Bali

Tegalalang Rice Terrace: The Ultimate Guide to Ubud’s Rice Fields

An image search on Bali, Indonesia, will most likely land you on the scenic shots of lush green rice fields. It is possible to feel a bit of familiarity with these images. These iconic pictures are of the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, the most popular tourist attraction in Ubud. There’s no way you can overlook the rice fields of Ubud when planning the itinerary for your Bali trip. This post is a detailed guide on the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. We have discussed on how to get there, what to take along with you and other essential tips to make it the trip worthwhile. We will cover the ins and outs of taking a trip to Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Ubud.

Tegalalang rice terrace in Ubud, Bali

What is the Tegalalang rice terrace?

Tegalalang rice terrace is comprised of a series of rice paddies located near Ubud. Ubud lies in the heart of Bali, which is popularly known for its terraced layout. The rice fields are watered by the Subak, age-old Balinese irrigation system. Owing to its position in a valley, the rice terrace turns into a scenic landscape in the midst of lush green surroundings. Over the years, it has become a tourist hub in Bali and has transformed into a must-see location in all of Indonesia. It features in all tourist brochures and even in the Lonely Planet guide.

How to get to Tegalalang rice fields from Ubud

Tegalalang rice terrace is a 20-minutes drive from Ubud. Alternatively, it’s a 2-hour walk, which I wouldn’t recommend in scorching Bali heat. It’s straight forward driving, which is quite easy to travel if you have a scooter. To make life easy, there is a vast parking area adjacent to the fields. You can drop your two-wheeler or car for a small fee. You can always get a taxi, especially from the hotels you stay in. Ensure you agree on a price for the two way trip (including return) before getting on the taxi. The driver will drop you there, wait for a certain time, and pick you back to the hotel. The linguistic differences can be hard felt in hindsight.

Top tips to ensure a pleasant trip

We have covered what’s Tegalalang Rice Terrace and on getting there from Ubud. Now, listed below are the top tips to make it a pleasant experience at rice fields for you. These tips are derived from first-hand experiences of pro travel bloggers.

Bring small change for the entry fee / donations

As you travel by the road, you will get off on the path leading to the rice fields. Along these paths, you can see private wooden shacks where you can enter local farmer’s rice paddies for a small donation. However, this is not part of the entry fee. If you visit early in the morning before the locals get there, you can by-pass the whole thing. Nevertheless, we do not suggest doing that considering the donations are small, and it’s part of the farmers’ livelihood. Some of the tourists argue on not paying since it’s a voluntary donation. In our personal opinion, we find it very rude to walk around their fields, without paying a donation. These rice fields are more than just places of work for these people. It’s part of their livelihood and an integral part of their culture.

If you don’t bring enough small notes with you, you will end up paying extra at every checkpoint along the path. The average donation at every checkpoint is less than $1. Depending on how many donations you are making, you can decide on how much of the rice terrace you can explore during your visit. People often stop after a point after they feel they have seen enough of it. It’s entirely up to you. All we suggest is bring in as many small changes as you can. You can get small notes from local currency exchange as well as your visa processing agent.

Visit early in the day to avoid the heat and crowd

Hot and humid conditions define the typical Bali weather. It’s inarguably one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. It’s recommended to visit the Tegalalang rice terrace early in the morning to escape the heat as well as crowds. Typical tropical destination packing list applies well for your trip to Tegalalang. The goal is to avoid the ill- effect of scorching heat.

Bring water and snacks

Till the end of the main road, you can find cafes and shops everywhere. But, once you enter the rice fields, no services are available. If you are planning on staying there longer, we recommend bringing in water and snacks. Bringing water is essential, given that the heat can get you dehydrated quickly. Depending on what time of the day you visit, you can find stalls selling drinks and tourist souvenirs. But since these are random stalls, carrying your drinks and snacks is always better.

Don’t miss the Love Bali sign

It’s pretty easy to overlook the ‘Love Bali’ sign on the way to the fields. It is located right at the start of the areas. A visit to Tegalalang won’t be complete without a photo near the signboard. Moreover, sometimes it’s crowded by local children trying to make quick money. eIt’s quite usual to see the sign crowded by local children who won’t let you take a snap without paying them a donation. This is the reason why we always suggest keeping small notes handy.

Overall experience at Tegalalang rice terrace

It’s pretty easy to overlook the ‘Love Bali’ sign on the way to the fields. It is located right at the start of the areas. A visit to Tegalalang won’t be complete without a photo near the signboard. Moreover, sometimes it’s crowded by local children trying to make quick money. eIt’s quite usual to see the sign crowded by local children who won’t let you take a snap without paying them a donation. This is the reason why we always suggest keeping small notes handy.

It’s an overly visited and exploited tourist destination, where the locals will tend to bother you. The donations for every single entry can be too bothering. You will be asked to purchase water, snacks, souvenirs, trinkets, and whatnot. Having said that, we have to admit it was an enjoyable tour experience otherwise.

We visited this fantastic place as a group of travel bloggers. We had tons of fun exploring the fields. Taking photos and soaking in the atmosphere felt so good. It’s no secret why it is considered as one of the iconic tourist destinations in all of Indonesia. Make sure you follow all the top tips to make your trip pleasant. It will ensure you have a great time Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud.