Bali Rice Terraces – Bali is known for a vast number of things (international DJ parties, beach clubs by the ocean, being a literal surfer’s paradise), but nothing compares to its dominance in the world for the most picturesque, awe-inspiring, ethereal rice terraces that expand across the entire countryside. Some areas boast rice terraces that stretch for miles into the horizon, and many photographers, both amateur and professional, travel far and wide to capture the beauty of the rice fields. They are quite a sight to behold.
The concept of the unique style of rice fields in Bali came about when farmers were faced with the difficult task of rice farming on steep mountains and deep gorges – basically, the most un-ideal situations ever for rice farming. To alleviate the burden, the Balinese developed a community of water sharing (‘sunbak’) that allows for farmers to grow across and also up the slopes of hills and mountains, and thus the gorgeous terraces were born.
One of the best times to appreciate them is during the early hours of the day, when the sun’s rays are barely peaking into the sky. During October to March, when it’s considered the wet season in Bali and the entire countryside transforms into this luscious green paradise, the sun will reflect off the water in the fields and create this masterpiece of a landscape visual that you will probably never forget. Before the birds begin their journey for the day, before the farmers begin a day’s hard work, before the sun reaches its peak above the fields, and especially before the other wandering visitors interrupt the peace and quiet, make the effort to get there bright and early, you will thank yourself for it.
If you’re planning to head to Bali soon, visiting one of these globally renowned attractions is an absolute must. Some can be visited whilst staying within the city area, others will require a bit more effort to get to, we can guarantee that all are worth it.
Bali Rice Terraces #1 – Tegallalang (Ubud)
Easily the most famous of all rice terraces across Bali, simply because of its accessibility to the main areas and its renowned beauty, Tegallalang is probably the first thing you see when you search up ‘bali rice terraces’. Its landscape is known far and wide across the world, and yet when you see it first-hand up close, it will take your breath away. Levels upon levels of rice terraces dominate the countryside here, with towering trees (some with hanging coconuts!), luscious bushes, and large bananas leaves painting an almost indescribable picture of nature. At all times during the year, there will be harvesting and planting, and then more harvesting and planting, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on the best of it at any moment during the year.
As this is one of the most popular places to view a rice terrace, make sure you plan your day properly to get here nice and early if you don’t want to be interrupted by other visitors to the scene. Getting there just before sunrise will ensure you get the best picture possible, and you will generally avoid the big crowds that make their way here almost daily.
How to get there: It is located at Tegallalang Village in the centre of Bali. You can reach the Tegallalang rice terraces by driving just 20-30 minutes outside of Ubud. They’re a 75-minute drive from Denpasar and 90-minutes from Kuta.
Book a tour: Scenic Ubud
Bali Rice Terraces #2 – Jatiluwih (Tabanan, West Bali)
This is a unique rice terrace is also a favourite amongst visitors because of its location nearby the mountains. On any clear day, expect to see wide, expansive fields of luscious green grass with an incredible background of mountains upon mountains in the distance. The rice field itself is over 600 hectares, and follows the gentle slope line of the highlands and the hills. It’s easily the largest of all rice fields in Bali, and is awe-inspiring to say the least. Whilst most viewings of terraces are free, Jatiluwih will charge a small fee to view it which goes to the local cooperative fund. However, the fee is very minimal, and for the impressive ‘sea of green’ views you get out of it, it will make it worth every rupiah.
To cater for those heading here, there are small restaurants serving international and local cuisine nearby, making it a great option for lunch. For those who are interested in visiting Jatiluwih, it is best to combine it into a day-trip to visit other attractions such as Batukaru Temple and the Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest, and to end the day at Tanah Lot sea temple.
How to get there: Located 90-minutes away from Ubud and under 2 hours away from Kuta, Jatiluwih rice terraces are located in the middle of Bali near Ganung. From Ubud, you will need to hop onto the Jalan Raya Besakih. From Kuta, you will need to hop on the Jalan Raya Marga-Apuan.
Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Book a Tour: Explore Bedugul & Tabanan
Bali Rice Terraces #3 – Rendang (East Bali)
Rendang is a rather small mountain village located in East Bali’s Karangasem regency. When you’re driving through the area, it will be very hard to miss the scenic countryside view of the rice terraces, and if you weren’t aware they were there, they’ll definitely make you do a double-take. During all days of the year, the green shade of these fields do not falter in colour due to their constant maintenance. The area is known for its agriculture and stone carving, and if you observe closely, you will notice that there are crafted stone temples and statues lining the roadsides.
How to get there: Located less than 1 hour away from Ubud, the rice paddy can easily be reached via Jalan Raya Besakih.
Book a tour: Bali Traditional Village Tour
Bali Rice Terraces #4 – Munduk Rice Fields (North Bali)
As most adventurers who are heading to Bali would know, Munduk is an area full of natural beauty, especially in the waterfall department. However, less is known about the Munduk Rice Fields, which is not as well travelled but is equally stunning in splendour. The highland region features a wonderful expanse of rice paddies, and it is especially prominent in the neighbourhoods of Gobleg and Gesing. Massive trees tower over the rice paddies, and in the distance you will be the wide expanse of the forests. If you enjoy activities such as hiking and cycling, this is a great little village to do all of that! After some local produce? Look out for the stalls on the side of the streets selling their locally grown durian and other fruits.
How to get there: It is less than 2 hours away from Ubud. You will need to drive there via the Jl. Mekarsari – Baturiti Bedugul.
Bali Rice Terraces #5 – Soka Rice Fields (Tabanan, West Bali)
A petite entrance to the list (relative to the other ginormous paddies), the rice fields of Soka Village make up in impressive beauty and infinite charm for what it lacks in (relative) size. The village is located near the west coast of Bali, laying quite close to the beaches (so close that if it’s silent enough, you can even hear the waves crashing), which means you can easily navigate your way here if you are touring towards or through the west side. Whilst it varies through the year, the best time to actually view the Soka rice fields is when the reeds have grown to their optimum height and the rice plants have yellowed, just before being harvest. The true beauty of Soko shines during these times. After the harvest season, it’s merely just land with rice straw until a new crop is planted.
How to get there: From Soka, it is a 90-minute car ride via Jalan Raya Denpasar-Gilimanuk.
Bali Rice Terraces #6 – Sidemen (Karangasem, East Bali)
Sideman is quite often included in the itinerary when visitors plan to visit the Klungkung and Besikah temples, with all of these attractions being located on the eastern side of Bali. On the southern hillsides of Mt. Agung (Bali’s tallest mountain) lies a small village in the countryside, sustained proudly by their farming communities. Over the recent years, visitor day trips have been gaining traction due to its dazzling rice paddies and enormous plantation. During the days where the fields are flooded with water and are utterly still, it’ll be as though you can see the entire sky reflected off the ground. Many tours offer treks through the paddies where you can fully immerse yourself in amongst the vegetation and the peace and quite that comes with vast fields of plants.
When you visit this village, a unique memento to take home with you would be the traditional dye weavings that the villagers of Sidemen are known for. Intricate art and designs are loomed together by cotton or silk threads. This is a great way to give back to the community.
How to get there: From Kuta, you will need to drive roughly 90-minutes through winding roads.
Book a tour: Day-trip to Sidemen
Bali Rice Terraces #7 – Pupuan (Tabanan, West Bali)
Close by to the more famous rice terrace Jatiluh lies Pupuan, a lesser known but equally stunning farming village. Whilst its rice terraces are a gorgeous sight to behold, their farms actually harvest additional locally grown cocoa, clove, and coffee (talk about a mouthful!). There are even smaller farming sections that focus on growing rare tropical fruits, including mangosteen and the esteemed south-east Asian fruit durian. The best time to view these fields would be during the early hours of the day, and when you arrive, you will see the farmers quietly tending to their crops, or laying out cloves to dry out on the roadsides. Surrounded by forests, the green in Papuan fields are like no other. If you were to explore and stray off the beaten paths, the forests surrounding the fields yield stunning but hidden waterfalls and streams to explore.
How to get there: Drive along Jalan Gilimanuk Denpasar highway for around 75-minutes.
Hours: Sat – Thurs: 8:00am – 6:00pm, Friday: Closed
Bali Rice Terraces #8 – Kekeran
A novice entrance on the list, Kekeran is not normally the place where visitors in Bali go to get their rice paddy views fix. However, don’t let this deter you. In fact, on destinations like Bali, where many things quickly become overrun by tourists, a hidden gem like Kekeran should be protected at all costs.
From a small food cart in the village of Kekeran, you will actually be able to see up to 10km in front of you, across the wide expanse of lined rice terraces all the way to the jungle and beyond. If you look below, there is a river which winds its way through, and a constant light breeze will provide you some solace as well as play havoc with the banana leaf trees lining the fields. Have a chat with the owner of the stall, purchase some food, and time will stand still when you’re leisurely munching on fresh fruit whilst taking in a sight that many can only dream of seeing in real life.
How to get there: Head to the road north of Papuan. As you enter the Kapbupaten of Buleleng along the main Antosari to Mayong road, there is a small village which is Kekeran. Off the side of the road is a small warung (food stall) owned by Nyoman and his wife. Purchase some freshly cut fruit (paw paw and mangoes and watermelon!) and head on over to appreciate the view behind the warung.
Bali Rice Terraces #9 – Pererenan (Canggu)
Canggu, the bohemian heart of Bali – a surfer’s home, a hippie’s paradise, and home to one of the most gorgeous rice terraces in Bali (unexpected, but it’s true!). Pererenan is an underrated scenic rice paddy that’s located en-route to some of Canggu’s best surfing beaches. The rice paddy is a great way to break up the drive if you want to stop somewhere picturesque before hitting the waves at the beach, or if you just don’t want to travel for hours to see a rice paddy (as this one is just 20-minutes from Tanah Lot Temple and 10-minutes from Batu Bolong and Berawa), or even if you just want a breath of fresh air that only fields of luscious green plants can give you, stat. You will immediately be able to see the fields when you’re arrive along the road. Feel free to pull over at any time to watch the local farmers tending to their crops up-close, they don’t mind!
How to get there: Ride along Jalan Batu Mejan onto Jalan Padang Linjong, then turn left onto Jalan Pura Blulang Yeh. Ride along the beaten path until you reach a fork, then turn right onto Jalan Sempol (where beautiful rice terraces await), or left onto Jalan Pantai Pererenan (towards the beach and some more rice fields).
Bali Rice Terraces #10 – Abang & Ngis (Abang)
There is an area deep on the east coast that offers up what could possibly be the most stunning and beautiful panoramic view of rice fields on the entire island, and it’s all courtesy of a little village called Ngis, unknown and unexplored by most people visiting Bali.
If you’re traveling to Amlapura on the east cost, head further north until you reach the village of Abang. There is a small lookout near that area where you will find the most exquisite view of the fields, from high above where the land, the trees and the skies all meet together to paint a perfect picture of Mother Nature. The looming misty mountains in the background serve only to support how gorgeous this place really is.
Address: (address to Amlapura) Amlapura, Karangasem Sub-District, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia
How to get there: If you’re traveling east to Amlapura, head further north just a little towards Abang. You will pass a sharp bend in the road. Follow this bend and you will come straight to the viewpoint for the terrace fields.
These rice terraces are amazing, and will most likely be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Whilst many south-east Asian countries have their fair share of rice paddies (rice is a major export item of many Asian countries after all), the beauty and aura of the Balinese ones, terraced and uniquely aligned with the slope of the mountains, brings a fresh perspective to all travellers.