Skip to Content

Bali Researchers And Tourism Leaders Collaborate To Manage Uluwatu’s Monkeys

Share The Article

Managers at Bali’s Uluwatu Temple have confirmed that they will be working with researchers to find the best way to manage and monitor monkey behavior.

The monkeys of Uluwatu Temple have become famous around the world for their mischievous and often ‘criminal’ behavior. 

Tourism officer at Uluwatu Temple interacts with monkeys.jpg

Speaking to reporters, the Manager of Tourist Attraction Management for the Outside Area of Uluwatu Temple, I Wayan Wijana, said, “Tourists or researchers who have been here say that the monkeys in Uluwatu are not naughty but are said to be ‘smart monkeys’ because there is a bartering system.”

“So when we take the tourist’s belongings, we lure them with food, the monkeys will return them, and this is their behavior and typical.”

Wijana confirmed to reports that managers from Uluwatu Temple are working with researchers to better understand the monkeys.

He explained that researchers are looking at the behavior of monkeys in the Pura Luhur Uluwatu area. He shared with reporters that researchers stated that monkeys in the Pura Luhur Uluwatu area have extraordinary intelligence because they often use a bartering system to interact with humans. 

Wijana confirmed that even though these super smart primates have found ways to interact with humans in a way that benefits them, he and his teams are still making various efforts to ensure that monkeys do not disturb tourists during their visits.

This includes empowering staff and looking for monkey control strategies by studying practices in other areas. Wijana added, “So we are looking for comparisons and strategies regarding monkey control in other areas such as the Ubud Monkey Forest, Sangeh, and others.”

The Tourism Manager also confirmed that efforts to control monkey behavior have been carried out in a formal manner through the Tumpek Uye or Tumpek Kandang ceremony.

This is a traditional Balinese ritual which is believed to reduce the naughty nature of monkeys. “In essence, if there is a Tumpek Kandang ceremony, this is a step for us to reduce the naughty behavior of monkeys.”

With so many monkeys interacting with tourists, whether tourists adhere to the rules or not, Wijana confirmed that rabies management protocols are strictly implemented.

He said that the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Udayana University, is working with the monkeys in the Pura Luhur Uluwatu area to ensure that they are free from rabies.

They are also providing proof of a rabies-free certificate for each monkey and an identification system. “We are 100 percent sure that monkeys are rabies-free, and we have a rabies-free certificate.” 


When Wijana was asked by reporters why the monkeys are quite as ‘naughty’ as they are. He confirmed that it is not because there is not enough food available in the area.

The Pura Luhur Uluwatu management team invests IDR 2.5 million per day to feed the temple monkeys.

Nevertheless, the monkeys have learned that if they ‘steal’ items from tourists, they will be bribed with food to drop the sad items.

Hence, they have inadvertently been incentivized to come close to humans and steal what they can in order to be given what they perceive as a reward for that behavior. 


As the high season approaches, leaders at Uluwatu Temple are hopeful that more and more visitors will come to explore the temple complex and learn about Balinese culture.

Presently, the majority of tourists who visit Pura Luhur Uluwatu are international tourists, with a 70-30 split among domestic visitors.

Wijana said, “We hope that tourist visits can reach 8,000 people per day from July to August. Hopefully, this year, we can reach that number.”


He concluded, “By continuing to improve the quality of services and facilities, as well as promoting main attractions such as the Kecak Dance, DTW in the Outer Area of Pura Luhur Uluwatu is expected to continue to attract the interest of tourists, both domestic and foreign.”

Remove All Ads & Unlock All Articles… Sign up for The Bali Sun Premium

Plan Your Bali Holiday:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
Book Cheap Flights To Bali
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance That Covers Medical Expenses In Bali

For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community


Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.


Friday 31st of May 2024

Monkeys are smarter than humans!


Friday 31st of May 2024

“We are 100 percent sure that monkeys are rabies-free, and we have a rabies-free certificate.”

This guarantee means nothing if scratched bitten by monkey According to online hydromedicalbali people need to get rabies vaccine if bitten by forest monkeys:

"It is important to remember that when someone is bitten by a forest monkey, he must get a rabies vaccine immediately at the nearest clinic or hospital in Bali to avoid rabies in Bali."



Thursday 30th of May 2024

8,000 tourists a day! You must be kidding. Let the monkeys loose and clear them out.


Friday 31st of May 2024

@Karen, Hehehe, yep!


Thursday 30th of May 2024

Back in the 1990s I knew a nurse at a Melbourne hospital who told me about a woman who was flown home from Bali after being attacked by a monkey in Ubud. She said half her face was missing. Stay away from them.

Wayan Bo

Thursday 30th of May 2024

🐵: Only because they have bad teachers in humans. 🐒