The Tegallalang rice terraces are one of the most iconic attractions in Bali. Found in the village of Tegallalang just north of Ubud, these steeply terraced rice fields are quite a spectacle to behold. The terraces, built to enable rice farming on the steep land, curve down into the bottom of the valley.
The rice terraces at Tegallalang are said to embody the traditional farming ways of the Balinese people and still use the traditional Balinese irrigation system of Subak. This irrigation system has been in use since the 9th century and involves water running from its source through temples before flowing downhill to the rice paddies. In Balinese culture rice is seen as a gift of god and so this water system which flows the irrigation water through temples is extremely important
When in the rice paddies you can see the water running in narrow channels between the terraces and down through the raw earth. As a result the ground is rather soft and muddy, and you don’t realise how narrow the walkways are between the terraces so be careful not to slip and land in one of the paddies!
The terraces in Tegallalang have become a huge tourist attraction and subsequently the locals have turned to the business of tourism. The streets above the terraces are lined with coffee shops where your can grab some Balinese coffee and watch the terraces roll away below. The shops sell some beautiful clothing and souvenirs, not your average tourist tat. I really wish we had more space to bring some homeware goodie home from here.
HOW TO VISIT
GETTING THERE: To get to Tegallalang rice terraces you will require either a motorbike or driver to take you. The terraces are found about half an hour north of Ubud town centre and the traffic on these roads gets super busy so unless you are confident driving on the tight, twisty roads then we’d recommend hiring a driver like we did. If you are heading yourself then check out maps to figure out which way to drive.
COST: To get down to the terraces is technically free but you will need to give a donation to cross over a bridge in the bottom of the valley, and you will not be allowed over to the main terraces until you give a donation so be sure to keep some small notes on you for this.
TIPS: Definitely bring some bug spray with you – here and the monkey forest where were we got bitten the worst during our whole trip! And of course, if you are visiting in monsoon then bring at least an umbrella if not a raincoat so that you can still enjoy the spectacle if the weather deteriorates. Also worth wearing shoes which you can comfortably climb in, there are some steep spots where you’ll need to use your hand to help you get up – the views are worth a little clambering though.
Have you ever been somewhere where one of the main attractions was seeing a farm?! It’s funny to think of the site in such basic terms, its more like an architectural beauty! A real gem of Balinese nature.
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