Tegalalang Rice Terrace: Day Trip from Ubud

The rice paddies in Bali were something that we could never get enough of, (and we spent an entire month living right next to one) which meant a trip to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was high up on our bucket list. Having checked out the paddies that Vietnam and China have to offer, we wanted to see how the famed Tegalalang Rice terraces compared.

Only a 25 minute drive from our accommodation made for an easy day trip for us, and anyone else considering getting out of Ubud for the day. 

We’ve put together an easy guide about visiting the terraces from Ubud, sparing you the unnecessary waffle. Rather watch a quick reel about our trip? Then take a look here. 

Getting There From Ubud

Motorbikes are the reigning king in Bali, and everyone uses them to get from A to B. Neither of us can drive (probably a blessing to the people of Bali) , so we booked a ride via the Grab App. For a 25 minute ride it cost around 31k. Of course, like any major attraction, there are Tegalalang day trip packages available but seeing as we’re on a tight budget we gave that a Matrix-like swerve. 

Prep wise, we’d suggest the following:
– comfortable footwear
– bottle of water and some snacks

Nice and easy. 

We visited in April and hadn’t seen that much rain so our trainers did the job nicely. You’d need something sturdier if you’re planning a visit during the rainy months. 

Snack wise,  there’s the odd stall in the terrace itself with overpriced things like coconut, bananas and cans of coke up for sale. For anyone prone to getting hunger grumps like us, then it’d be worth bringing something with you. There are cafes and restaurants along the main road but, like we said – budget embracers over here. For all the other vegans out there – we did clock a few vegan restaurants but nothing that we could recommend, unlike these top-notch buffet spots in Ubud.

Tegalalang Rice Terrace: Expectation versus Reality 

And this is why we stay away from heavily edited and filtered pictures – because what we saw on other blogs was very different from the reality we got. 

The expectations:

Pristine terraces with the lushest greens humanly imaginable with that kind of untouched quality to it – a bit like untrodden snow.

The reality:

A landscape that has, in our opinion, been ruined in an effort to pull in more tourists who are desperate for that perfect instagram shot. A handful of swings have been built on the terraces as well as a zip line – and you could only wonder if it was mandatory to make loud whooping noises when using them, seeing as so many obnoxious tourists were doing so. 

Would we still visit again?

Yes. Here’s why: if the ‘Love Bali’ signs and swings are a turn off for you too, then walk deeper into the rice terrace for 10 minutes or so and you’ll be treated to a more authentic landscape. 
You can thank us later.

We took trails at random, walked in between the paddies, and took a few minutes to admire the view (relishing the peacefulness of it all).
Seeing the sun slowly dip over the terraces really made for a stunning sight and, tacky tourist areas and infinity pools aside, it was worth the visit.

We’ll say one last thing before we wrap up – if you’re looking for a more authentic experience then it may be worth just staying in Ubud and exploring some of the rice fields in the surrounding area.
True, these are fields and not a terrace but it’s quieter, not to mention a glimpse into the lives of Bali’s farming community. We’ll let you decide for yourselves.

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