If you are like me and ever intsa-stalked Bali, there is a high possibility that you have stumbled upon the Tegallalang Rice terraces. It is a very popular spot just off the path of Bali’s cultural heart – Ubud. I too was mesmerised by numerous photos of vibrant fields that are layered above each other, forming the famous green hills. It is no surprise that the staircase of luscious greenery is a must-see hot-spot.
The terraces are located in the small farming village of Tegallalang. It is no more than a 25-minute drive north of Ubud. You can hire a scooter to drive yourself, or hire a driver for the day. We hired a driver that first took us here, before dropping us to our next hotel in Kuta.
Upon arrival you must pay an admission fee of about 30,000 IRD about $3AUD. Surprisingly once you get to the starting point there is a donation upon admission. So once you have ‘donated’ you may enter. As you venture deeper there are a few more donation boxes.
The trek itself is not strenuous, it is the heat that is the hard part. If you have the option DO NOT go at midday. We had no choice as we were transferring accommodation. We found Bali humid enough on the average day, but in the fields it is worse. Certain places can feel much like a sauna as the evaporation of the swamped fields gets trapped in the basin. If we were to go again I would make sure we went rather early to beat the heat and the crowds. Also, imagine how beautiful the sun would look streaming in amongst the trees.
Note: No number of photos can prepare you for the dreamy views. As I wandered through the ancient-like tiers I could not shake my bewilderment of the beauty.
The Balinese use a traditional method of irrigation for their rice production. It is called Subak. The water used to soak the shoots flows from surrounding temples. So in a way the rice has been blessed from the get-go.
Keep Cool – As I mention the midday heat is nuts. Avoid overheating by visiting early in the morning or later, around sunset.
Stay hydrated – I did not realise how sweaty I would be by the end of the trek. It is not a difficult trek but the humidity makes you lose a lot of water. There are a few cafes in the village where you can buy some ice-cold coconuts.
Be aware of the donations – You pay at general admission fee near the carpark. Then when you first enter you are asked to make a donation. You will be let in after this “donation” is made. You can climb at your own leisure and wander as around. You may come across a few small wooded huts which also ask for donations.
Sensible footwear would be sensible – I didn’t think much of the terrain, it didn’t look overly steep so I went for flip flops. Later I wished I had my trainers on because:
1. Some places were a bit mucky meaning mud in the toes – GROSS!
2. The pathways are narrow and uneven – it is quite difficult getting around other tourists on a path which only fits one foot in front of the other. Sandals will come off.