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Entries in what to do in bali (5)


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.



Bali Photo of the Day ~ Figure Eight

Todays photo of the day from Bali is of a longed necked Flamingo striking an almost abstract pose.

Bali's Bird and Reptile Park houses over 1000 birdsOur Eco-travel tour took a day off from adventure touring to pay a visit to The Bali Bird and Reptile Park. It provides sanctuary for over 1000 birds of 250 species.  It also is home to the venemous Komodo Dragon. If you would like to learn more about our Komodo Dragan Photo Safari Tour, please click here.

Happy travels from Balifornian.


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Beach Boys Loving Life in Sanur ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours

Our Art and Culture Tour stopped by beautiful Sanur Beach yesterday to photograph the fisherman, the colorful painted catamarans and the many photographic opportunities avalible on one of Bali's best beaches. Thats all the encouragement this fun-loving group of young boys needed to willingly pose for some fun shots.

Bali Photography Tour VillasBeach boys loving life on Sanur Beach in BaliIf you like photography and want to learn to take better images what better way to do it then in paradise on our newly released Culture and Photography tour

Bali~ Deep Culture Photography Tour. October 19th-26th, 2012

The September tour is already sold out but spots are still avalible for the October tour. Click here for more information.
Deep cultural submersion, professional guidance and instruction, and personal enrichment. Not only will you be exposed to exquisite natural beauty and ancient culture unlike any other on the planet, you will be lead by experienced guides in well-appointed accommodations. This unique tour is far from a generic tourist trip to a paradise island. Each location has been carefully selected for its photographic challenges and rewards. It has taken decades of experience to create this tour and we welcome you to join us for eight days in Bali’s fascinating and vibrant culture, its majestic natural landscape and the warmth and generosity of its people.
For full information please go to
and sign up today to reserve your spot.

These small custom tours only allow 12 people so you get more instruction and the locations YOU want.

Happy travels!


Nightlife in Bali ~ Kuta

This blog post has been moved. Please click here.


Only 1 week to spend in Bali? No problem- let us help

Although Balifornian Tours are usually 12 days, we can work with you to create a tour of any duration and help you make the most out of your holiday vacation.  Travel smarter, travel with Balifornian.

Please contact us for more information.  All photos by Michael Doliveck