First Time Seeing Rice Terraces – Tegalalang Rice Terraces – Ubud – Bali
We woke up early in preparation for a long day ahead of us. We were hoping to take in the tegalalang rice fields, beratan water temple and the twin gitgit waterfalls, all in one day.
We had the usual fruity breakfast at the Indraprastha homestay, and said our farewells to the American group that we’d befriended. Our driver – Dewa – had arrived during breakfast, so we were whisked away all too soon.
Half an hour drive later we arrived at our first destination for the day. Tegalalang rice fields – also known as Ceking rice fields. We’d seen some impressive vistas in the first month and a half that we’d been travelling, but this was the first time that the terrain has been spectacular and completely alien.
Looking out into the valley there were dozens of different layers of terraces carved out of the hillside. Each layer contained multiple paddies that were filled up to a depth of 4-6 inches of water.
Having already paid an arbitrary entrance fee further up, we then had to make donations as we walked around. This was to the owners of the field themselves and apparently goes to the upkeep of paths. Considering the number of tourists making use of the paths, it was hard to begrudge them.
We had been warned of this extra expense over breakfast, as our American friends had been the day before, so we came with ample smaller notes. We handed donations of 10,000IDR (about 58p) for the two of us, and the owners seemed more than happy with that. Three small donations later, we were at the top of the paddies – the plateau providing the largest and most impressive paddy. We spent some time at the top, watching fellow tourists negotiate passing each other on the narrow paths. The pictures may suggest that there we were virtually alone in climbing the paddies, but the assembled masses seemed to get fairly creative in framing out their counterparts.
Sadly we were unable to spend a lot of time at the fields, as it was only the first leg of our days travel. After the climb back up to the top – a surprisingly exhausting trip up the steep steps – we returned to the car and were soon on our way to the next location.