Enjoying the Curves Through Bali Rice Fields Terraces
“In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves” – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton.
This is my second visit to Bali. The first visit I did ten years ago with one of my good friends, Aeni. We agreed to give ourselves nice short visit to Bali after working hard continuously. Back to that time, we mostly spent the times at the beaches, move from one beach to another. Ten years later, I returned to the island. I still could not decide whether this is kind of holiday or I could consider my stay as my temporary place to live before the next journey asks me to leave.
Considering that I am not that young anymore, I avoided popular beaches which are full with beach clubs offering everything young people could want. Instead, I chose Ubud, one of towns at the uplands of Bali, is known as a center for traditional crafts and its rice fields. Apparently, in Bali, rice fields can be almost found everywhere since the Balinese have depended on this agriculture method for thousand years. It becomes one of the main livelihoods in the island. Using hand with the help of simple tools, the terraced rice fields were shaped and maintained for many generations.
I visited Ubud with Aeni ten years go. But it was only short one day visit and I could say that we did not visit any touristic places. Instead, we just wandered and walked around. We were to scared to walk too long and miss the flight, considering it was our last day in Bali. So, during this time, I decided that I must have experience to witness the beauty of Bali Rice fields terraces.
Ubud that I was visiting now is quite different compared to ten years ago. The shops and restaurants are increasing in many places. And from the place where I stayed in, I did not see any rice fields. Or maybe I was just too lazy to walk further. Therefore, after new year, when my good friend ZZ came to visit, I asked him to show me the rice fields around. He agreed and took me with his motorbike. I was a bit scared, since to be honest, this was my first experience to be on motor bike after five years. Well, at the end of stories, we were totally fine. To start, ZZ wanted to ask me to get nice lunch at nice restaurant by the rice fields. But, too bad. It was Kuningan day, one of Balinese religious holiday. The restaurant was closed. However, I could snap some beautiful rice fields nearby.
We finally moved to other restaurant without any rice fields view. But ZZ promised me that he will take me to Tegalalang Rice Terrace. Still on the motorbike, we headed to north side of Ubud, rode for around twenty minutes. When we arrived, there were so many tourists around, domestic and international. No wonder since that day was Saturday and also Kuningan day. We sat at one of cafes at the top of the hills, so we could enjoy the rice fields from the top. Well, it was not the best view of rice terraces actually. We came only few days after the rices were harvested, made the fields looked drier than usual. But it was nice visit since I was accompanied with a good friend to be with.
After doing some researches about the rice fields, I found another rice fields called Jatiluwih. It is located in Tabanan regency, around 1,5 hours driving from Ubud. To get there, I had to rent a car since there is no public transportation operating within Bali. When I arrived there, nothing I could say but WOW to see the largest rice field terraces in Bali. Compared to Tegalalang which is so touristic, Jatiluwih is more quite and natural. There was no hand-made swings as I found in Tegalalang which I considered a bit disturbing and made the view becomes less interesting. The rice terraces are absolutely stunning, giving the amazing greenery view. When I saw it from the side of the hills, it looked like stairs leading myself towards the sky. When the sun shone, it illuminates every curve of each terrace. No wonder if this place is among one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The place itself was quite empty. I met some visitors but not as many in Tegalalang. Along the way, I also met friendly farmers and had small talks with them. The paths are available, make it easy for any travelers who do not have many experiences in hiking like me. Some motor bikes also passed the path, brought farmers coming and leaving to the main road. The path itself has shape like a circle, started from one side of the main road and ended at the other side. If I wanted to walk through the lines without stopping, it would take 45 minutes in total. However, since the rain started to pour I decided to return to the entrance path after walking halfway. I wish I could walk longer. There are some hotels nearby. I was thinking to stay for one or two nights at the hotel in the future, so I could explore the rice fields longer.
This week, Tina chose the Curves for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, which I considered suitable for my post today. Please, visit Tina’s page for more information about the challenge.