How I was attacked by monkeys and I screamed!

Ouch! I'm still smiling. I'm still smiling! Photo@ Frank Böster
Ouch! I’m still smiling. I’m still smiling!
©Frank Böster – Behind The Couch Studio


I absolutely hate ’em!

Last week, I retold the story and gave you the beginner’ guide to going up a volcano for the very first time; because going up a volcano really isn’t for everyone!

The-Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies.
The-Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies.

The adventure of walking through the flames of Mordor and struggling through the mountains of Erebor, whilst I plunged myself through the footsteps of Thorin Oakenshield and….


Not that mountain in New Zealand. The other one! The one in Indonesia.

In Bali!

It sure was a challenge and what was even moreso, was of trying to get through the hordes of monkeys.

I’ve met monkeys before.

Many times.

I don’t like monkeys.

I have a fear of them!

At the Ranthambore National Park, India.
At the Ranthambore National Park, India.

The last time that I had an encounter with monkeys was in India. I was in Rajasthan and I went on a tiger-hunting safari tour at the Ranthambore National Park, not far from Jaipur.  Ranthambore National Park is known for its tigers and the best times for tiger sightings are in November.

I happened to be in India in November.

I was looking forward to seeing those majestic creatures, and you would have thought that after paying our open-top gypsy jeep fee all we would have had to do, was to settle in, and take off.

Yeah right!

When has it ever been that easy?

Inside the national park is a huge forest, and in that forest is the Banyan tree. The Banyan tree is the national tree of India, and hidden in those mystic trees were monkeys.

Huge monkeys at the Ranthambore National Park, India.
Huge monkeys at the Ranthambore National Park, India.

Huge monkeys.

Huge monkeys who didn’t swing off into oblivion. Oh dear me no. These huge monkeys only had to come down and start parading around, as if they owned the place.

Apparently they do.

There was some sort of monkey temple nearby and in order to walk further into the forest, (as we were also on a guided tour of the flora and fauna of the national park), we had to pass these temples.

I turned into a sweat.

India is a place where they take the worship of animals quite seriously. You all know of the virtues of the Holy Cow but did you know that there is a temple called the Karni Mata Temple, dedicated to rats and known as the Temple of Rats.

Karni Mata Temple - The Temple of Rats, India.
Karni Mata Temple – The Temple of Rats, India.

The temple is the home to over 20,000 varieties of rats. You have to take off your shoes and walk in your socks, as bare feet are considered de rigueur. You are then surrounded by lots of little rats who scuttle over your feet.

Don’t move, as they’re holy and bring blessings.

Quite disgusting, but you can’t be in India if you aren’t shocked at least a little bit. Shudder!

Back to the monkeys!

Book your hotel here!

Don't look them in the eyes!
Don’t look them in the eyes!

In the monkey temple, the primates roamed free and they begged. Nay. They demanded, that you gave them titbits. Our guide had instructed us to:

  • Be careful.
  • Give small amounts of food.
  • Don’t show fear.
  • Don’t look them in the eye.

A huge monkey came towards me. And immediately, I began to shake. He brought out his hand. I gave him my “gift” whilst still shaking slightly. He strolled around me, and I gingerly walked on.

Walking on in Vietnam! I don't recall seeing any monkeys this time!
Walking on in Vietnam! I don’t recall seeing any monkeys this time!

Then we came to the actual temple and all the monkeys were right in front of me.

I was surrounded and found no way to go around them, so I had to go through them.

I kept my head down all the way through until we got to our safari jeep.

And yes, we got to see tigers!

Book your hotel here!

Horse riding in the Welsh Mountains.

But what started this fiasco of fear in the first place? How did it come to be that I can ride horses, elephants, and camels. I can eat snake and crocodile meat, but I cannot be surrounded by monkeys! I mean, The Music Producer, “The Tall Young Gentleman” and myself love going to the Zoo in Berlin, and even there, I refused to go into the monkey sanctuary, and waited outside.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

In fact, even though I love watching Return of the Apes, it still keeps me awake at night. I mean, what if?!!

Double Gulp!

I love Bali. I really do. We had such a lovely holiday in that most beautiful Bali resort called: Alam Shanti and in our own private ricefield house called: Utari House.

Book Utari House at Alam Shanti or your own Bali hotel here!

Book your hotel here!

Tea and cake at the lovely Alam Shanti.
Tea and cake at the lovely Alam Shanti.

What I neglected to tell you was that our beautiful residence was in Ubud. Ubud is one of the most fascinating places in the world. It’s surrounded by rice paddies and is just packed. Packed with opportunities to dig into your spiritual flow, get your karma going, and focus on your chakra. That’s right, Ubud is the land of enlightenment, learning, and discipline. It’s also next-door to that enormously famous forest of awe.

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary otherwise known as The Monkey Forest.

You know how I told you that the Banyan Tree is the National Tree of India. Well, it’s also on the coat of arms of Indonesia and is deeply sacred. As are monkeys.

A family of monkeys in The Monkey Forest.
A family of monkeys in The Monkey Forest.

Our hotel was about 5 minutes away from the Monkey Forest. In fact, we had a private team of security men who slept in the surrounding confines of our house. Not because of crime. Nope!

Nothing to do with monkeys. Just a little light relief!
Nothing to do with monkeys. Just a little light relief!

Because of the monkeys.

Our house was set away from the grounds of the hotel and was blissfully secluded, but with seclusion came nature. We had giant toads, giant lizards, and lots and lots of monkeys. Monkeys that have no respect over walls, and just climb over! In fact, on our first day, we saw a huge number of them in the neighbouring rice field at the back of our house! Alam Shanti were great and ensured our safety so that we always felt safe and secure, as there was a large number of staff on the grounds. And rice farmers!

The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” wanted to experience what The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary had to offer. As for me. I already knew.

Inside The Monkey Forest.
Inside The Monkey Forest.

Remember when I told you that I had been to Bali back in ’99.


It was here that I had my first experience of monkeys.

Myself with longer hair. Don't I look cute!
Myself with longer hair. Don’t I look cute!

I had joined a small group that had decided to go to The Monkey Forest. We came by mini-van and had just huddled up in the car-park. Our guide had instructed us to take off hats, glasses, and anything else that might catch the attention of a wandering primate. In those days, my hair was long, and I was leaning on the fence listening intently to the guide, when I felt a thump.

Something had landed on my head.

And that thing took a hold of my then-long hair, and pulled it.

Oh dear!
Oh dear!

It was a monkey.

I was in such a sense of shock that I screamed!

The guide shouted at me not to move but I couldn’t hear him, all I could see were the shocked faces of other tourists as this monkey proceeded to hang on for dear life, all the while pulling my hair, whilst I screamed and screamed!

Local people in Bali.
Local people in Bali.

The local people came to help me and enticed the monkey away, whilst I gingerly went on into The Monkey Forest too, all the while on high alert.

I did it, but not without discomfort, and almost screaming the forest down! As such, you can imagine my dismay when my family wanted to go to The Monkey Forest too.

Going Bananas!
Going Bananas!

They went and had a great time playing and feeding the monkeys. The Music Producer had a cheeky monkey go into his shoulder bag and help himself to a bottle of water. “The Tall Young Gentleman” had monkeys that liked him so much, they snatched bunches of bananas from his hand and tried to take his trousers!

And what about me?

Did I take up the challenge to face my fears?

No way!

They went without me!

Book your hotel here!


Going to The Monkey Forest without me!
Going to The Monkey Forest without me!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so next week I will be continuing our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar and you can read what happened to me in Korea……!

Winter is coming. Oh my!

A fortnight ago, a British company contacted me and asked me to contribute my expert knowledge on Germany and Britain. You don’t need to ask me twice. Here it is: The 5 best differences between Germany and Britain.

Additional National Theatre Live productions are also coming up and can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

On January 15th, I will be watching the new Grand Show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast: THE WYLD.

Berlin Fashion Week is coming up and will take place between January 19th and January 23rd, 2015. Save the Date!

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

At the end of 2014, I will reveal some of my plans for 2015. So many things are going to happen.

December is going to be marvellous!

Alive and well outside the Monkey Forest!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I was attacked by monkeys and I screamed!

Have you ever been to the Monkey Forest in Bali? Do you like monkeys? Do you like rats?! Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email:

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48 Comments on “How I was attacked by monkeys and I screamed!

  1. Oh gosh, I am feeling all kinds of skin-crawly right now. Mostly bc of the rats, but also you made the monkeys sound utterly terrifying!

  2. I had a really really hard time reading this, especially the rat part, l have such a hatred for them. Another reason not to visit

  3. Oh I’m not surprised you freaked out! I’m damn sure I would have had the same reaction! The Music Producer and Tall Young Gentleman are braver than I – and also very nice in person! Thanks again for having me on Sat! 🙂

    • Thanks Linda. Oi! Monkeys! Noooooo!!?!
      It was lovely having you at my home. You’re so much fun and with your Irish charm, who wouldn’t LOL! 🙂 🙂 The Music Producer was exhausted the next day what with all the cooking n’ that, but I did the clearing and the washing up. Or rather, the dishwasher did the washing up! As for “The Tall Young Gentleman.” The food was yum, he did a little small talk, and everyone left him in peace!

  4. Tiger – yes 🙂 Monkey….um….. RATS!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!! But I’d take one of those adorable ponies. I’m so glad I can live vicariously 🙂

  5. Okay, I’m putting the monkeys aside for a moment to just…. RAT TEMPLE. I AM NEVER GOING THERE.
    Okay, I’m sorry you got attacked by monkeys. I love monkeys. I should go here.

    • I know! I mean, RATS! I freak out when I see one of the them on the train track, imagine how I felt when there were hundreds and hundreds of ’em. It was a horror movie gone wild!
      On the other hand, if you’re a lover of monkeys, Bali is is the place to be. You’d love The Monkey Forest.

  6. Hmmm, I had a monkey climb my leg in Angkor Wat – so unexpected! I don’t know how I feel about them – neutral, I guess.

    • Yeoooow! Pigeons that poop on you. Now that’s something. I had that the other day after I had just returned from a very nice concert. I was wearing my glad rags, and almost home, when I moved aside to let a cyclist pass me by. On doing so there was a splat. On my hair, and on my lovely cashmere coat! I didn’t know where to look so 1 point for you Sophie!

  7. A monkey pulling your hair?!?! So sorry, but right now I’m laughing out loud!! :):):) What a sight it must have been! Monkeys, I can handle, but those rat at the temple…eeeeewwwww!

    • I laugh too Mitzie. Now! At the time, it was a horrible nightmare but it is funny. A little LOL! As for those rats. Yuuuuuuck! And people touch them and feed them too. Some are even in estactics when those horrible creatures crawl, jump, and skip all over them! Aaaaaargh!

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