Tegalalang rice terraces in Bali
Welcome to the magnificent Tegalalang Terrace, one of the most breathtaking attractions in Bali! Just a short drive from Ubud, this natural wonder boasts steep terraces that create an amphitheater-like effect, transporting you back centuries. This rice terrace is a must-visit for every traveler and photographer, as its beauty provides countless photo opportunities.
Rice is an essential crop in Bali, not just for its cuisine but also for its cultural and religious significance. The Balinese created their own irrigation system called Subak, which has been used for centuries and is a perfect example of self-sustaining farming. The system relies on weirs, canals, and tunnels that manage the water flow for rice cultivation.
The key to the success of this ancient irrigation management is cooperation among the community members. Every rice farmer is responsible for maintaining the system’s integrity, ensuring productive and ecologically sustainable rice production.
Rice fields were initially built around temples, and terraces were hand-carved into the hills. This system of rice terraces is inspired by ancient Hindu philosophy and was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2012.
If you want to experience the magic of Bali and see one of the most stunning landscapes on the island, visit Tegalalang Terrace and witness the perfect balance between nature, culture, and human ingenuity.
Bali is home to an ancient and highly sophisticated rice cultivation system known as Subak. The system combines spiritual, cultural, and ecological practices to provide sustainable agriculture for the Balinese people. The system dates back to the 9th century and is based on the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, which translates to “three causes of well-being.” These causes are harmony with God, harmony with other humans, and harmony with the environment.
Subak water management is a crucial component of the system. The irrigation system is designed to distribute water evenly to the rice fields, and it is operated through a cooperative effort by the farmers in each Subak. Each Subak is governed by a temple and a leader responsible for managing the water distribution. The water flows from the mountains through a series of channels and tunnels, and each farmer is allocated a specific amount of water based on their land ownership.
The system is about water management and incorporates crop rotation, organic fertilization, and natural pest control. The farmers plant their rice in different stages, so the fields are never harvested simultaneously. This helps to ensure a consistent food supply throughout the year.
The Subak system is not just a practical solution to rice cultivation but also an essential part of Balinese culture. The temples that govern each Subak are considered sacred, and the rituals performed during the planting and harvesting seasons are considered religious ceremonies. The Subak system was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012, which helped to bring attention to the importance of sustainable agriculture and cultural preservation.
Getting to Tegalalang rice terraces
Tegalalang Rice Terraces is about 10 kilometers north of Ubud and approximately a 45-minute drive from the central part of Ubud.
Here are some options for getting to Tegalalang Rice Terraces:
By Scooter or Motorbike: Renting a scooter or motorbike is a popular way to explore Bali. It’s easy to rent a bike in Ubud, and the ride to Tegalalang is relatively easy, with scenic views.
By Car: You can hire a private car or join a shared car tour to Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Many tour companies offer half-day tours, including a visit to Tegalalang and other nearby attractions.
By Taxi: You can also hire a taxi to take you to Tegalalang. Agree on the price beforehand or ask the driver to use the meter.
Once you arrive at Tegalalang, there is a parking area where you can leave your vehicle. From there, you can explore the terraces on foot. Remember that the walk can be steep in some areas, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for some uphill and downhill walking.
Tips for visiting Tegalalang rice terraces
Here are some tips for visiting Tegalalang rice terraces in Bali:
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is early in the morning or late afternoon, as the light is perfect for taking beautiful photos and it is less crowded.
Wear comfortable shoes: The rice terraces are steep and can be slippery, so it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes with good grip.
Bring enough water and snacks: There are some cafes and small shops near the terraces, but it is always better to bring your own water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
Respect the local culture: The rice terraces are still actively used by the local farmers, so be respectful of their work and do not damage the crops or the irrigation system.
Hire a guide: Hiring a guide can help you understand the history and culture of the rice terraces and can give you some tips on the best viewpoints and hidden spots.
Bargain for souvenirs: There are many small shops selling souvenirs near the terraces, but the prices can be inflated. Don’t be afraid to bargain for a better price.
Be prepared for some walking: To fully explore the rice terraces, be prepared for some walking and hiking. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a hat or sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
Support the local community
Visiting Tegalalang rice terraces is not only an opportunity to witness the stunning beauty of the landscape but also a chance to support the local community. Although tourism has brought more visitors and revenue to the area, the farmers who maintain and cultivate the rice terraces still struggle to make a sustainable living.
One way to support the local community is to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts made by local artisans. You can find a variety of beautiful and unique handicrafts in nearby villages, such as wood carvings, woven baskets, and handmade textiles. Not only will you bring home a beautiful memento of your trip, but you will also help to support the local economy.
When buying handicrafts, it is essential to bargain and negotiate the price to ensure that you are paying a fair amount. Remember that the prices offered to tourists are often higher than those offered to locals. By bargaining, you can help ensure your money goes further and directly benefits the local artisans.
Another way to support the community is to purchase food and drinks from local vendors. You can try traditional Balinese dishes and refreshing coconut water while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the rice terraces. By supporting local vendors, you can help to keep the money in the local economy and contribute to the sustainability of the community.
Purchasing handicrafts and supporting local vendors can be a simple but impactful way to support the local community when visiting Tegalalang rice terraces. By doing so, you can help to ensure that this beautiful and unique landscape remains sustainable and provides a livelihood for the farmers and artisans who call it home.
Enjoy your visit to Tegalalang rice terraces in Bali! To read more about Indonesia, click HERE.