Exotic pet market in Denpasar

Next to Satria Palace in Denpasar lies a pet market. Despite Satria Palace being a main ‘sight’ to visit, we had not come to see this or anything else in Denpasar, we had come to see for ourselves what we had heard about Pasar Satria.

When we pulled up on the bike on Jalan Veteran Denpasar we found some cute, cuddly looking puppies on the roadside, and the man selling them could see in my eye how much of a soft touch I am when it comes to dogs. He got out a cute little black one and put it in my arms and immediately I was like putty- I would have happily taken them all home if I could. He could see it in my eyes that I can’t say no when it comes to puppies. Being greeted by these cute little things- pomeranians, white fluffy ones, cute little black and brown ones, you might be forgiven for thinking this was a fairly normal place to find a dog, even though they were in cages.

Then we crossed the road.

Sad monkey

Sad monkey 2

Sad monkey 3

This was one of the happier looking monkeys.

At Satria you can find anything from bats and monkeys to exotic birds, fish, rabbits and ants.  The saddest of all are the monkeys, who are chained up with collars around their necks. As we walked further down the street we saw some big bats hanging upside down in a wicker cage- I don’t know what anyone would want with a great big bat, but if you want one you can get one.

Big bats

As we walked down the street past all the bird cages I couldn’t help but notice the contrast from the ‘puppy aisle’ across the road. We walked past some ants and I immediately felt like they were crawling all over me. This was a really f*cked up place indeed.

Bird cages


But it got worse. Steve directed me to the monkey shop where literally tons of monkeys were all chained and in cages. It became too much, we had to leave…

Screwed up monkeys

Screwed up monkeys 2

Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

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  • janice girardi
    Posted at 02:12h, 03 October Reply

    This is very disturbing, and we have calls and comments all the time in regards to the horrific treatment of animals on the island. We are doing all we can 24/7 but in this situation our hands our tied without animal welfare laws in Indonesia. Please sign our petition for animal welfare laws, that you can find on our website, http://www.bawabali.com or feel free to e-mail me directly so I can provide you the information on how you can help us help Bali’s animals. Thank you for caring about the animals. Janice@Bawabali.com (The Bali Animal Welfare Association)

    • victoria
      Posted at 15:59h, 03 October Reply

      Hi Janice, trying to find the petition on your website…where is it? Great to see such a project.

  • Tracey Slater
    Posted at 05:36h, 13 January Reply

    I have been to this market just last week. It broke my heart to see animals kept in barbaric conditions. However, not all the shops were so dreadful, however, it was the minority who seemed to think that caring for these animals before sale was important. I felt most sorry for a chained baby monkey and some sort of giant lizard that was kept in the shade and looked sluggish indeed.

  • Pablo
    Posted at 15:49h, 25 January Reply

    Those monkeys look perfectly well treated. Why dont you spend your time doing something for the balinese people.You go there and exploit them as servants to your $ then rubish the way they have to make a living.Crying about animals in a country that people suffer to earn enough for food, you trully are pathetic. TThe best thing a pomie like you could do is get out of Bali and never go back.Oh and my deepest sympathy for falling off yourbike and getting a scratch which had to require iodine. The way yo go on about it it seeemed as it was life threatening. Please dont cut your legs shaving or we will have to read a whole page on that ordeal as well….

    • victoria
      Posted at 08:39h, 26 January Reply

      1. Those monkeys are in chains. I personally found that uncomfortable to see.
      2. I did not exploit them as servants. Whilst I was in Bali I filmed a documentary and spent time with Balinese people; I visited their homes, went to their weddings, ate at the same table as them.
      3. I am English, and our currency is not the dollar.
      4. I don’t believe that animals should be disregarded just because a country is poor. And although the Balinese people often live on less than three dollars per day, I found them to be happy, polite, wonderful people. I do not in general rubbish the way they make a living.
      5. I am not in Bali, I lived there for one year.
      6. If you would like to see my scars you may think differently, they are not scratches. I currently have to go to the hospital twice a week every week to have treatment for pain and itch management, over 1 and a half years later. If you can compare not being able to walk for two months, having serious infections, losing over a stone in weight and talk of having my foot amputated because it was rotting to a shaving scratch, then you are truly ignorant.

    • Baji
      Posted at 17:04h, 18 May Reply

      I love how people claim ‘it’s worse for people” why care about the animals as if the plight of some is justiifciatoon for the pain of more, or point out worse conditions as if this is a reason to keep bad conditions in place.

      A bigger question: is there justification for cruelty in any form? Regardless of where it’s found. We are all affected by different things, and rather than bashing someone who dares to speak, why not raise your voice against another injustice? Try to fix something. Try to make something better. Don’t try and pull her down to a level that desperately needs changing, calling cruelty culture or inhumanity sane – NO MATTER WHERE IN THE WORLD you find it, ethis dictate kindness. When we dare to speak out against something when travelling, we’re quickly shut down, as if you have no right to speak out against cruelty when you see it. Anywhere you see it, speak out. Please, speak out. And celebrate those who are doing so, regardless of their upbringing they failures, their unexamined viewpoints – those don’t matter. The desire to create something better does.

      If we are speaking out against injustice or cruelty – in any form – this needs to be celebrated. To be watered, grown, and nurtured. It speaks of a deisre to create something better, rather than maintaining an uncomfortable, and often horrific, status-quo.

      By saying ‘it’s worse elsewhere’ and not taking qaction – you are condoning the horror of what is right in front of you and minimizing the possibility of change there too. The monkeys are on chains. They are intelligent creatures. This is cruelty, and by not demanding better, you commit an act of treason against a better world. You murder it before it has a chance at life.

      Strong words? Yes, of course. Absolutely – but when you distract away from the issue, or attack the one who highlights it, you are killing with inaction, and apathy, and then with venom those things which actually has the possiblity of affecting positive change.

      Here’s what I think, if you’ll firgive me for speaking (we know how some of you like people calling for change) wherever the fuck in the world you see wrong – speak out. Wrong is wrong, Cruelty is cruelty. If you see soemthing that sucks – try and make it better. Not so comlicated. Yes, there are interconnected systems. Poor economies. Poverty Unexamined viewpoints. Comparisons can be made. These are factors – but they are not an excuse which should hold us back from trying to have a positive impact – however misguied, do that more. Make it better. If you see something hurting – speak up against it.

      Practice, then try to make it better again. Keep doing that. Please, keep doing that. This isn’t naive – it’s the foundation of change.

      I grew up on a sailboat. I was incredibly poor when I was young. I remember seeing a boy in Haiti covered in strong and the awarness of the unfairness of life struck me then at 4 years old. Unfair is unfair, Hurting is hurting. My mom said at the time “the worlds not fair” as if this justifed the pain I could see. That didn’t make sense to my childs mind – and it doesn’t make sense now. Just because things are bad somewhere – does not justify them being bad elsewhere. Just becaue it isn’t fair now – is not an excuse to not try and make it better today and tomorrow.

      And for tose of you calling her out for entitlement and privilege – shame on you. If you’re privileged – you have a voice, and the certinty, and the strength to speak for people who sometimes don’t have voices. How many privleged ones never bother to say a word, and you attack her like harpies, trying to pull the flesh from her bones for daring to complain, to speak. To say ‘this is not okay’. That’s the voice of bravery, no matter where it sources from.

      It is OUR world. These are animals hurting on an island on my world. On your world. It happens elsewhere too – that is NOT a reason nt to speak out against it. Speak out about it wherever you see it please. When we travel to Europe, or Bosnia, or Kuwait, or the US – it is still my world, and I will speak out against what is wrong. Happily, we have the luxury to do that – and many cultures don’t. That’s a responsilbity, I think. If they’ve not been given the voice – or it’s been withheld – or they don’t know that a better possiblity exists – then speak to that. Just because you can.

      Fuck, this makes me angry. Attacks against people who are trying to do good, while we let jerks and social pyschopaths and economic greed rule the world. Support this. Support this. Whether you think she’s entitled, or you disagree with her viewpoints on life, whatever. THis is a voice of kindness, which raises us all up. Support this.

      And Victoria – good on you, and if you don’t mind me saying, don’t sink to needing to compare your worst expereinces, as if only pain makes you worthy of being heard – it makes you smaller, matching your attackers. We need your voice crying out for something better – around whatever injustice that stirs you. Please keep on speaking.

  • Pablo
    Posted at 19:53h, 26 January Reply

    Obviously you are truly ignorant,not to wear adequate footwear protection while riding a moped is that ignorance or stupidity?
    Disregard animal welfare? How would you like these animals to be kept before sale? have you ever visited a pet store? have you ever been to an abbatoir? You visited S.A and in your travels did not see sheep or cattle dogs on a chain?$ pound baht rupiah = currency for the mentally challenged or ignorant.Scars! Put some photos up and make me eat my words….
    Thats the problem in letting self appointed do gooders into a foreign land. They try to change the traditions and culture in which most tourists go to see and RESPECT. Keep trying to change the customs and their way of life and turn the place into another manchester. Just so yor not out of your comfort zone..

  • Sarah
    Posted at 03:05h, 22 February Reply

    I know this is such an old post now, but this Pablo person needs to chill out!
    A SCRATCH? Everyone can see from your picture that it wasn’t just a scratch. And I’m sure many of us are thankful that you wrote a blog about your accident as it makes us more aware about hopping onto a scooter. I’m going to Bali soon and I had no idea about these animal markets or anything. I’m going through and reading all your Bali blogs and it’s making me more and more excited to be going,
    You’re experiences sound amazing!
    Before I met my boyfriend I wanted to travel alone (And to be honest I probably still will) Reading your tips on travelling alone has made me much more confident to do so!
    There’s always going to be people that don’t have anything nice to say, and if this person really hated what you were writing I doubt they’d be so interested to keep reading all your posts!

  • Johanna Cente
    Posted at 06:11h, 22 June Reply

    Hiiiiii, I love your blog Indeed, this post it’s a sad one but it’s what happen in those countries where nobody cares about animal rights… I’m curious about one thing, how much they were asking for the baby monkey? I heard in some of the countries of east Asia you can find them in a range of 10 to 30 dollar but idk if this is true.

    Regards from Chile.

  • Haseeb Akram
    Posted at 19:47h, 23 January Reply


    You say that monkeys were chained. Then where else are they suppose to keep them? Don’t we keep them in a cage in London Zoo.

    As far as they are feeding them well and not hurting them.



  • Matt
    Posted at 08:54h, 18 May Reply

    These pictures make me sad. I’ve seen this kind of stuff in India and Thailand myself. I sympathize with the people as I know they have to make a living somehow, but it’s something we should try to put an end to. Luckily many countries are taking action and banning animal abuse.

    Safe travels!

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