History about rice production in Indonesia
Rice production in Indonesia is a very important part of the national economy and has been part of the Balinese culture for at least two thousand years. So before I continue to tell more about the Tegalalang rice terrace Ubud, I want to share a little bit of background and history about rice production in Indonesia.
Indonesia is the third-largest producer of rice in the world and everywhere you go in Indonesia, rice fields shapes the landscape. You will see rice being sold at markets and it is served in most local meals both as a savoury and a sweet food.
The rice cycle is a process which takes in total 5 months! Just before planting the new rice, the fields have to be fertilised which is done by flooding them with water and cows or machines plowing the land. The fields then look like reflecting mirrors and are ready for planting. This is done by hand over several days. The little seeds are reflecting in the silvery water and are ready to grow. This takes two months after planting the rice before they have grown taller into green rice and are ready to harvest. After harvesting, the stubble in the fields are burnt or flooded, so that the old rice stalks slowly decompose under the water and the ground is being prepared for the next rice.
What is Tegalalang rice terrace?
The rice terraces Tegalalang is a series of rice paddies located just outside of the centre of Ubud. These rice fields are famous for its terraced layout which is a traditional Balinese irrigation system known as Subak Irrigration. Located in a valley, the Tegalalang rice terraces offer extremely scenic lookouts over the rice fields and surrounding green landscape. It’s a very popular tourist attraction in Bali, Ubud, and a must-see when you’re in Bali.
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are impressively cut out into walls of the valley with up to 10 tiered levels of rice paddies and cascading water throughout. You will see the local farmers doing their daily routine harvesting the rice and maintaining the valley which makes it very enjoyable and picturesque for visitors.
Where is Tegalalang rice terrace
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are located in a small village in the popular rainforest region of Ubud in central Bali. This makes it easy to put a visit to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace on everyone’s Bali itinerary. You can combine a visit the the Tegalalang Rice Terraces with many other to go places in Ubud.
How to get to Tegalalang rice terrace Ubud
The Tegalalang rice terrace is a short 20-minute drive north of Ubud. The road is mostly straight and easy to reach if you have your own scooter or car. We always rent a scooter in Bali for around 60.000 IDR per day.
You can easily park your scooter along the road, but there is also a big parking area close to the rice paddies Ubud where you can drop your vehicle for a small fee (around 10,000 IDR). There are multiple entry points at Tegalalang rice terrace down into the valley. You can find a set of stairs down to Tegalalang via one of the cafes on the hillside where you just follow the path further into the rice terraces.
If you’re not confident enough to drive a scooter or car yourself, you can get a taxi for 200,000 IDR (around €12). The driver will wait for you while you visit the rice paddies and then drive you back to Ubud. Make sure to agree with the driver on the price before getting in the car.
Of course you can also book a guide who can take you on one of his private tours on a day trip to the best spots in Ubud. The price of such day tours are diverse, depending on where you want to go and what you want to see.
Entrance fee Tegalalang rice terrace
The entrance fee for the Tegalalang rice terrace is a donation fee. A local man resides in a small hut that sits on top of Tegalalang Rice Terrace will also approach you and ask for a donation for walking around on ‘his land’. Give him what you can miss, but most normal is to give around 20.000 IDR.
If you want to make photos with sunrise in the rice fields, you have to walk all the way to the way to the furthest valley. There you have to ask the elderly local landowner (Wayan) to open the fence and pay him 50,000 IDR. To stop people from walking through the rice terraces, there are now makeshift fences on most of the rice terraces. However, if you find Wayan and pay him the 50,000 IDR, he will move the fence so you can take photos in the terraces.
Best time to visit Tegalalang rice terrace Ubud
Sunrise! Always sunrise. It’s also important that you realize that the terraces will look different during each season. You will have the best circumstances just before the rice is harvested, which is usually around March-early April and September-October. But if you want to be sure that the Tegalalang rice terraces are green, have a look at instagram on the location stories or ask a fellow traveler in Ubud if it’s worth it to go.
When the rice has just been harvested, the Tegalalang rice terraces are mud pools. That takes away the charm of visiting one of the most beautiful spot on Bali. So know when to visit!
What not to miss at the Tegalalang rice terrace
There are several things you can’t miss when visiting the Tegalalang rice terraces.
- The “Love Bali” sign seat at the start of the rice fields. This swing is a famous Instagram spot and makes a perfect photo opportunity with the rice fields in the background.
- The big Bali swing. A few tree swings are strung around the treetops throughout Tegalalang Rice Terrace. So if you feel like you’re into swinging over the rice fields, you can’t miss this thrilling experience. The price to use the swing is 250,000 IDR which I think is quite expensive for what it is. But it is a once in a lifetime experience for some and a perfect photo opportunity.
- Visit the coffee plantation at the Tegalalang rice terraces. Here you’ll see the most expensive coffee in the world, called Luwak Coffee. This coffee is actually made from the feces of the civet cat. An animal that eats the coffee bean and digests it in its stomach. In the morning, the coffee is still intact in the animal’s feces and collected to be processed to make the coffee. Enjoy this unique coffee in front of the rice terrace view before or after your visit to the rice terraces.
The Bali Swing and Luwak coffee beans at the coffee plantation
Tips for your visit to Tegalalang rice terrace Ubud
- The best photo spots at Tegalalang rice terrace. For the best photo’s at the Tegallalang Rice Terraces you have to arrive early. There are a few areas to explore, but the best spot for photo’s, especially with sunrise, is the furthest valley. From the start point, you’ll have to first walk all the way down the stairs into the bottom of the valley. Then follow the stairs up the other side of the valley and around the corner you will find the beautiful photo spot of the Tegalalang rice fields. The way is clearly signposted so it is easy to navigate around the Ubud rice fields by following the signs and concrete path. When you arrive around sunrise on a clear day at this spot, you’ll see the magnificent sun rays beaming through the palm trees
- Bring water and snacks to stay hydrated.
- Bring small money for the donations.
- Be respectful and don’t walk through the rice fields in Ubud.
Things to do around Tegalalang rice terrace
- Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. This is another fun thing to do in Ubud, but be aware at your stuff because the monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest steal everything they can grab!
- Tirta Empul Temple
- Tegenungan waterfall
- Elephant cave
- Water rafting
- Visit the other Ubud waterfalls
More Bali travel guides and inspiration
We hope you are well prepared for your visit to the Tegalalang rice terraces after reading this blog post. If you want more inspiration for your Bali trip, read further in these blog posts:
Best things to do in Bali
Best waterfalls in Bali
Most beautiful sunset spots in Bali
Best sunrise spots in Bali
Bali’s famous Instagram spots