After yesterdays crazy antics with corrupt police and dancing with the devil on a motorbike through the mountains, today was going to be taken at a slower pace.
Ubud boasts the best place in Bali to see the Monkeys and at a mere $3.00AUD entrance fee into Jalan Ubud Monkey Forest Park it’s a great place to chill out and watch people’s reactions around the monkeys
Elena’s been here before with her mother 3 years ago and never explored the entire park. So today that was our goal.
There are some golden rules when entering the park.
Of course there’s the no feeding, unless you buy the food from the vendors
Then there’s the unwritten rule that once you buy bananas don’t hide them from the Monkeys (unless you want to be chased and jumped on). We watched one poor guy try to causal bananas in his motorbike helmet as he ran down the path with monkeys in hot pursuit.
As I discovered, don’t get too close to the alpha males unless to want them hissing as you and coming uncomfortably close to your face.
Walk slowly, this way you’ll see more and you won’t tread on a small monkey that runs across the path in front of you. Remember you’re a guest in the park and with over 600 monkeys here you’re going to be out numbered.
There is only one breed of monkey here, the long-tailed macaques are so human like and will interact with you if you’re careful and don’t make moves that are sudden or startling to the macaques. We often had them running over us and even trying to pull off my bandanna.
In the midday heat we watched them swimming in a small pond and establishing their pecking order.
With several entrances to the park the monkeys have established several tribes and each tribe to defend a certain gate as this is generally where visitors to the park will buy bananas from the vendors. these paths are great to sit around and just watch the reactions of newcomers to the park. From the downright frightened to the absolutely fascinated people react in polar opposites.
At a rush you could walk through the park in less than 1 hour, but as we just loved being with the monkeys our 1 hour turned into 3 hours and with the pangs of hunger beating out a solid tune we left in search of food.
Cafe Wayan is located on what is know to the locals as “Monkey Walk” its the main street for tourists in Ubud. The steep is about 1.5km long and is an easy walk provided you don’t have a disability or wheelchair (like most Bali footpaths)
This little (or not so little now) cafe started out as a kiosk selling coffee and black rice pudding to rice farmers and over time has grown to be one of the best spots for lunch and dinner. We stopped here two days earlier for cake and coffee and loved the garden setting. so what better place to stop today for lunch.
Seated at a low table (like a coffer table with cushions around for seating) we soaked in the gardens. Well Elena soaked in the gardens, I soaked in a Bintang (the local beer). After smashing my way through a mild chicken curry I wanted to give the signature Black Rice Pudding a try.
With is porridge like gesture and tasting of a combination of burnt charcoal, coffee, chocolate and with its husk on half cooked rice texture…. I actually liked it, I couldn’t stop. it was really tasty and I had to contain myself from licking the bowl.
Sadly we’d finished, but this was;t yo be the last time at Cafe Wayan, as tonight we would return to catch a shuttle from here to go and see some traditional dancing on another property owned by Cafe Wayan.
Meeting at 7pm at Cave Wayan our driver shuttled us in science to Laka Leke a 10 minute drive from our home stay..
With an option of Buffet Dining or Ala Carte we opted for a salad and grilled pork and we seated front row after a little negotiation about being seated were we wouldn’t be able to see the show.
Make sure you take a torch as reading from the menu in the dark with the aid of a citronella candle is difficult The waitress will also bring you a story of what the dance is about, I suggest you read it as there’s no narrative to what is going on and it could leave you a little bewildered. I read what I could under the dim light and basically figured out is was a love triangle where in the end the good guy wins.
The show runs for 45 minutes so if you want light entertainment and don’t want to be out too late this is a good one to take the kids as the show starts at 8pm and your’e on the shuttle home by 9pm.