We know that Instagram is a carefully curated feed of life and also shows the not so curated side of things depending on the person. This has been a topic of conversation for a long time about how social media doesn’t always tell the reality of a situation. I’m a firm believer that every Instagram feed is different. Some have a built a brand, business and life out of those curated feeds which I admire and respect as Digital Marketer. That being said, I often use Instagram as a bucket list of sorts which is why Tegalalang Rice Terrace was high on my must-see list while in Bali.
What is Tegalalang Rice Terrace?
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud is one of the most famous spots for tourists to flock to. It is the beautiful scene of vistas and rice paddies. Tegallalang forms 3 terraced landscapes and offers scenic outlooks. It is breathtaking and it’s not hard to understand why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That being said, between all those breathtaking spots is something a lot of people leave out. The constant “donations” that are asked of you at almost every 10 minutes, the number of tourists and just a whole lot of Bali Swings.
The Real Meaning of Donations
Before we got to the rice terraces, our driver warned us that we would be asked to donate to walk the fields. We were okay with that, we have no qualm paying but what we had an issue with was that it’s not a donation. It’s a must pay or you can’t walk and it seems to be every five minutes when one person land ends and the other begins. It isn’t even that much. You can literally pay pennies but when you aren’t prepared you can end up paying a lot because “they don’t have change” even though you see the change in the box.
So after paying three donations in 20 minutes, dealing with a lot of people trying to get the perfect picture and honestly just being rude, I was like “fuck it”. It was beautiful but not worth the hassle. So we walked a bit and I wanted to look around the corner and honestly, I am so glad we did.
Off The Instagram Path
Behind the most famous of the Bali Swings (there are multiple ones) is a space that was virtually free of tourists. It was a great way to end our time at the Rice Terraces. When I envisioned it, this is what I envisioned. So we spent ten minutes there before turning back around and heading back down and then up to the main road which is the definition of the tourist traps. Which is fine in moderation but we personally didn’t spend any time but expect people to try and get you to stop and shop.
Should We Or Shouldn’t We?
So listen, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go. In fact, if you’re prepared for the donations (bring small money) and be prepared for a lot of people who are more there for the pictures then actual beauty (which again is fine, I get it. #DoItForTheGram) then go and have a good time. Don’t forget sunscreen! But if you have the time… And honestly I would make the time to do this but I would go instead to…
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace Is Everything I Wanted And More
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace might be a drive but is SO worth it. After previously visiting the Tegalalang Rice Terraces the day before we almost gave this a skip on our drive up to Lovina and I’m so glad we didn’t. It was probably one of the best things we saw and did in Bali. Even with the cloudy skies. You pay one set fee to enter which I was fine with and it goes to an actual organization instead of private landowners. You pay 40K IDR per person plus a car fee which I can’t remember how much it was except that it wasn’t much.
What is This Rice Terrace You Talk Of?
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is massive. Everywhere you look around is full of gorgeous views. There are many walking and biking paths and we did the main one which was paved for part of it. Making it a great place for those who are traveling with older folks. Unlike the day before, we actually felt it was an authentic experience. There were people working and it was not as crowded. In fact, for most of our walk, we were the only ones making this vast place seem like our own slice of paradise.
When I say it is big, I am not lying. It is around 632 hectares wide and is much cooler due to the being 200 meters above sea level so taking pictures is not a sweaty affair. To get there you can take a tour but I’d recommend hiring a driver to take you from your destination or better yet, do it on your way up North as it’s on the way and worth it.
What About Food?
We spent about 4 hours here walking and eating at one of the places near the entrance and exit of the terraces. We got famous Babi Guling and there is something about a view and food that makes life seem perfect. Despite the limited places to eat and it mainly being tourists, the prices were fair and we even saw many of the drivers eating there. It is the only place that serves Babi Guling so it is easy to find!
So In Conclusion… Instagram Sometimes Lies and That’s Okay
So there you have it. My honest truth of how sometimes Instagram makes a place seem perfect and tranquil when in reality it is not. Experience both but if I had to go back to one, I’d be at Jatiliwih so fast, in, fact next time I’d love to do a bike tour through the rice fields. I can still close my eyes and remember just how beautiful it was.
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