…….The World Without Boundaries

Monkey Forest & Ubud Market, Bali

Written By: jipp - May• 21•11

The ability of riding a bike is very much of great advantage when you are in Bali. I put my past life as a biker into full use again when I went there. The moment I started the engine, it was when the real adventure began. Yipppie!Our first destination was the Monkey Forest. Located just within a walking distance from Jati Homestay, we got there in less than 5 minutes.Monkey Forest is the name – so the name itself already says it all.You’ll probably see more monkeys here than anywhere else in Bali. I wasn’t sure why we were there considering how we had quite a fair share of exactly the same monkeys here in Malaysia. They were even exactly the kind of monkeys that you’d see jumping on people at the Batu Caves or even seen competing for bananas with the usually outnumbered Urang Utans in Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center in Sandakan.But of course, monkeys are monkeys. They’ll never fail to entertain you with their monkey-ness. Some of them were so humanly funny I had to keep reminding myself that they were monkeys and not humans.But then, if you took some time to really look at them, you’d see some cuteness in them especially the baby monkeys. They seemed adorable and cuddly, snuggly and sometimes hUgly. LOLz.

No no. I wouldn't fall for that. You just want banana.

Despite the continuous stream of visitors coming in and out of Monkey Forest, most of the monkeys would go about their own businesses in total oblivion of the passing humans. Some of them tend to be more attentive than you probably want them to be. They have probably been photographed too much that some of them seem to get angry when you snap photos at them.Every now and then the ladies that were doing the cleaning rounds would approach the visitors to sell their own bananas for their own pockets.They were not the official bananas. The OFFICIAL bananas could be bought at both entries to the forest. I didn’t even know there was such thing as official bananas. LOL!I was glad that we found an ancient-looking temple inside the Monkey Forest. At least we didn’t pay 15,000 rupiah just to see monkeys monkey-ing around among themselves.It would be our very first visit to a temple in Bali. Entry to most temples in Bali requires proper dressing. Most temples provide sarongs for free at the entrance so you don’t really have to wrap up yourself in thick pants or kebaya when you’re walking around Bali. They even help you put them on. Very niceyy.. The temple at Monkey Forest by Bali standard was nothing to be shouted about. In fact, it looks more like those temples that you’d see at many villages all over Bali. The only thing that make it different from other temples are probably the existence of monkey statues.And the temple at Monkey Forest was probably the only temple in Bali where you get to test the urine of a monkey.Ok, that was a stupid thing to do.  You don’t have to laugh on that. It’s not even funny. 😛

Our next destination was the Ubud Market. We were told by the karma taxi driver that Ubud Market is the best place to do shopping in Bali.Ubud Market is located right in the centre of Ubud Town. You can’t miss it when you go there. It’s not really a big market – you can probably cover the whole of it in less than an hour, depending on your ‘degree of fussiness’ – or sex if you might agree. LOL!I mean, it is a place of bargaining, just like any other markets in Bali. This place is one of the most visited places in Ubud so you know how the vendors here have all the experiences of pulling your bargaining power to the ground.Do not get intimidated. You know how consumerism concept is universal. The money is yours so the power is in you, not the vendors.One common trick that they use here (and most markets in Bali) is called ‘morning price’. They’d call it ‘pelaris’ – a belief (or rather their tool of forcing you to buy) that it TAKES SOMEBODY to buy something in order to get more people to buy things from them for the day.So, they want you to be that somebody. The problem is, they want somebody after somebody and even after 10 people have already bought things from them, they’d still somebody to buy something as a ‘pelaris’. This pelaris thingy is not really applicable after all. Do not fall for it.In fact, they’d use it as reason to scold you when you don’t buy anything from them. Ulai was all ready to claw her nail-less fists at a lady vendor who called her ‘brengsek’ I had to stop her before she commanded unnecessary attention from the public. He.Very common bargaining conversation to take place at Ubud Bali would be something like this.

Vendor:  How much?

You:  30,000 rupiah.

Vendor:  No. No. How much?

You:  30,000 rupiah.

Vendor:  No. No. How much?

It’s an unending business until you agree with their price they put or go to another stall. Here in Ubud Market, I’ve come to find out that it’s much easier to deal with the male vendors than the majority females. At least the male vendors are not really that forceful. Some of the females can be very sarcastic, you would still hear them nagging about you even when you are already a few stalls away. But of course, it’s much easier to ignore them then not.Oh, and I’ve never seen so many penises laying around FOR GRAB in my entire life. They come in different sizes, depending on your wants and needs. 😀SO, thinking that we would still come back here on our last day in Ubud, we only picked up a few stuffs, among others – this pink T-shirt!Can you believe it? A pink T-shirt, a color that is so not me!

I offered to buy this for Ulai, but she shot me with a disgusted look. I really thought it was a nice dress. 😛By then, it was time for lunch. Ulai had been bugging me with all the talks about Babi Guling. I’m not really a foodie person so I wasn’t as excited about coming to this place as she had been.Despite common belief, Babi Guling is not really a common meal here in Bali. It’s not like you get to see babi guling in every corner of Ubud or even Kuta. There are only few places in Bali where you get to see Babi Guling in their menus and one of the most popular ones is right here at a tepi jalan restaurant called Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka.And popular indeed there wasn’t even a single vacant seat when we went there and there were at least a dozen more people waiting to be seated, all eager to find out what the heck this ‘rolling pig’ here is all about.After about 15 minutes or so and nobody seemed to show any sign of leaving (Shit! Beer should be banned here! It tends to make people procrastinate!), I held my hands up and told Ulai that the time was up. She protested for awhile but I guess her own hungry stomach spoke louder for her.We hopped back onto the motorbike and sped away. Never mind the rolling pig, we found something just as interesting at another tepi jalan restaurant on the outskirt of Ubud.You wouldn’t believe but all of those had only cost us about 80,000 rupiah (RM30/USD10). I even had my first taste of Bintang Beer – Indonesian locally-produced beer, and I gotta say it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I never ordered anything else until my last night in Bali when I ordered San Miguel in Kuta but we’ll go there in some other entry. Oh, and this one was the killer. It’s called Babi Kecap and I didn’t know a pig’s foot could be cooked into something so delicious like that.

Always remember, you gotta get out of the touristy areas in order to get  the real deal.

And that actually applies in just about every part of the world.

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  1. Julie Lim says:

    Whenever I see wooden penises, it makes me wonder what are they for anyway? Do people buy them for deco purposes, to play a prank on someone or as a gift for sexually charged ladies, hehehe.

    • gbeejipp says:

      haha. I don’t know but people do buy them because it’s something that might don’t get anywhere else. Besides, it bears that ‘naughtiness’ it was to be given to somebody as a souvenir I guess. 🙂

  2. Arms says:

    Bali! I always wanted to go there after my friend showed me pictures and now after reading and seeing the pictures here, I think my WANT just doubled wakakaa.

    Official monkey bananas… good one. Maybe they taste better. but maybe a bit expensive. Izit?

    Haaha the urine of the monkey… won’t you be surprised if suddenly water comes out from there haaha.

    What is brengsek?? btw, I think I recognize her… Ulai right. Hmm do you happen to know Jeffrey Michael?

    • gbeejipp says:

      Hello Arms. Thanks for ur comment. Yupp, I’d recommend anybody to got o Bali esp for the culture. It’s very interesting. ‘Official’ and the ‘unofficial’ bananas are of the same type of bananas I think. There were many ladies selling bananas to the visitors (unoffically) and the money go to their pockets. These profit gained from these so-called official bananas would go the park management I think. I think I’ve met a Jeffrey at the Penang International Bridge Marathon last year but I’m not sure whether it was the same Jeffrey. As for brengsek, I’d let u google it. 🙂

  3. […] = {"data_track_clickback":true};WE were half-way through our second day in Bali and we had covered Monkey Forest, Ubud Market and a visit to the famous Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka without actually tasting the Babi […]

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  6. […] Bali by checking into Jati Guesthouse and Gallery in Ubud on the first day, visited the monkeys in Monkey Forest and shopping a bit at the Ubud Market on our second day, then going off the beaten track by riding aimlessly in the countryside of Ubud […]

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