everything they don't tell you about the Tegallalang rice terraces

One of the items on my 'Bali Bucket list' was to hit the tourist hotspot that is Tegallalang Rice Terraces. And, it's on everyone's list for a reason-- they're gorgeous. Driving up north of Ubud through the busy traffic to the green terraces, I immediately found myself feeling lucky to see something I'd scrolled past on other travel blogs countless times with my own eyes. 

However, there are a few things bloggers and tour guides don't tell you about the Tegallaland rice terraces. But, lucky for you...

...I'm here to spill the deets.  


You're going to need a vehicle to get there //

If you're staying in Ubud with the hope that you might walk out of town to the rice fields, you'll be walking an awfully long time. And, if you visit in the high season, you'll spend that long walk in the terrible heat. The rice terraces are located about 25-minutes outside of Ubud's city center by motorbike, which I recommend as your mode of transportation throughout Bali, though some people are. weary of the roads {understandably}. You can also organize tours with your guest house or hotel. Another option is to hire a driver for the day {usually costs around USD$50 for 8 hours}. You can also call a taxi, though rates may be high. A motorbike is cheap {ours cost us a little over USD$5 per day} and much easier to navigate through traffic. 


The early bird really does catch the worm //

I knew that, like just about any attraction, getting to the rice fields before midday would ensure we got photos with fewer people in them and didn't have to weave our way on the tiny walkways, navigating politely amongst other tourists. We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and by the time we left, the place had really started filling up. Also, the heat started to kick in {though I still don't think Bali is nearly as hot as Laos or Myanmar}. If you want to avoid the heat and the crowds, go earlier. 


You might get muddy //

We kept seeing people with muddy shoes and women with the bottoms of their skirts dirtied up. Tourists warned one another as they passed on the narrow pathways to 'mind the mud.' We were surprised since it was a perfectly sunny day without a drop of rain. We hiked all over and didn't come across any, but other people weren't so lucky and did manage to find the mud. So, just to be safe, maybe don't visit in your favourite white trainers or pretty long dress? 


Those 'donations' are mandatory //

As you walk along the terraces, staring off at the lush greenery that surrounds you, you'll get stopped at little huts where locals will ask you for 'donations.' The truth is that they are in fact mandatory. Sure, you get to decide how much you give, but you do have to give something to go on to the next portion of terrace. This money go toward maintaining the rice fields and pathways that tourists walk along when visiting. 


There are major eye-sores and annoyances to deal with //

Despite the terraces themselves being beautiful, the surrounding scenery is...well...pretty ugly. Souvenir shops and cafes line one side of the landscape entirely. There are local rice farmers that let tourists take photos with their traditional equipment in random locations throughout the fields. I got spooked by more than one drone thinking it was a swarm of wasps nearby. As a major attraction in Bali, the rice fields capitalize on their mass appeal with brightly coloured signs for people to. pose in front of and little stands selling gelato and juices. I think these things take away from the natural beauty of the terraces, but other people probably think I'm just a scrooge. Regardless, know that your trip to the terraces won't be out in the jungle, filled with only the sights and sounds of nature. 


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