The Rice Terraces of Ubud

rice terrace ubud bali where to visit tips day trip

A visit to Ubud (and Bali) isn’t complete without seeing some of the iconic rice terraces! We spent 4 wonderful days in Ubud and checked out a number of different rice terraces. We will give our thoughts on the rice terraces, recommend a few spots for ‘hidden’ rice terrace views, along with sharing some great drone shots and photos of our experiences when visiting.

A few rice terraces you should visit near Ubud

Tegalalang/Ceking Rice Terrace:

This is the main event! The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are the most popular in Bali and located close to Ubud (around 10-20minutes pending the location of your accommodation). Due to their picturesque nature, and the close proximity to Ubud, they are very popular. We had and amazing experience, and put a few of our tips below to help you have as good (or better) an experience as we did!

  • Arrive early: trust us.. it’s worth the earlier wake up. This is the most popular rice terrace in Ubud, and the crowds will match that popularity. Plus, Ubud gets warm, and the rice terraces are somewhat unprotected from the sun. We would recommend aiming to get to the terrace before 8am if possible (definitely before 10am latest if able).
  • You have to pay an entry fee: This will cost 25k per person (around $2-3 AUD each). You will need cash. Be prepared.
  • Walk down into the rice terraces: Don’t just stay at the top and take photos. Walk down into the terraces and see the varied stages of rice growth (not all the terraces will be bright green as they are in varied stage of their ‘lifespan’). You will also get away from other people, and get a chance for some amazing photos. We recommend good shoes for this.
  • Consider the heat: Bali can get warm, and the sun is up early. After about 9am at the rice terraces we noticed the heat significantly increasing and the direct sunlight was increasing. We didn’t visit later in the day, but apart from the crowds, we expect the heat to be quite a lot and there isn’t a lot of shade as you climb down the terraces.
  • Consider the lighting for photos: This is one of the social media fans out there. If you want photos (or drone photos) with great light, consider getting there before 8am (even around sunrise). There’s less people, and the light is ‘consistent’. We had some good light, but even getting there around 8am found that there was a lot of direct sunlight, making it hard for photos.
  • Benefit of a guide: We loved having a guide (see below), particularly to educate us on the rice growing and farming process. It also made getting to and from the terraces easier.
Sidemen Rice Terrace:

The Sidemen rice terrace is a flatter, less popular terrace located around 1-1.5 hours away from Ubud in a small town called Sidemen. After seeing ‘Salt In Our Hair’ do a guide on Sidemen, we were keen to visit, with the Sidemen Rice Terrace a key attraction. However, the practicalities of a day trip visit from Ubud must be considered. For those that haven’t visited Bali, it is important to know that the traffic is shocking, especially mid morning onwards. Sidemen is around 1-1.5hours from Ubud, but this could increase significantly with heavy traffic. Additionally, if doing a day trip, you have to return back in heavy afternoon/evening traffic. Due to these reasons, we regrettably didn’t get the chance to visit. Sidemen is definitely on our list for next time we head to Bali, but we think it’s better for staying a few nights rather than a rushed day trip.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces:

The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are another popular attraction and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, they are similar to Sidemen regarding distance (1-1.5 hours) and traffic considerations. Additionally, they are also in an opposite direction from The Tegalalang Rice Terraces and may be better as a day trip on a separate day.

Smaller rice terraces near Ubud that you should include in your day trips:
  • Rice terrance along ‘Jl. Tumbuku’ on way to Cepung Waterfall: We drove past this ‘hidden’ local rice terrace when heading to Cepung Waterfall and I convinced our guide to stop and show us. After heading down a narrow little side alley we were greeted with a beautiful view of a local rice terrace. Pays to have a guide that is happy to stop and take you ‘local’.
  • The rice terraces along the roads on the way to Tibumana Waterfall: We stopped on the way to the popular Tibumana waterfall to take in the beautiful rice terraces. The road was ‘Jl. Desa Apuan’ (we think).
  • The Kajeng Rice Field along the ‘Sweet Orange Trail’ walk in the heart of Ubud: Head along the main street ‘Jl. Raya Ubud’ until you reach a small alley located close to a PaninBank ATM. Follow his narrow trail until you reach an abandoned house converted into an art gallery (Art Galery King on Google Maps). Take a right and head up onto the Sweet Orange Walk trail. This will very calm, and you may feel like you have the entire place to yourself. Palm trees line the path, and rice terraces sit either side of the path. It is much more ‘local’ and less ‘touristy’. We loved it!
  • Mancingan Rice Terrace: Located around 30-45 minutes north of Ubud and not far off the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, these are a ‘less popular’ and picturesque terrace to check out. A little flatter and great for a walk (and drone shots.
  • Rice terrace view at Altman Nourish in the heart of Ubud: Head out the back of the Altman Nourish cafe to sit with beautiful rice terrace views in the heart of Ubud.
  • Everywhere! Along the main street near our villa, Jl. Tirta Tawar, and generally the main streets snaking out of Ubud, we found a multitude of ‘local’ rice terraces with farmers actually working and tending to their crops. These weren’t touristy, but we definitely enjoyed the local feel. There is also some great rice terraces up along Jl. Raya Payangan (around 20 minutes drive north-west of Ubud).

Want a guide for your rice terrace visit?

We highly recommend a guide when visiting the rice terraces for a number of reasons:

  • They can educate you on the history, culture, and how the rice terrace farming actually works. Our guide Ade was so informative and we learned so much!
  • They know a few of the smaller or hidden rice terraces on the side of the roads.
  • A good guide will be happy to stop for photos when you’re driving past a picturesque rice terrace (trust us, this will happen, they are everywhere).
  • They can take your photos!

We had a wonderful English speaking local guide called Ade who was incredibly knowledgeable, very friendly, and an overall excellent guide. His details are below for anyone looking to book an Ubud guide.

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