Monkeys and Massages, Ubud

One of the many monkeys just hanging out along Monkey Forest Road

Another heavy travel day for us as we made our way back to Bali after a quick 24-hour jaunt to Komodo. We ate a nice breakfast of banana pancakes and fruit and chilled out until we had to leave for our 12pm flight since there really wasn’t too much to do in town, or at least with the time restrictions we had. Departures at this airport were a whole other experience. There were 2 gates, and since the one security belt at the entrance wasn’t working, they just let us through. Just like that, no scanning our luggage or selves. Not even an ID check! We picked up our tickets since we prepaid these at a travel agency in Yogya (which they then faxed in for confirmation), at least these weren’t handwritten this time. We waited in the random departures holding room, then off we went via Lion Air. This was a pretty old school plane, what with its propellers being external under the wing and all.

Golo Hilltop Inn
Our view from our hotel, Golo Hilltop Inn, in Labuan Bajo
Another view alongside the pool at Golo Hilltop
Banana Pancakes Breakfast
My favorite breakfast on this trip, the banana pancakes at Golo Hilltop
Airport Terminal
The one “gate” that was inside Labuan Bajo airport…not only did they lack any functional security scanner, they of course didn’t have any food, bars, or shops
Lion Air
The “gate” opened right out onto our plane, which too looked straight out of the 80’s

Upon arriving, it still took us a while to get our luggage and a taxi, and with the trip to Ubud lasting 1.5 hours, we didn’t arrive until 4pm at Murni’s Houses. Murni is a local legend that seemed to own half of Ubud, with a restaurant, arts and gift shop, houses to rent, and some villas. The complex we stayed in only had 4 units that were surrounded by some lovely gardens filled with fountains, frangipani flowers, and statues. We stayed in their suite, which included a large living room with an extra day bed, decorated very much in the Balinese style with intricately carved doors and beautiful furniture. Since we again didn’t have much time, we took a trip to the Monkey Forest sanctuary on one end of the main road (aptly named Monkey Forest Road). Boy, were we in for a surprise. The name implied we would see some monkeys, but nothing prepared us for the number of monkeys freely jumping around, without any fear or hesitation of coming close to humans. I think even Doug got a little scared!  The sign at the entrance had about 10 warnings, one of which was to avoid bringing in any food as monkeys have a keen sense of smell and can rip open bags to find food.  Crap, we had previously smuggled a few cookies and breakfast rolls from other establishments into our backpack.  We held tight to our belongings, and wandered through the forest which had pockets of ancient temples, walkways by the river, and bridges. We even saw a great number of baby monkeys which was pretty cute.

Murni's Living Room
Living room in our suite at Murni’s, with some pretty cool Balinese furniture and artwork
Bedroom at Murni's
Bedroom at Murni’s suite
A few of the statues and fountains in the gardens outside of our suite, which made for a pretty relaxing environment
More monkeys
We saw a lot of monkeys just chilling in the middle of the road within the Monkey Forest
Snacking monkey
This guy probably stole his snack from some unsuspecting passerby
Jenny's Monkeys
I made a few friends while in the monkey forest…ok, not really. But I was definitely watching my back closely for any real ones that might jump on me while posing!
Doug and monkey
See, I told you Doug was kinda scared of the monkeys too. They were just so unpredictable.
Monkey and baby
If you look carefully (thank goodness for red eye), you can see the baby monkey huddling close to mama

By this time, the sun had set and we definitely didn’t want to be stuck in this forest in the dark, so we went back out to the main road to check out some shops, and ended up at our first spa experience at Dewa’s Special Spa. For only 80,000 rp apiece ($8), we got to indulge in an hour long Balinese massage. This entailed starting face down on some beds with essentially nothing but our underwear on, which was fine because I was with Doug but not fine when some inconsiderate Aussie man barged in looking for his wife and walked right in on our massage!

In an effort to eat somewhere that wasn’t as purely and authentically Indonesian, we finished our night at a place called Casa Luna that specialized in more of a global cuisine with a local twist. We started with a Mediterranean sampler of tzatziki, a mint parsley dip, and sumac powder, then moved onto a rendition of “nasi campur,” with chicken sate, curry chicken, corn fritters, and a salad. Doug went western with a steak 🙂

Casa Luna appetizer
Middle eastern appetizer platter with tzatziki, sumac powder, and a mint parsley dip 
Nasi campur
My entree, nasi campur, with bbq chicken, satay, corn fritters, and other fun things
Doug's entree
Doug’s steak…looks really Indonesian, huh?



One Comment Add yours

  1. Liuba says:

    Let’s hope that no monkeys were hurt on this particular trip. 😉

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