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Monkey Forest Road – Ubud Shopping
Jalan Monkey Forest in Ubud is the namesake route passing the famous sacred sanctuary home of the grey long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicuiaris). The one-way road follows on further south from Jalan Hanoman and turns at Ubud’s main town centre, across the road from the Puri Saren royal palace and Ubud’s famous art market.
From where the Jalan Monkey Forest starts, rows of shops, boutiques and outlets line its sides together with many guesthouses and hotels, restaurants and small day spas. Only a short distance further down, the monkey forest is found under the lofty shades of the forest entrance on the left-hand side of the road, with a small parking space just across the road.
The Jalan Monkey Forest also happens to be the main thoroughfare of the village of Padangtegal. Here, the side street shopping area combines with the main streets that link to Jalan Monkey Forest, including the ‘sister streets’ of Jalan Hanoman, Jalan Sugriwa, and Jalan Jembawan, which are all southeast from the town centre.
Along Jalan Monkey Forest, there are shops, some with clear signposts and some bearing only obscure objects and curios from behind single-glass displays. Most are art shops with selections of assorted handicrafts, antiques and alluring textiles from the archipelago and Bali.
A stroll along Jalan Monkey Forest and the adjacent side streets will demonstrate that this area is not similar to main tourism areas in the island’s south such as Kuta and Legian. Quieter footpaths, a cooler ambience and a more relaxed shopping climate make for a pleasant Ubud side street shopping experience.
For simple items, there is the convenience store, Delta Mart. Various shops such as Toko Lagi showcase a range of antiques and items while organic shops such as Utama Spice sell a collection of essential oils, handmade soaps and aromatherapy items.
Fashion, from men’s and women’s, to children’s wear can be found here. Just after the monkey forest sanctuary, a steep climb up north is where most of the fashion boutiques are found. Wardani Textiles boasts exotic and colourful sashes and sarongs as well as readymade clothing.
You will find a few internationally branded stores and famous local brands in Ubud such as Uluwatu, Animale, Polo Ralph Lauren, Billabong, Volcom and other leading surf brands. The local brand of Balinese lace, Uluwatu, retails handmade women’s garments, dresses, bags and accessories, bed linen, table linen, and more.
Jalan Hanoman also features rows of shops and clothing stores, with fine textiles from the archipelago and exotic forms, colours and designs. On Jalan Dewi Sita, find KOU Bali Shop, which sells homemade organic fruit jams and organic soap.
Good to Know about Monkey Forest Road
Monkey Forest Road
There are actually three different roads that interlink to form this sidewalk shopping experience. Interestingly, all of these roads’ names signify a monkey-related theme.
Jalan Monkey Forest is obvious, while the Jalan Hanoman preceding it is named after a Hindu monkey deity, also a protagonist in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Jalan Sugriwa, a road east of Jalan Hanoman, and it is also named after a character from the Ramayana – Sugriwa being related to Hanoman, and is king of the monkey kingdom.
Again to the east, and inspired by the epic, Jalan Jembawan is named after a bear who together with the ‘wanara’ monkey troops aided Rama in finding his kidnapped wife, Sita. All roads interconnect at one point, although only Jalan Monkey Forest has one-way traffic. Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman are connected by a small road called Jalan Dewi Sita, which also has several art and painting galleries besides textiles and clothing outlets.
Monkey Forest Road
Location: Padangtegal, south of the main Ubud centre.
How to get there: Take the one-way street of Jalan Hanoman, after the Ubud royal palace and Ubud Market.
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