Best Places in the World to See Monkeys

Monkeys are fascinating creatures to observe – their faces and mannerisms can be so similar to ours and their rambunctious antics are very entertaining. They are cute, curious, nimble and surprising and they have become a symbol of mischief and quick-wittedness in many cultures.

Best Places to See Monkeys in the World

On your travels around the world there are many opportunities to see monkeys in the wild and watch these amazing primates as they leap through the trees. Here are some of the best places to see monkeys in the world:


The Rock of Gibraltar is a huge stone overlooking the ocean in this tiny country between Europe and North America. If you climb up the rock you will be greeted by a number of friendly monkeys who will be curious enough to try to snatch your sunglasses or peek in your backpack. Be careful not to get too close to the young monkeys as the older ones can be quite protective.

Best Places to See Monkeys in the World: Macaque Monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar
Macaque Monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar: Photoon Flickr by Karan Jain / CC BY-SA 2.0

Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

The monkeys in the Sacred Monkey forest in Ubud are not shy about climbing all over you, snatching your food and getting up close and personal. Take a walk through this beautiful jungle and you’ll see them everywhere. You can bring a banana with you so that the monkeys will come up to you and eat – but don’t bring any other human snacks as they can be harmful for the monkey’s health.

Best Places to See Monkeys in the World: Sacred Monkey Forest near Ubud, Bali
Sacred Monkey Forest near Ubud, Bali: Photo on Flickr by Jean-Marie Prival / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Malaysian Borneo

Orangutans are not technically monkeys – they are great apes. Either way, they are amazing to observe and they are only found in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. One of the best places to see orangutans is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in the Malaysian Sabah District of North Borneo. This protected area was established to rehabilitate orangutans who have been orphaned and there are around 60-80 orangutans living free at the reserve. Visit during feeding time and you will be able to watch them swinging on vines and snacking on fresh fruit.

Snow Monkey Park, Japan

In a hot springs close to Nagano City in Japan there are 160 Japanese Macaque living and bathing in the steaming waters. The monkeys here live in large social groups and it can be very entertaining to watch them interacting with each other. They are used to humans here so you will be able to get quite close when observing them.

Best Places to See Monkeys in the World: photo credit: Snow Monkeys at Nagano, Japan
Snow Monkeys at Nagano, Japan: Photo on Flickr by SF Brit / CC 2.0

Thailand’s Monkey Feast Festival

Every year the people of the Lopburi province of Thailand lay out an enormous banquet for the local monkeys that includes piles of fresh fruit, rice, ice cream and several other yummy treats. Approximately 3,000 macaques come to stuff themselves on the buffet, which often devolves into a primate food fight. It’s a fantastic spectacle to observe and a great opportunity to see monkeys on your travels.

These are just a few of the best places to see monkeys in the world – where have you seen monkeys on your travels?

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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    […] certain parts of the world, especially in Southeast Asia, it’s not uncommon to see monkeys hanging around at the popular tourist attractions. These cheeky primates will be climbing on […]


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