Tag Along to Tegalalang
Did you even go to Bali if you didn’t visit terraced rice paddies when you went?
Regardless of how you answered that, I think we can all agree that the rice terraces are some of the most iconic images that come to mind when someone mentions “Bali”. If you’ve been, you’re well aware that at any given moment, if there isn’t a rice paddy within view from the restaurant or cafe you’re at, there’s at least 12 less then 10 minutes down the road in either direction. And although these aren’t always going to be the terraced masterpieces we’ve come to know and love, they never cease to please the eye.
But what about the works of art carved out jungle hillsides? How often do you get to see those?
Well the good news is that although they’re not quite as abundant, there are still plenty to go around. In fact, we’ve actually got a view of a decent sized one from our villa’s balcony. But two of the more impressive and well known stretches of rice terraces are Tegalalang and Jatiluwih. While we still need to cross Jatiluwih off of our list, we decided to tackle Tegalalang this weekend.
How To Get There
One of the best and worse parts about getting to Tegalalang is how easy it is to get there. From the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Maps.Me says it’s only an 8 min drive. This is definitely a little inaccurate (it’s 7 miles away), and even if you double that time it’s probably still a bit off; nonetheless, it will probably only take you around 20 minutes to get there depending on how comfortable/reckless you are with your scooter. To make it even more convenient, it’s basically a straight shot from Ubud (we only took two turns) and the rice terraces are literally on the side of the road. We’ve also read that there are minor entrance and parking fees, but we didn’t encounter anything of the sort.
But with this ease of access obviously comes a lot of interest from other tourists, so it can get crowded at times. However, it’s relatively big enough that there aren’t tourists everywhere you look, and even though we went on a Sunday, it wasn’t completely packed. Maybe it’s because the larger Jatiluwih paddies draw a little more attention. Either way, we still recommend going at the crack of dawn to avoid the small crowds and heat, as well as to catch that picture perfect lighting.
What You’ll See
To put it simply, exactly what you came for.
Tegalalang is an impressive collection of steep terraces that almost resemble a miniature valley winding through a small mountain range. The massive palm trees, flowing stream and periodic shrine really transport you into a different world. Make sure you take the time to explore the whole area. Its not a gigantic stretch of land, but there are a couple of branches to the system and each one has its own unique layout and view.
Last but not least, Tegalalang is also home to the famous LOVE BALI sign. There’s also another “Bali Corner” sign on a bamboo platform at the far right end of the paddies, but the view isn’t nearly as spectacular. Pay the 5,000 Rupiah (38 cents) and take a few cheesy photos.
But I think it’s time to stop talking about the picturesque rice terraces and time to start showing you more of them. So here’s a collection of our favorite photos from Tegalalang that didn’t quite make it to Instagram, at least not yet. Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below!