Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Bali. Chances are if you are holidaying in Bali, you will be coming to this place. It’s got everything from gorgeous rice fields to Bali swings, Bali nests, cafe and beautiful scenery all around.
Now, because of its popularity amongst tourists, it’s also quite crowded throughout the day. Activities are pricey and if you don’t plan your visit carefully, you might just end up being slightly miserable here.
So, in this post I thought let me share with you my experience at Tegalalang Rice Terrace. The contents of this blog post will include the following:
- About Tegalalang Rice Terrace
- How Do You Get To Tegalalang Rice Terrace?
- Best Time To Reach Tegalalang Rice Terrace
- How To Enjoy Bali Nests (Free of cost)
- Things You Must Carry When You Visit Here
What is Tegalalang Rice Terrace?
Tegalalang sometimes also spelt as Tegallalang is a district in the Gianyar Regency, Bali, Indonesia. It is located around 10 km north of Ubud. It’s this vast stretch of rice paddy fields with lush greenery all around. The whole place is stunning no matter where you look.
You can see the fields as you drive from Ubud. It’s a short drive from the main market. About 15-20 mins max. The best part about Tegalalang is that the rice fields are done in terrace farming i.e. step farming.
Terrace farming is a method of farming whereby “steps” known as terraces are built onto the slopes of hills and mountains. When it rains, instead of rain carrying away the soil nutrients and plants down the slope, they flow to the next terrace. – Source, World Atlas
How Do You Get To Tegalalang Rice Terrace?
It’s a straight road from Ubud market. The roads are pretty good in Ubud. So you can come here either on a bike or even using your rental car. I found that hiring a full day cab is more financially beneficial than booking on the go from one place to another.
The good part is you can club your visit to Tegalalang Rice Terrace with a lot of other tourist spots in Ubud. We covered Tegalalang on the first day of our Bali trip. We ended up covering all of these tourists spots on Day 1:
- Tegalalang Rice Terrace
- Besakih Temple – Biggest Hindu Temple in Bali
- Goa Gajah
- Tirtha Empul
How To Make The Most Out Of This Place
1. Get To Tegalalang Rice Terrace Before Anybody Else Does
- Early morning by 7 am
- If you can come for sunrise, even better
If there is one point you need to absorb in this blog post, it’s this. Timing is everything when it comes to this place. Bali being on the tropical belt is hot. All the time. So anywhere you go after 9 am is plain painful. The sun is right over your head, and it makes for a very uncomfortable experience. Especially for places like the rice fields, which are in the open.
We reached Tegalalang Rice Terrace early in the morning by 7:15 am. There was practically nobody in the vicinity. Since it is an active rice field, we did see few field workers here and there, but that’s about it.
We simply paid the entry tickets and got in. The whole place was open for us. We got uninterrupted shots of us, of the surroundings. It was perfect. But come 9 am, we started dripping sweat! It was miserable. The heat pinches you so much, we were melting there.
2. Use The Initial Hour To Explore The Rice Fields
Depending upon your energy levels, you can spend anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours in this rice field. It’s spread across a good area, and the terrain is such that it requires a fair bit of hiking.
So don’t end up using precious early hours in long photo sessions. Check out the place and then come back for your photos. Till about 10 in the morning the crowd doesn’t really show up. Even if they do, most of the people huddle up around the bali swings. Use that time to wander far into the fields and check out other areas.
3. Enjoy All The Bali Nests (FREE OF COST!)
You heard me. From what I understand, the activities here are run by some external agencies. It has got nothing to do with actual farmers here. So pretty much all the swings, nests and other props are out there in the open.
Now, we did want to pay and then get our photos clicked, but there were no humans around us who would take the money, and give us tickets. Even the ticketing counters inside the farm were closed. Maybe it was just that day, I mean I don’t know how that happened. But it did. The whole place was empty.
How Much Do Bali Nests Cost?
So instead we just went and clicked like thousand different photos without anybody hurrying us to be done. I know this might not seem that significant, but let me tell you this. Those Bali nests had a price tag of IDR 25000 ~ USD 2 all the way to IDR 100,000 ~ USD 7 and more for single photo!
Do Not Try The Bali Swings At Tegalalang Rice Terrace Without Proper Supervision
Since we are talking about Bali Nests, I should point out that Bali Swings, on the other hand, are a whole different category. Do not, and I repeat do not try it out on your own. Don’t even go close to where you see them.
Bali swings are usually placed in a way that there’s always a deep cliff on the edge. That makes it very dangerous. That + they have different kinds of harness etc lying around. In case, you do get stuck there is really nobody around to help out in case of emergency.
4. Make Sure To Carry Essentials
- An umbrella
- Tissue(s) to wipe your sweat constantly
- Sufficient Water
- Minimal baggage
- Wear appropriate footwear
Once you’re in the rice field, you are on your own. Whether you need water, or shed there isn’t much option. The only stores available are at the start of the field. So make sure you don’t forget to carry these essentials.
No matter how much sunblock you use, you’ll still feel the heat in Bali. Bali weather in general is quite hot and humid at the same time, which makes outdoor exploring quite tough. So an umbrella was at least my best friend in this place.
Apart from this, wearing good footwear is key to not getting into trouble here. It is a rice field after all, so there are patches where it’s muddy with wet soil. If you’re going to come dressed with fancy heels or footwear, you might end up slipping or injuring yourself somewhere.
5. If You’re A Couple Exploring, Huddle Up With Someone Who Can Take Your Couple Shots
The biggest problem with two people travelling is you can never manage to get those couple shots. Sure there’s the option for setting up your tripod etc, but I mean really, do you want to do all that?
We in fact had carried our full DSLR and tripod gear with us when we came to Tegalalang Rice Terrace. But seeing how spread out the place was, and getting a feel of the Bali heat, we decided to simply junk all our gear. We simply kept it in the car, and went ahead with just my iPhone.
So What Do You Do In Case You Want To Get Those Couple Shots?
- Find another couple or a group who you can request to click a few pictures
- Donate some money to the local farmers on the field and ask them to help you with some pictures
We used both the options. Luckily for us, there was one big group right in front of us. We rallied behind them for a long way inside the rice fields. First we took their group photos, then they helped us with ours. Win-win.