, but two monkey cemeteries. But my favorite is something different.
Bali tours monkey forestA huge Banyon Tree attempts to engulf The Dragon Bridge that crosses the gorge in Bali's Monkey Forest Sactuary
The elaborately carved Dragon Bridge crosses a narrow gorge in the middle of the forest. Its hard to date the bridge acurately. I have been told its more than 700 years old, but many stories and legends surround the mystical bridge. The bridge itself cuts directly through the truck of an enormous Banyon Tree and leads to The Holy Bathing Temple. 

Repairs have been made as when I visited a few years ago one of the dragon’s snouts had been broken off (most likely by a disrespectful tourist rather than a monkey). It has since been repaired and looks none the worse for wear. I suppose it helps that in a tropical setting like Ubud, moss will cover shaded stone in just a matter of months making it look like it has been there since the Majapahit Empire.
Bali travel sacred forestThe view from The Holy Bathing Temple across the Dragon Bridge and through the Banyon Tree in Ubud's Monkey Forest
I won't reveal the secrets of the forest and the current day stone carvers here, but I will say their talent is immense and the traditions remain strong. Come visit us for a special insider’s tour of The Sacred Monkey Forest and we will show you even more that most travelers miss. Pardon me, I said “we”, but I'm sure my wife will not join us for this part of the tour.



Balifornian Photos of the Day ~ Sisters getting friendly in Ubud's Monkey Forest

I had a hard time titling today's photo of the day. "Sisters get intimate in The Monkey Forest" sounded cheap and risque. And I was not going to make any bad "monkeying around" puns. But, today's Bali photos show what a great time two recent tour participants had on our Bali Culture Tour. We took April from Los Angeles and her sister Alyson from New York City to visit our simian friends in one of my favorite places, Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest.

Bali guided tour MonkeyBali Culture Tour to The Sacred Monkey ForestBali Tour Monkey tripUbud's Sacred Monkey Forest from Balifornian's Bali Culture TourHere is what April and Alyson had to say about their experience.

Thank you so much for organizing such an amazing trip. Everything was truly special and one I will never forget. You guys are not only an amazing tream, but are truly special people. I very much look forward to returning to Bali once your villas are built. Thank you again!- Alyson D. New York

Thank you both so much for a great great trip. You were both really thoughtful and accommodating and we learned so much from you about so many layers of Balinese culture and lifestyle. I will recommend your tour to everyone I know and I wish you both the most success and happiness.- April D. Los Angeles

We want to thank both of them for being such fun and wonderful tour participants and we had a blast with them.

To hear what other tour participants have to say about thier experience on Balifornian Tours check here.

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