Rice paddies in Bali

Rice terraces in Bali.

Rice Terraces in Bali

The rice terraces deserve special attention on the island, thanks to which you can see how rice grows. The stepped rice fields are striking in their beauty and it is pleasant to stroll here. The rice paddies are located in the interior of Bali. In this article, I will describe the most popular of them. You will have a lot of fun getting to know them.

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

This is the most famous and recognizable place in Bali and the one that most of the tourists visit. The terraces got its name after the Tegallalang province that is located in 20 minutes drive from Ubud. Due to the fact that the fields are quite high and close to the road, there is always a light breeze. It is visited not only by tourists but also by nature lovers and even artists. The terraces are famous for their stunning scenery, and the photos taken in front of them are not comparable to any other similar place.

Rice Terraces in Bali

There is a winding path between the terraces, where you can walk and see how rice is grown at close range.

Rice Terraces in Bali

There is a theory that the terraces of Tegallalang were laid out as early as the ninth century. Today it is an important tourist site that boasts a well-developed infrastructure. There are numerous cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops and even art stores nearby. Technically, visiting the terraces is free, but there are a few services that you will have to pay for. For example, parking, photos, also the fee is taken before entering certain fields. Tegallalang is open to the public throughout the daylight hours.

Rice Terraces in Bali

Near Tegallalang there is a small village Pakudui, where real craftsmen and artisans live. Here skilled wood sculptures are made and the skill of carving has been handed down from generation to generation for many years.

Jatiluwih Rice Terrace

This is another famous terraces on the island, located on the slope of Mount Batukaru, near the town of Tabanan. The fields are located at an altitude of about 700 meters. Tabanan is practically the center of Bali, which is much more favorable for the cultivation of rice than the southern parts of the island.

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Rice Terraces in Bali

The terraces cover an area of 303 hectares and are artificially created steps. Rice is grown here by hand and harvested every 3-6 months (depending on the variety). About 4 tons of culture can be obtained from 1 hectare. On the terraces, both white and black and red varieties of rice are grown. Farmers oversee the fields and buffaloes help with the cultivation of the fields.

Rice Terraces in Bali

Infrastructure here is well developed, there are catering facilities, souvenir shops, there are parking lots. Often in the vicinity of Jatiluvi religious ceremonies are held, the purpose of which is to appeal to the gods for a good harvest.

Rice Terraces in Bali

The terraces are open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm. The entrance fee is Rp 30,000.

Rendang Rice Terrace

The terraces occupy a large area near Mount Agung, near the temple complex of Besakih. The peculiarity of this place is that the terraces here are closely intertwined with the fields. The area is surrounded by jungle on all sides. The Unda River flows through the terraces. The views from the top of Rendang Rice Terrace are spectacular. It takes at least 6 hours to walk around the entire area. You can visit the terraces at any convenient time, as they are open 24 hours a day. Admission is free.

Rice Terraces in Bali

Kekeran Busung Biu Rice Terrace

Located on the north side of the island near the village of Munduk. It is located far from popular tourist sites and is therefore not popular with travelers. It is most convenient to stop here during a trip to the northern lakes or to Lovina. Terraces are located on the hills, among which the river flows. In addition to rice, spices and fruits are grown here. Visiting the area is free, but you can always buy locally produced goods from the population. The terraces are accessible at any time of the day.

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Rice Terraces in Bali

Rice Terraces of Ubud

There are a large number of terraces around the town of Ubud. They gently descend into the valley of the Ayung River, thus forming beautiful scenery. Near many of the terraces are prestigious hotels that allow you to enjoy stunning views from your rooms. The most famous terraces are located near the villages of Sayan, Payangan, Penestanan, and Pengosekan.

How is rice grown?

The appearance of rice fields directly depends on the cycle of cultivation of the crop. Modern varieties have only 110 days to full maturity, this allows for harvesting 2-3 times during the year. Traditional Balinese rice varieties need 210 days to mature, that is how long a year lasts on the island. If you look at the local calendar, you will notice that most of the national holidays are associated with the rice growing stage. This culture is considered the main one in the Balinese diet.

There are several varieties of rice, depending on the stage of processing:

  • Padi – this is a crop that has already been harvested, but the stems and grains have not yet had time to be threshed and processed.
  • Gabah – the grains have already been separated from the stalks, but they have not yet been processed.
  • Beras – the grains have been processed and are ready for consumption. When buying rice in the store, you may want to note that this is the word indicated on the packet.

The traditional varieties of rice for Bali are as follows:

  • Barak (also called red) is a sacred crop, this variety is considered the most expensive. It is used in religious ceremonies. Its grains have a pink hue.
  • Injin: The seeds have a darker-purple hue, but are often called black. It is grown in small quantities. Rice has found use in desserts and various fillings.
  • Ketan (white rice) is the most common and is what the locals eat. Curcuma gives it a yellow hue, after which it is used for religious rituals.
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The process of rice cultivation itself consists of several stages. Initially, grains are planted on small plots of land in order to obtain seedlings. At this time the fields are prepared, buffalo still continue to be used for plowing. When the seedlings grow to 15 centimeters, they begin to be transferred to the flooded terraces. All the work is done by hand, and most of the time the seedlings are planted by women. Experienced growers can plant about 20 m 2 in a quarter of an hour.

Rice Terraces in Bali

Once all the seedlings are in the fields, water begins to be directed to the terraces, it is distributed evenly among all the farmers. Fields with young rice poured with water look the most beautiful, as they look like large mirrors, in which you can see the reflection of the sky. Rice grows fast enough, just a few days after planting the terraces acquire a beautiful emerald hue. The rice should turn a golden color before it is harvested.

Rice Terraces in Bali

Rice is harvested by hand on the terraces, a technique that can only be used in the fields. After the ears are cut, they are dried and threshed. The grains are cleaned from their outer shells with special machinery, although the entire process used to be done manually.

After the crops are harvested, ducks are sent to the fields. They collect the remaining grains and small insects. And at the expense of their droppings partially fertilize the land.

Useful hints for tourists

A few rules to be aware of before visiting the terraces:

  1. Rice terraces look different depending on the season. If you want to see young sprouts in the flooded fields, then you should go on a trip at the end of January or beginning of February.
  2. The best time to visit is early morning or late evening. In the morning the number of visitors is minimal, plus a slight coolness. In the evening you can enjoy the sunsets, which in these parts are especially beautiful.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes, because you have to walk on dirt paths.
  4. You will be in a place of a large accumulation of water, do not forget that this is a great environment for mosquitoes and their larvae. To avoid stings take care of special means.
  5. Only the most visited terraces are paid. Bali has enough rice terraces that you can visit for free.
  6. If you decide to take a photo with a farmer, it is better to ask him about it. Most of the farmers pose willingly, but there are cases where they ask money for a photo. In any case, respect the Balinese and their privacy.
  7. There are cafes operating near the most famous terraces. Staying in one of them, you can not only enjoy the delicious food, but also to admire the beautiful scenery.
  8. Near some terraces operate hotels, so it is not difficult to rent a room with a picturesque view from the window.
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Rice Terraces on the Map

On this map, I’ve marked all of Bali’s rice terraces as described.

There are more than enough rice terraces in Bali. Each one has its own special features. You don’t have to pay money to experience this natural attraction. Traveling around the island, you can find lesser-known fields, the entrance to which is available to everyone and at the same time completely free of charge.

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