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Avoiding Monkey Business in Bali

Recent Visitors to Bali Share a Story of Seeing Eye to Eye with the Monkeys of Uluwatu.

(4/18/2008) 

Mike and Linda, we tried to warn you!

Michael and Linda Collier, two regular visitors to Bali and former long-term residents in Jakarta, have just returned from their latest visit to Paradise with another story of adventure to share with friends back home in the U.S.A..

Loyal and much-loved customers of Balidiscovery.com's travel services, we caught up for dinner in Ubud on the penultimate day of their latest Bali holiday. Over a wonderful meal of Indonesian food at Mendez's, they recapped their re-discovery of Bali over the preceding week and revealed plans to wrap up their tour with a visit to the Uluwatu temple on the Ungasan peninisula – one of the Island's most sacred temples - a site that how somehow escaped their attention during their many past visits.

Endorsing their itinerary choice and suggesting some points-of-interest along the way, balidiscovery's President Director, Jack Daniels, recommended they try to time their visit to coincide with sundown to enjoy the magical kecak chorus that performs on the limestone cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Jack also offered Mike and Linda a note of practical caution; urging them to be extremely wary of the light-fingered band of macaque monkeys who rule the roost at Uluwatu temple. The stories of monkeys scampering off with pens, cameras, purses, jewelry and eyeglasses number only slightly less than the number of tourists who visit the magestic temple perched high atop an ocean-side cliff.

We Told You So!

Last week, Linda, now back home, sent an email acknowledging our precautionary advice and sharing the following tale:

"When we went to Uluwatu at sunset the last day in Bali, we were very careful about the monkeys. About 6:00 PM, all the monkeys seemed to disappear, so we let our guard down. A little later, I heard some commotion. A monkey had grabbed Michael's glasses (his only pair!) and climbed up on the roof of the building. Dewa got the guards, who tossed the monkey a sweet potato. The monkey dropped the glasses, which fortunately slid down the roof near where Michael was standing. So he got the glasses back with just minor damage! It was funny…after the fact!"

While we're delighted to hear that Michael got his glasses back, although slightly worse for the wear, we think Mike and Linda Collier's story offers practical lessons for Bali travelers that can be gleaned from their experience: a) always listen carefully when your travel agent provides words of caution b) generally expect the unexpected when on holiday anywhere in the world, and c) come to Bali armed with a sense of humor.

Coming soon – an article exploring the scientific link between nearsightedness in humans and obesity among Bali's monkey population, and an on-line guide containing useful tips on opening your own sweet-potato franchise in paradise.

Send us Your Bali Monkey Story!

Send us you Bali monkey encounter story [Email Link for Submitting Your Taming the Monkeys of Bali Story]. We'll publish the best emails and rewarded the author with peanuts, bananas and pairs of slightly-used sun glasses.

Such a deal!