After enjoying our breakfast the next day, whilst chatting with an American lady at the table, we headed out to Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Paying a small entrance fee we entered into the famous valley and strolled along the various paths covering the hillsides. There were quite a number of tourists which at first, put me off the place but once we had walked for a while, we escaped all the people and found ourselves utterly alone, thank goodness! Walking further out gave a much better experience and feel for the place and there were also other small valleys over from the main one. Lots of people were doing the popular swings, of which there were various points you can do this. We almost did but it didn’t feel like the right place for it and we were glad we held-out as we had the best experience doing it later on Nusa Penida!
We had asked our Hotel staff for scooters beforehand and we got it for IDR 70k to explore Ubud on our own. The first place we visited was the picture perfect location of Tegallalang Rice Terrace which was around 10 km from Ubud. We chose to go there early in the morning as the light is perfect for clicking pictures. There are many children asking for money but if you are from India you will not find that odd. A local lady doing her household chores asked me to click her and I humbly refused but she insisted so I did click her. Funnily enough she then asked me for money which unfortunately at that time I didn't have so she scolded us for clicking her picture which she insisted upon. It was funny.
Now, our next destination was the vast, beautiful, green Tegalalang rice terraces. This is a popular tourist destination and in case you want to explore a more off-beat rice fields, there are several other lovely walks through the rice paddies and small villages surrounding Ubud. However, during the August afternoon that we visited the Tegalalang terraces, we did not find it too busy and filled with people. The view from the road is beautiful : step irrigation with ample greenery. The coconut and palm trees lining the fields added to the beauty. There was no entry fees. We spent about an hour walking through the terraces before we sat down to have a late lunch at one of the many restaurants on the road with an open view of the fields.
North of Ubud, are woodworking villages of Tegallaland and Jati, where generations of families are involved in the wood working and carving process from beginning to end. The intricacies of the carvings are phenomenal and range from the highly ceremonial to the phallus shaped bottle openers – a quick buck from the tourists. Each village tends to specialise in a particular theme – like animals, figures, or concepts that are more abstract. Indeed the settings of the villages in itself is worth going to, and seeing even the children carve and sand, makes you totally in awe of their gifts.