I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Bali. But it’s only on my last few visits that I discovered the magic of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
I’ve been to Ubud many times before and I’ve seen many rice fields, but no-one ever mentioned the Tegallalang Rice Terraces to me. It was only after staying at a co-working space and reading their guide booklet that I learnt about this gorgeous spot.
At first I thought, how special could they be? Once you’ve seen one rice terrace you’ve seen them all. But that couldn’t have been more wrong.
So why Tegallalang Rice Terraces?
Unlike other rice fields which are quite flat and vast, these terraces have lots of layers. Kind of like an amphitheatre. So no matter where you’re standing you’re surrounded by lush green fields of rice.
It’s an Instagrammers heaven! If you’ve insta-stalked anybody who’s visited Ubud recently then I’m sure you’ll know what I mean.
You can trek among the fields and really soak up the beauty. Unfortunately it took 3 separate visits before I could actually do the trek because each time it was raining. But when I decide I want to do something I don’t give up until I do it haha. And it was totally worth it.
When’s the best time to go?
On this recent trip to Ubud (in March) I realised the mornings are clear as are the evenings. But if you’re out and about between 12-4pm you can generally expect to get wet. The previous time I visited in July it was the same. So I would advise getting up early and doing the trek in the morning, or saving it for later in the day. When the weather is good it can be super hot in the middle of the day anyway so even then I would stick to the mornings and evenings.
When you arrive you’ll be asked to pay a 5000 IDR entrance fee (less than $1). Then just follow the signs for Rice Trekking and you’ll easily find your way.
The photo opp…
If you’ve done your insta-stalking right, you’ve probably seen those money shots of people walking through the terraces carrying the local farming tools.
I was on a mission to re-create one of these images and thankfully I got lucky. As I was trekking along I spotted a farmer going about his business (these are working rice fields so you can expect to see locals at work as you walk along). I asked him if he’d allow me to use his tools for a picture and he was more than happy to. That’s what I love about the Balinese, they’re always super accommodating.
Usually the locals will expect payment for this sort of thing. And I would’ve been more than willing to pay. But I had my driver walking with me and he somehow arranged for this to happen without any payment. If you’re asked to pay, don’t be stingy, they never ask for more than a few dollars and it’s nice to support the locals.
How much time do you need there?
In all honesty, beautiful as it is, once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. And no matter where you are, the photos turn out incredible. Walking right down to the bottom and back up again only takes about half an hour. There’s a lot of steps and it can get hot, so you don’t really need a lot longer than that.
While you don’t need much time to do the trek, there’s plenty to do around this area so you could still make a day of it.
Take a swing over the terraces.
If there’s one thing the Balinese are good at, it’s staying on top of all the latest trends. They’ve caught on to the fact that people love photos on swings. And so there’s swings popping up everywhere. You’ve got the ones that are just there to sit and look pretty. Or you’ve got ones like this that are a little more adventurous.
Scattered all along the same street the rice terraces are on you’ll find signs for Bali swings. All you need to do is pick one. It will cost around 300,000 IDR ($30 USD) to do a basic swing.
Be aware, the words “no more” and “stop” don’t seem to really mean anything when you’re on one of these swings. I thought they were just going to push me out once and that would be it, but they kept going and going. Even when I screamed stop, it made them laugh and send me out more. In the end I realised I wasn’t going to die and I actually quite enjoyed it. It’s quite a wonderful feeling soaring through the sky surrounded by such beautiful scenery.
Visit a Luwak Coffee Plantation
Usually at the same place as the swings you’ll find these popular coffee plantations. We visited Alas Harum Agrotourism.
This is the special coffee made from Luwak droppings. I’m not quite sure about the coffee, but I absolutely love the various teas. If you want to do a coffee tasting it usually costs around 50,000 IDR ($5 USD) but to just try the teas is free.
Eat at D’alas Warung
By this point you’ve probably worked up a pretty big appetite. I would highly recommend going down the road and eating at D’alas Warung. Serving up delicious and authentic Balinese food for great prices, and with great rainforest views. You can easily pass away an afternoon here.
And that’s exactly what my friend and I did. It was just so beautiful and peaceful, and even the food came out looking so pretty. It gets really busy so you do have to wait a while for your food, but it didn’t even matter considering the views we had.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about a trip to the lovely Tegallalang Rice Terraces.