Hi guys, this is all about Sangeh, Bali Island.

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Sangeh is a protected forest in the village of Sangeh, Abiansemal district, Badung regency and is approximately 50 km or takes over 45 minutes from the capital of Bali, Denpasar. The nature and wildlife tourism site can be reached from Ubud within a distance of about 20 km or about 25 minutes.

The protected forest area is about 14 hectares of nutmeg trees (Dipterrocarpus Trinervis) with the height of approximately 50 meters. The forest is also home for more than 700 monkeys of Macaca Faciculais species or grey monkey. This tourist site is also known as the Monkeys village. The monkeys are free to roam around the village. They also are sacred and respected by the local people. According to the legend, monkeys in the Sangeh area have a king with three empires.

In the middle of the Sangeh woods, there is also a temple called Pura Bukit Sari. This temple is believed to be built by the ruler of Mengwi kingdom. It was told in the Babad Mengwi Papyrus, a king’s daughter named Ida Batara Gunung Agung wanted to be brought to Mengwi kingdom as long as she was allowed to carry her residence on Mount Agung.

According to the will of the princess, Pala forest in Gunung Agung is mysteriously moved at night to the kingdom of Mengwi. However, on its way to Mengwi, someone witnessed the event so that the transfer was not successful and stopped.

Since then, the area where it stopped was called Sangeh which means “someone saw”. Former building was later found by the adoptive son of the first king of Mengwi named I Gusti Agung Putu. Then the king’s son was ordered to rebuild the temple and named it Pura Bukit Sari.

To enter the Sangeh area, visitor is charged $0.8 for adults and $0.5 for infants. A foreign tourist is charged $1.2 for adults and $0.5 for the infants. It was the price at June 2013. Ticket prices are subject to change at any time. In addition, visitors will be accompanied with officers of site managers or guides dressed in traditional Balinese that are gladly to help at any time. This site is open for visitors from 8 am to 6 pm every day.

When entering the tourist area at the gate or the Balinese calls it Candi Bentar (Bentar Temple), there is a large statue of a giant knight being attacked by dozens of monkeys. The giant knight is known as Kumbhakarna from puppetry story of Ramayana. There are also two lion statues and one of them looks like parenting a young monkey.

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After entering the gate there is a path fenced with stone wall for about 200 yards to the forest area. In this forest, we will find the highest temple called Pura Bukit Sari. This temple has a small pond which is usually used by the monkeys for bathing. Furthermore there is a small temple called Pura Melanting and a large temple called Pucak Sari.

At the corner of the temple, there are statues of monkeys with beautiful architectural details. These temples are sacred places and often filled with monkeys who are playing and hanging out. The monkeys are believed by locals as the “duwe” or belonging to gods who protect this place. Therefore visitors are obliged to respect the monkeys.

In addition to temples, other objects that can be enjoyed by visitors are the beauty of the Nutmeg trees that grow lush which according to information of the tour guide the trees are over hundreds of years old. The nutmeg tree is a great tree that so many people want to have it. It is said that it cannot be moved out because the nutmeg trees will die when planted elsewhere.

When heading to the end of the road towards the exit, visitors will see a giant sacred tree. The tree is a Pule tree which its wood is often used to create a mask for Balinese special occasions.

Pule tree is called the Tree of Lanang Wadon (men and women) by the local community, because the bottom of the tree is look like the female and male genitalia. Local people also cannot arbitrarily take away or cut down these trees. Cutting them should fit well with the date calculation and required worshipping the gods as permission.

There are some rules that must be obeyed by visitors when entering this Sangeh tourist area.

Visitors are prohibited to disturb the monkey, must dressed decently, trashing or littering are prohibited in the areas, woman is prohibited to enter the temple when menstruating, forbidden to speak bad and rude words, do not spit and urinate in places and must comply with customs regulations. Those regulations must be obeyed because Sangeh tourism area is classified as sacred by the Balinese.

There are some important tips that visitors must know before entering the area of Sangeh. It is advised to buy a packet of foods like peanuts or corn to be given to the monkeys. The food can be purchased at stalls around the entrance and parking area. Price of a packet of food is ranging from $0.2 – $0.5. Monkeys in Sangeh will be friendly if well fed.

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There are some slightly naughty monkeys, therefore, be careful with your belongings. Naughty monkeys usually seize objects that you hold. But you do not need to worry the monkeys have become accustomed to human presence so they will not attack you as long as you are polite and not afraid of them.

Being polite to the Sangeh monkeys is indicated by feeding them. Put food directly into the hands of a monkey with bowing and do not throw it to them. Do not panic when the monkeys approach you so that the monkeys are not afraid and do not attack you. The monkeys in Sangeh are actually cute and adorable. Some of them are not afraid to touch and climb your shoulder. It is heavy though, but the monkeys will not hurt you.

Monkeys in Sangeh, Bali via balitourismboard.org
Monkeys in Sangeh, Bali via balitourismboard.org

Visitors can also buy souvenirs in the Sangeh tourism area. There are many small stalls selling wooden sculptures shaped monkey, t-shirts with monkey pictures, key chains and various Balinese and Sangeh souvenirs. If you have the chance to visit Bali, do not forget to come to this exciting and beautiful natural and wildlife tourism.

 

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