Photo Essay: The Terraced Rice Fields of Bali

I’m sure most people have heard of Indonesia and have epic fantasies about the exotic beauties to be found on the island of Bali. You’ve probably imagined lush greenery, exotic dances, vast landscapes and beautiful beaches. Well, your fantasies are correct.

Bali is an island that is believed to have been settled in the early 8th century. Hindu priest Rsi Marhandya came to Bali from Java and founded a colony at the confluence of the two Wos rivers at Campuan, just west of the city of Ubud. It was there that Rsi Marhandya also developed the traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system that is known as the Subak System. While the terraced rice fields can be found all over the island, the main areas where the terraced landscape is most visited are around the villages of Tegallalang, Pejeng and Campuhan. In 2012 the Subak System of Bali was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The subak site we visited was quite on accident. We were under the impression that there was only one area where the terraced rice fields were and thought it was further away than it was. We were very surprised to find ourselves driving right past a terraced system our very first morning in Bali, shortly after leaving our hotel. I was so excited that I cried. lol. Our trip to Bali was a short one and Troy had said we may not make it to the side of the island we thought the terraces were on since everything else we wanted to do was on the opposite side. I was really disappointed, so finding the terraces that first morning made me so happy. And I cry pretty easily. lol.

We thought we’d only spend an hour or so there, but we ended up spending almost three hours wandering up and down the terraces and all around the hillside. It was such a great place to visit.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This guy was pretty awesome. When we walked past him, he chattered away in Indonesian and waved me over. When I got over to him, he popped the hat on my head, linked arms with me and pointed towards the camera. It was pretty funny. Of course, he wanted money before I walked away, but it was worth it. He was fun.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To get to the other side of the little ravine in the middle of the rice field, we had to cross this bridge. It was a little rickety, but not too bad. I was nervous the first few steps, but it held up just fine.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Once we got across the bridge, we met this sign. It cracked us up. We left a ‘donation’ and then continued on our way.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We assume this little ‘cave’ is for the workers to rest during the day and store their gear at night.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been around since the 8th century and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And, of course, we had to take a cute selfie while we were there. Troy was not thrilled. lol
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are part of the Subak System style of terraced rice fields on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This system has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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12 Replies to “Photo Essay: The Terraced Rice Fields of Bali”

  1. Maureen

    Gorgeous shots of Bali! Thank you for capturing the beauty of Bali. Ubud is my favorite part of Bali but I need to come back to see the rice fields soon 😀

    Reply
  2. debbie

    Bali has been on my bucket list for what feel like forever. Would love to visit the rice fields. Thanks for sharing your journey — your photos are great!

    Reply
  3. Vaneese

    That is absolutely gorgeous! It’s like something you’d see on TV. I’d love to be able to take a trip with my husband to Bali. No kids tho! LOL..to dream. I just love the heart “selfie and those cool dirt steps.

    Reply
  4. Sage

    Wow! What stunning scenery! I was married last September and we’ve been putting off our honeymoon because we just don’t know where to go. We live in Europe and do city breaks almost every month, so we’ve been considering more exotic locations and Bali is on the short list. You may have just tipped things is Bali’s favor with this post ; -)

    Reply
  5. Esme Sy

    I love your photos. That little Nipa Hut is so cute and I’m sure the farmers love to relax there after a day’s work. Some other Asian countries have rice terraces, too. How nice that the people there were able to maintain its beauty after so many years.

    Reply
  6. Diana Natal

    Wow. Your photos are stunning – I can’t even imagine how beautiful the terraced rice fields must be in person! So glad you found them early on and got to take your time seeing them!

    Reply
  7. Tammilee

    I cannot wait to go back to Bali this Oct. I love the sign on the bridge and the bridge itself looks like fun to cross. All of your pictures are just how I remember Bali, the people there are so much fun.

    Reply
  8. Sara-Jayne

    I think you might just have found one of the most beautiful places on the planet – your photos have completely captivated me and I can’t stop looking! They look just perfect, all neat and lush and green! Bali is somewhere I would just love to visit. You are a lucky duck!

    Reply
  9. Rochkirstin Santos

    We would like to visit Bali next year with friends. There are so many exotic natural beauty in Bali islands. The rice terraces are very famous and that must look even more beautiful in actual. I thought we have a similar scenery here in the Philippines called Banawe Rice Terraces.

    Reply
  10. Kerri Gristina

    I remember learning about rice fields in schools, but the small photo in a textbook never really did it justice. Your photos are amazing and truly capture what terraced rice fields are all about. So much history in Bali. I too would have been nervous to cross the bridge!

    Reply
  11. Mary Madalene Yaroscavitch

    This must have been an amazing experience to experience. I could just picture myself there with all of the beautiful pictures. I must admit I cracked up when I read the sign. How long did your adventure last for? Bali is on my 10 year bucket list, your post makes me want to go now! lol

    Reply

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