It would be an absolute travesty to travel to Bali and not visit the Monkey Forest and Temple in Ubud. It is everything you expect and more… This beautiful temple in the forest is on a river and there are monkeys everywhere you look. Bananas are available for purchase throughout the temple to feed the monkeys, but beware, they may seem cute, however, they can be quite vicious. Make sure to hang on to your cameras, phones and definitely do not wear your sunglasses on your head, as they will be quickly snatched. Overall, the monkeys are playful and friendly, though I did witness several people get bitten – though no blood was shed.
One of my favourite things I have done throughout my time in Bali thus far has been the sunrise hike of Mount Batur. Mount Batur is a volcano located close to Ubud that most recently erupted in 2000. We were late arriving at the base to begin our trek, so a leisurely 2.5-3 hour hike to watch the sunrise turned into a race up a steep 5, 600+ feet to make it in time. This is a must see for anyone traveling to Bali, it is undeniably worth the myriad of emotions you will feel throughout the journey. To make your hike go as smoothly as possible, here are my suggestions:
- Bring a warm sweater as it is quite cold for the first third of the way up as generally people start their climb around 3:30am
- Bring a large water bottle as well as food for when you reach the summit, I personally needed a snack around 5:30am – though there will be both food and beverage for sale by locals who do the hike every morning
- Wear comfortable athletic shoes with good grip – bear in mind that a large portion of your hike will be through lava stone
- Make sure you’re camera battery is fully charged and has plenty of memory – the view is exquisite
- If you have the option of hiking to the 3rd peak after sunrise, it is definitely worth the extra trek
- Bring sunglasses for the walk back down and be sure to have plenty of water left – once the sun rises the heat becomes pretty intense
Here are some photos from my hike:
Today I am particularly grateful for my siblings. I have always known that my family dynamic isn’t like most. The 5 of us share a bond that extends far past genetic ties. When I first moved to Toronto just over 6 years ago, I couldn’t wait to get out of Montreal and out of my parents’ house. My sister, Michelle, was only 12 at the time and my brother, Brett, was spending his 11th grade in boarding. I never could have imagined that so many years later, I would be lucky enough to have Brett living in TO and that I would have managed to create an amazing friendship with Michelle despite the distance and age gap. We get so caught up in the hustle of daily life that we sometimes forget what really matters. School might be stressful, work might not be going well, my love life might be lacking – to say the least, but at the end of the day it’s comforting to know that there are people who love me unconditionally and who will be there waiting for me at whatever finish line I cross.
I love you both to the moon and back…