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Bali Travel: Tegalalang Rice Terrace In Ubud And Gunung Kawi Temple


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Novelia Wyckoff



Bali, the “Island of the Gods,” is a paradise known for its captivating beauty, rich culture, and breathtaking landscapes. One of the must-visit destinations in Bali is the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, along with the ancient Gunung Kawi Temple. These two attractions offer visitors a unique and memorable experience amidst the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.


Tegalalang Rice Terrace is famous for its stunning terraced fields, creating a picturesque landscape that showcases the island’s agricultural traditions. This iconic spot allows visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of rural Bali while marveling at the intricate system of irrigation used by local farmers for centuries. With its lush greenery and scenic views, Tegalalang Rice Terrace is a photographer’s dream and an Instagram hotspot.


Ubud, a fascinating town nestled in the heart of Bali, serves as a cultural hub and the perfect base for exploring Tegalalang Rice Terrace. Known for its art galleries, traditional markets, and Ubud Palace, this vibrant town offers a unique blend of traditional Balinese culture and modern influences. Whether you want to indulge in local cuisine, witness traditional dance performances, or shop for souvenirs, Ubud has something for everyone.


Just a short drive from Ubud lies the ancient Gunung Kawi Temple, another gem of Bali’s cultural heritage. This temple is believed to date back to the 11th century and is renowned for its impressive rock-cut shrines, beautifully carved into the cliff face. Surrounded by lush greenery and nestled in a peaceful valley, visiting Gunung Kawi Temple is not only a spiritual journey but also provides a glimpse into the island’s ancient history.


Tegalalang Rice Terrace: A Picturesque Landscape

Tucked away in the highlands of Ubud, the Tegalalang Rice Terrace is a true gem and one of Bali’s most iconic landmarks. This terrace is a testament to the island’s rich agricultural heritage and the ingenuity of its people.


As you make your way through the narrow, winding roads of Ubud, you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking sight of lush green rice fields cascading down the terraced slopes. The panoramic views are simply awe-inspiring, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.


The Tegalalang Rice Terrace is not just a visual delight, but it also represents the irrigation system known as subak, which has been in use for centuries. This traditional farming technique involves sophisticated water management, where farmers channel water through a series of canals and tunnels to ensure the rice fields are irrigated throughout the year. It’s truly a remarkable sight and a testament to the knowledge and skill of the local farmers.


Visiting the Tegalalang Rice Terrace offers more than just a picturesque landscape. It provides an opportunity to connect with the local community and gain insights into their way of life. You can witness the farmers diligently working in the fields, tending to the rice plants with care and precision. Some farmers even offer visitors a chance to try their hand at planting or harvesting the rice, providing a truly immersive experience.


For the best views of the rice terrace, head to one of the many viewpoints along the edges of the fields. These elevated platforms allow you to admire the vast expanse of greenery, capturing picture-perfect moments that you’ll treasure forever. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of this place.


After taking in the stunning landscape, you can explore the surrounding areas and discover local cafes and restaurants offering delicious Balinese cuisine. This is the perfect opportunity to satisfy your taste buds with traditional dishes while enjoying the tranquility of the countryside.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the bustling city life, the Tegalalang Rice Terrace is a must-visit destination in Bali. It’s a place where you can reconnect with nature, appreciate the beauty of the island, and gain a deeper understanding of the traditional farming practices that have sustained the Balinese people for centuries.


Exploring Ubud: The Cultural Hub of Bali

Located just a short drive away from the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Ubud is a vibrant and enchanting town that serves as the cultural heart of Bali. It’s a place where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern influences, creating a captivating atmosphere that attracts artists, yogis, and travelers from all around the world.


Ubud offers a wide range of cultural experiences that will leave you spellbound. Start your journey by exploring the bustling Ubud Art Market, a vibrant marketplace where you can find an array of traditional crafts, handmade jewelry, batik clothing, and other unique souvenirs. It’s a fantastic place to get a glimpse of the local craftsmanship and support the local artisans.


Art enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the numerous art galleries scattered throughout Ubud. From contemporary paintings to traditional Balinese art, these galleries showcase the incredible talent and creativity of both local and international artists. You can immerse yourself in the world of art and even purchase a piece to take home as a cherished memory of your time in Ubud.


No visit to Ubud is complete without witnessing a traditional Balinese dance performance. These mesmerizing performances portray ancient legends and mythological stories through intricate dance movements accompanied by traditional live music. You can catch these captivating shows at various venues in Ubud, such as the Ubud Palace or the Ubud Royal Theater. It’s a truly immersive cultural experience that will transport you back in time.


When it comes to rejuvenation and wellness, Ubud is renowned as a hub for yoga and holistic retreats. With its serene surroundings and lush green landscapes, it’s the perfect destination to reconnect with your mind, body, and soul. Ubud offers a wide range of yoga studios, wellness centers, and spas where you can indulge in yoga classes, meditation sessions, and traditional Balinese healing treatments.


To delve deeper into Balinese culture, consider visiting one of the many temples in and around Ubud. The Saraswati Temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess of knowledge, arts, and learning, is a must-visit. With its stunning lotus pond and intricate carvings, this temple is a true architectural masterpiece. You can participate in a temple ceremony, gain insights into Hindu rituals, and witness the spiritual devotion of the Balinese people.


After a day of exploration, take a leisurely stroll through the famous Monkey Forest, a sanctuary located in the heart of Ubud. Home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys, this sacred forest offers a unique opportunity to observe these playful creatures in their natural habitat. Just be cautious and keep a safe distance, as they are known to be mischievous.


Ubud truly embodies the essence of Bali’s rich cultural heritage. With its vibrant art scene, spiritual practices, and immersive cultural experiences, it has something to offer every traveler seeking a deeper connection with this enchanting island.


Gunung Kawi Temple: Ancient Sacred Site

Nestled in a peaceful valley, just a short distance from Ubud, Gunung Kawi Temple is a majestic ancient site that holds deep spiritual significance. Dating back to the 11th century, this temple complex is shrouded in mystery and is considered one of Bali’s most important archaeological sites.


Gunung Kawi Temple is known for its impressive rock-cut shrines, which are carved into the cliff face. The main attraction is the collection of ten shrine reliefs, which are believed to represent the memorial tombs of Balinese royalty. These massive rock-carved structures, standing at an impressive height of approximately 7 meters, leave visitors in awe of the craftsmanship and devotion of the ancient Balinese people.


As you make your way down the stone steps leading to Gunung Kawi Temple, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sound of flowing water. The path is lined with intricate stone carvings and ancient statues, creating a mystical ambiance that transports you back in time.


Upon entering the temple complex, you’ll be greeted by the serene atmosphere and the spiritual aura that permeates the surroundings. Many visitors come to Gunung Kawi Temple to pay their respects, make offerings, and participate in prayer rituals. It’s a place of reverence and deep spiritual connection.


To fully experience the spirituality of Gunung Kawi Temple, it is recommended to engage with a local guide who can provide insights into the temple’s history and rituals. They will share stories and legends associated with the site, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and religious significance.


The beauty of Gunung Kawi Temple extends beyond its historical and spiritual significance. Surrounding the temple complex is a tranquil river, lush rice fields, and scenic landscapes. Take a moment to soak in the peaceful ambiance and appreciate the natural beauty that embraces this sacred site.


Visiting Gunung Kawi Temple offers a sense of tranquility and a connection to Bali’s rich heritage. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Bali, this ancient temple is a must-visit destination.


How to Get to Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple

Getting to Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple requires a bit of planning, but the journey is well worth it. Here are some options for reaching these incredible destinations:

  • By Car: The most convenient way to reach both Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple is by hiring a private car or taxi. You can easily arrange this through your hotel or with a local tour operator. Be sure to negotiate the price beforehand and clarify whether the driver will wait for you or come back to pick you up.
  • By Motorbike: For adventurous travelers, renting a motorbike is a popular option. Ubud has numerous motorbike rental shops, where you can get a bike for a reasonable price. However, please note that traffic in Bali can be challenging, so ensure you are comfortable with riding a motorbike before embarking on this option.
  • By Tour: If you prefer a hassle-free experience, you can join a guided tour that includes both Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple. These tours often include hotel pick-up and drop-off, a knowledgeable guide, and sometimes additional stops at other attractions in the area.

To visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace, you will need to drive approximately 20 minutes north of Ubud. The road leading to the terrace can be narrow and winding, but most drivers are familiar with the route. Once you reach the designated parking area, there is a short walk down to the rice fields where you can begin exploring.


For Gunung Kawi Temple, it is located about 30 minutes northeast of Ubud. The journey takes you through scenic landscapes and small villages. Upon arrival, there is a downhill walk, with approximately 300 steps, to reach the temple complex. This path can be a bit challenging, but the stunning views and the experience of discovering this ancient site make it worth the effort.


It is worth noting that both Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. To avoid large crowds, consider visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This will give you a more tranquil and immersive experience at these enchanting locations.


Remember to bring comfortable walking shoes, sun protection, and a camera to capture the scenic beauty of both destinations. Always respect the local customs and traditions, dress modestly when visiting temples, and be mindful of the environment by not littering.


With the right transportation and a sense of adventure, you can easily reach Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple, ready to explore and embrace the wonders of Bali.


Tips for Visiting Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple

Visiting Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple can be an incredible experience. To make the most of your visit, here are some helpful tips:

  • Arrive Early: Both Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple can get crowded, especially during the peak hours. To enjoy a more peaceful and serene atmosphere, try to arrive early in the morning when the sites open. This will also give you ample time to explore and take beautiful photographs without the large crowds.
  • Dress Respectfully: When visiting cultural and sacred sites like Gunung Kawi Temple, it is important to dress modestly out of respect for the local customs and traditions. Cover your shoulders, chest, and knees. Wearing a sarong is often required, and you can easily rent one at the entrance if you forget to bring your own.
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Exploring both Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple involves walking on uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. Make sure to wear comfortable footwear, such as closed-toe shoes or sandals with good grip, to ensure a comfortable and safe experience.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bali’s tropical climate can be hot and humid, particularly during the day. It’s essential to stay hydrated while exploring these sites. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up at one of the many restaurants or shops nearby before heading out.
  • Bring Sun Protection: The sun can be intense in Bali, so it’s important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and carry an umbrella or hat for additional shade. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen regularly.
  • Respect the Environment: Both Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple are natural and cultural treasures. Help preserve their beauty by avoiding littering and taking care not to damage the plants or historical structures. Be mindful of the surroundings and leave the sites as you found them.
  • Engage with the Locals: Bali is renowned for its warm and friendly locals. Take the time to connect with the people you meet along the way. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and learn about their way of life. This will enrich your experience and create lasting memories.

By following these tips, you can ensure a more enjoyable and respectful visit to Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes, embrace the cultural heritage, and create memories that will stay with you long after you leave these remarkable sites.



Visiting Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple in Bali’s cultural hub of Ubud is a journey that will leave you mesmerized and in awe of the island’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.


Tegalalang Rice Terrace offers a panoramic view of terraced fields that not only showcase the agricultural traditions of Bali but also provide a serene escape into nature. Exploring the labyrinth of rice terraces allows you to appreciate the intricate irrigation systems and witness the dedication of local farmers. The stunning landscapes and opportunity to connect with the local community make Tegalalang Rice Terrace a must-visit destination.


In Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, you can immerse yourself in a vibrant blend of art, spirituality, and tradition. The town’s art markets, galleries, and dance performances allow you to delve deeper into Balinese culture. The tranquility of Gunung Kawi Temple takes you on a journey through ancient history, with its meticulously carved rock-cut shrines and peaceful surrounds.


To visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple, plan your transportation in advance. Hiring a private car or joining a guided tour ensures a seamless experience. Remember to dress respectfully, wear comfortable shoes, and bring sun protection and water to stay hydrated.


While exploring these incredible sites, maintain a respectful attitude towards the environment and the local customs. Engage with the locals, support the local economy, and leave a positive impact on the community.


In conclusion, Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Gunung Kawi Temple offer a glimpse into the natural and cultural wonders of Bali. By immersing yourself in the picturesque landscapes, embracing the traditions, and connecting with the local community, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. Embark on this unforgettable journey and discover the allure of Bali’s rich cultural heritage.