|Approach #1: I am every animal's friend
In this mood, you bulk up on bags of peanuts and bunches of bananas at the park entrance and approach these little proto-humans knowing that all they need is a kind word, the human touch and some hand-feeding. This approach works well for people with military experience who are accustomed to ambushes and don't mind septic wounds.
|Approach #2: I am a monkey's uncle (aunt)
In this scenario, you make a tall, dignified monkey of yourself and pass through the furry throngs minding your own business. You are neither friend nor foe nor caterer. Your mind thinks monkey thoughts if it thinks at all. Do this well and no one will want to play with you, which, considering their idea of fair play, is a good thing.
|Tourist Square About 100 meters from the entrance is the main tourist hangout where the first four pictures on this page were taken. Most people don't venture much farther than this, perhaps because there are lots of other people (so you get to watch double the number of monkeys), because of small children in strollers or maybe they're reluctant visitors dragged to the forest by enthusiasts.|
|Taking a break
Leela and I had been to the Monkey Forest in 1992 and once was enough for the lady. So she explored Ubud while I visited the relatives. Ubud is nice and small and laid out along two roads so it's pleasant enough to just say you'll run into each other in a couple of hours and not have to make plans to meet at a definite time and location.
Just off the main square is an arched stone bridge leading to the most interesting part of the forest. You'll know you've arrived when you see Ganesha overlooking a small, square, moss-covered pool with several koi swimming at his feet.
It's hard not to like baby monkeys. They have all the charm of human babies and they live out.
This is the reaction you get when you're in touch with your simian self...
...and this is the response you can expect when you're only human.
|Monkey on my back
This must be a common complaint among the stone dragons. In either direction away from Ganesha's pool are stone steps leading further down. Take them and you'll discover the most exotic part of the forest. It's so primeval very little light gets down there so I don't have any photos --- you'll have to go see for yourself.
Like Mom said, it never hurts to look your best. I never had a brother to check my pelt for parasites but judging by the look on this chap's face, it isn't too painful an experience.
When I finally left the pool and crossed back over the bridge, things were happening. A mid-20s tourist with a bunch of bananas was teasing the monkeys for the amusement of his friends. The monkeys tolerated this rudeness for about 45 seconds before this fellow crept up from behind and took the entire bunch away from him. Then he sat in a tree and laughed.