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No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to one of the island’s gorgeous rice terraces. You’ll see them everywhere as you motorbike or drive around, but if you want to visit the big kahuna of rice fields, Tegalalang Rice Terrace. This is the famous rice terrace near Ubud that you’ve probably seen in everyone and their mother’s Instagram photos. It’s touristy and most people visit for the photo opp, but these fields really are stunning. Unlike some places around the world that have been spoiled by tourism, the Tegalalang Rice Terraces are definitely still worth visiting despite their notoriety. That being said, you can definitely ensure you have a less crowded and overall better quality experience if you follow some basic tips.
How to Get to Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Also known as the “Ubud Rice Fields,” it makes sense that most people stay in Ubud to visit Tegalalang. Driving to the rice terrace, Ubud is only a 20 minute taxi or motorbike ride away from the city center. The rice fields are a great start to a day of exploring things to do around Ubud. We recommend renting a motorbike in Ubud, so you can then jet off to some local waterfalls or the water palace. But if you’re nervous on a bike, there are a ton of taxis that will take you to the fields from Ubud.
You can also visit from Canggu/Seminyak area, but it’s a bit further out. It’ll take you about an hour and a half depending on your form of transportation and traffic. For the most part it’s a really beautiful and peaceful drive up to the Ubud area.
If you drive a motorbike to the rice terraces you can park anywhere along the main street.
Best Time to Visit Tegalalang Rice Terraces
The best time to visit the rice terraces are sunrise. We know, getting up early is a pain! But if you really want to get the most out of your visit, early morning is the best. We left Ubud at about dawn to get to the fields just as the sun was rising. The office wasn’t even open yet, so we skipped paying the entrance fee. Not only are there much less people, but it’s so much cooler at this time of day. The rice fields are exposed to the sun with very little shade, so after the sun comes up you’re pretty much baking under the heat.
Tegalalang rice terraces get pretty busy so if you want those sweeping photos of empty rice fields, you’ll want to beat the crowd. When we were there at sunrise there were only a handful of other visitors, but as the morning progressed it started to get busy. The early morning is also a great time for photography because the lighting is really even throughout the rice terrace. As the sun comes up, you start to get a bad glare and stark contrast on the fields that look bad in photos. You also get nice misty rays of light coming through in the early morning.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace Entrance Fee
There is an office on the other side of the main road to purchase an entrance ticket. The ticket costs 10,000 rupiah per person. There doesn’t seem to be anyone checking if you got a ticket, but considering the low price we were fine paying. As I mentioned the first time we visited was before it officially opened so we didn’t pay the entrance, but the second time we visited mid-morning and our driver dropped us at a parking lot by the payment desk.
How to Navigate Tegalalang Rice Terrace Ubud
Many companies offer a Tegalalang rice terrace tour, but they are easy enough to navigate on your own. You can enter the rice terrace at a number of entrances. The street adjacent to the terrace is lined with cafes and shops, so you just duck into one of their entrances and go through. As you walk the steps down, take a moment to look out and see just how vast these terraces are. It’s a huge place and there are tons of paths you can take. The first part of the terrace is shaped like a valley, so you’ll walk down, cross off the small river and can start walking up to the other side. The paths are step and mostly made of dirt which can get a bit slippery in the wet season. There are some concrete and wooden steps, as well as hand rails in some parts to make it easier to get around.
We recommend going straight down, coming back up the other side and continuing over to the rice terrace on the other side of the hill. There are fewer people on the other side because it’s far to walk. The paths aren’t super clear and you may start following one only to realize that it’s not going where you wanted or just ends abruptly, then have to turn around and start over. It’s all part of the fun!
There are cafes and little shops dotted throughout where you can buy snacks or drinks. You may get stopped from time to time by farmers who want a donation to visit their section of the rice fields. I don’t think there’s a set amount to pay, but 10,000 rupiah seemed like a good donation. When we first visited in 2018 it felt like there were more farmers asking for money. We even came across one woman who brought out a wooden stick with a bunch of nails in it to stop us from going any further without payment. When we visited again in 2019, we only came across one farmer asking for a donation.
Farmers may also come up to you with the traditional rice baskets balanced by a bamboo stick. If you take their picture they’ll ask for some money. They’re probably making way more from photos than from actually growing rice, so we applaud their initiative!
Traveling to Ubud, why not check out all the other amazing things to do, see and experience in our Ubud Travel Guide!
Rice Terrace Swings
There are several Ubud swings made famous by Instagram, but Tegalalang rice terrace has some pretty epic ones. We’ve all seen the photos of young women in flowy dresses swinging across the rice fields. There are a fews swings at Tegalalang, so you can take your time deciding which one looks best. The prices vary depending on which one you choose. Our friend paid 300,000 and got to ride one single-person swing, one double-person nest swing, as well as take photos another nest and a wooden love heart. The price is probably negotiable, especially if there’s a group of you paying.
The swings do have harnesses so you won’t fall off. It does look a little crappy for photos when you first get on, but once you’ve been pushed out you can barely see the harness. Unlike other Bali swings where we’ve heard that you get a limited amount of swings, the guys working these swings seemed pretty chill. There was no wait in line and they made sure we got all the photos we wanted.
What to Bring to Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Make sure you bring a water bottle (extra points for an eco-friendly reusable bottle or purchase one at a shop on your way in. The sun is no joke at Tegalalang and you can get heat stroke pretty quickly. You may want to bring in some snacks to keep you energized along the way. Of course you can always buy something at one of the little cafes on the terrace. Bug spray is also a good thing to bring because there are mosquitos around.
Make sure you bring small notes for the entrance fee and to pay farmers along the way. Other than that you’ll want to pack light for when you visit Tegalalang. You’ll be walking up and down some steep paths so you’ll be grateful if you don’t have much to carry!
What to Wear to Tegalalang Rice Terraces
First and foremost you’ll want to make sure you’re staying cool. The last thing you want is to get the perfect photo opp and then pass out because of the heat. The long flowy dresses do look amazing amongst the rice fields and on the swing. But make sure you have a shawl or something to cover yourself with in between the photo shoots. We also highly recommend bringing a hat, you’ll be so grateful you did! Here are some outfits that we think would look amazing amongst the rice terraces.
Looking for another stunning Bali rice terrace? Check out our complete guide to Jatiluwih Rice Terraces!
Where to Stay Near Tegalalang Rice Terraces
There are plenty of places to stay in Ubud, from hostels to guesthouses to luxury villas. These are some of our favorites:
Puji Bungalow – This is where we stayed the first time we visited Ubud. It’s simple, cheap and they have a great pool overlooking a rice terrace. We highly recommend this as a great budget accommodation in Ubud.
Pajar House – This super cute guest house is a popular choice in Ubud. The rooms are midrange, about $40-50 USD per night.
Goya Boutique – This gorgeous luxury hotel is upscale without breaking the bank. Just a ten minute walk from the the Ubud temple, Goya has an amazing location. The hotel also has a beautiful infinity pool.
Hanging Gardens – This is the hotel with the famous tiered pools that overlook the jungle. If you’re going to splash out on a Ubud hotel, this is a good choice. It’s not cheap but each villa comes with its own private infinity pool! Doesn’t get any better than that!
Things to do Near Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Pura Tirta Empul
This water temple near Ubud is the perfect place to visit after your trip to Tegalalang. You’ll most likely be dripping with sweat from the rice terrace so visiting water temple is perfect. We recommend bringing a bathing suit. They have changing rooms where you can put on your swimmers and then put on a rented sarong that you’re allowed to get wet. Then you’ll enter the temple, get in a pool of water and dunk yourself under a series of water fountains. Each fountain signifies a different blessing. Pura Tirta is a bit touristy but there are plenty of locals in the water with you, placing offerings and going under the fountains.
Pyramids of Chi
Ubud is all about health and wellness, and that includes some new age techniques like sound healing. The Pyramids of Chi are a sound healing experience just outside of Ubud. Basically you book a session and your group lays down in a large pyramid shaped tent for about an hour. During this time you’re laying in the dark while they play different instruments. It’s pretty trippy and we really recommend it if you want to try something different during your visit to Ubud! Plus the Pyramids of Chi are only a 15 minute drive from Tegalalang.
This may not be one of the most popular waterfalls in Bali, but Pengempu is one of the closest waterfalls to Tegalalang rice terrace and an easy addition to your Bali day trip. It’s also pretty secluded and relatively unknown so you may even have the whole place to yourself!