If you’re on instagram, it’s very likely that you’ve seen hundreds of photos of the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. This whole area is just like it’s out of a dream: endless swathes of green palms trees, rice terraces and a stunning golden light that makes the whole area feel truly magical.
If you're anything like us, you always hunt out the best place for a sunrise wherever you visit and you should look no further than Tegalalang. In Ubud there's no better way to start the day than at these beautiful rice terraces.
It is so close to Ubud that it’s dead easy to get to, however this also makes it incredibly popular! If you don’t plan it right, you’ll find every man and their dog trying to get photos at the same time, detracting from this amazing place.
So here’s what to expect and how to beat the worst of the crowds at Tegalalang.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are huge and there are countless photo opportunities. At first it can feel a little overwhelming as to where to go, but we can help you with that.
Whilst the rice terraces by the road are pretty incredible, the best are tucked around the corner from the entry points. This is where you can get the famous shot of the sun rising behind the palm trees in the amphitheatre of rice terraces.
This area feels like you’re in rural Bali, a million miles away from the city, and it makes for the best photos. Just make sure you stick to the paths that are on the edge of the Rice Terraces as otherwise you’ll get soaking wet at best and maybe find a local snake at worst!
Be mindful that this area is someone’s private property, so make sure you bring some money with you to pay.
We saw a lot of people arguing over giving a $2 donation whilst they took countless photos and droned on his land. Don’t be one of those people, give to the locals if you know you’re on their land.
After the sunrise, we loved just wondering around the rice terraces and taking it all in. It’s easy to lose the instagrammers in their ball gowns and find a nice open space to yourself.
Read next: Sidemen - Bali’s hidden gem
Essential info about Tegalalang Rice Terrace
The best time to visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace
The early hours of the morning is the perfect time to go as there are fewer people there and the golden light makes this beautiful place even more magical.
You can get photos without many people in them and explore at a much cooler time of day. There will definitely still be people there but just much less than in the late morning and afternoon.
As there are a lot of people who day-trip to Ubud and visit on a tour, midday seems to be the busiest time of day at Tegalalang.
We found that most people who came for sunrise tended to leave just before 7am. We actually thought the most beautiful light was just after this, so it's worth sticking around a little longer.
Getting to Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Tegalalang is only half an hour from Ubud and easy to get to. We chose to do it as part of a day trip with many stops and went with a driver, but you can just as easily hire a motorbike and drive.
If you haven’t ridden a motorbike before, be very careful! Bali isn’t the easiest of places to learn and you’ll see a lot of people walking around Ubud with bandages covering the injuries from learning to ride here! Having said that, the road to Tegalalang from Ubud is pretty decent and mostly straight.
The Rice Terraces are next to the road, so you can't miss them!
Tegalalang Rice Terrace Opening Hours
Tegalalang is officially open from 7am, but it's pretty easy to sneak over the fence before then. There's an easy entrance next to the Loji Cafe that leads down to the terraces.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace Entrance Fee
Technically there isn't an entrance fee, but there are landowners who will ask for money if you want to walk across their rice terrace for photos (on the far side of the terraces, we didn't see anyone collecting money on the road side area but it's not the prettiest section).
It's pretty small (20k, just over $2 USD), so see it as a friendly donation to the locals to witness this stunning area.
What to bring to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace
If you head here for sunrise, make sure you’ve bought water and a bit of food the night before. Nowhere here will be open in the early morning and whilst it isn’t as hot as the middle of the day, it is still hot enough for you to be gasping for water!
The Tegalalang Rice Terrace Swing
Just like most places in Bali, the swing craze has hit Tegalalang.
You can choose from two: one that's right next to the entrance and low down, another which is higher up with a bigger view.
When we enquired about the price we were told 100k, when we left it dropped instantly to 50k and we think it would have gone a lot lower, but we had only been asking for the blog so we didn't want to lead them on too much! It's a beautiful place for a swing.
As with all the Bali swings you have to wear a harness. The one at Tegalalang seemed particularly noticeable, you would need to change and put it under your clothes for photos!
Tegalalang Rice Terrace vs Jatiluweh Rice Terrace
We've been to both Tegalalang and Jatiluweh and loved them both. Tegalalang has a more intimate feel with steeper terraces and the feeling of being in an amphitheatre.
The rice stems (not sure of the technical term) are much longer at Jatiluweh so the overall effect is less like an actual terrace.
Jatiluweh is huge and impressive for its sheer scale. Your visits tend to be from lookout points or stone footpaths to have a look out onto the valley of rice terraces.
The walk in Tegalalang is along the rice terraces themselves, whereas at Jatiluweh you walk along concrete paths that take you up to peoples homes and through the fields.
We really like them both, but Jatiluweh is a lot further away, so may be harder to fit into your itinerary, it is an UNESCO world heritage site though, so if you get the chance then visit! It also makes a great break in the journey between Ubud and Munduk.
Attractions near Tegalalang Rice Terrace
As we knew we were getting up early, we chose to combine Tegalalang with a few other stops nearby. This made for one of the most fun days of the trip! We hired a driver to take us to each spot, meaning we didn’t have to worry about getting lost (and we could also sleep between locations! 😂). Here are a few great places to visit after sunrise at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces.
This is one of Bali’s most unique waterfalls and is the ideal place to visit in the early morning straight after the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. Tukad Cepung Waterfall is famous for its stunning light rays that appear in the morning and at this time you’ll also be there before the crowds.
Check out our post all about Tukad Cepung Waterfall for more detail about what to expect.
Tibumana Waterfall is another hidden gem near Ubud that is overlooked for the more popular Tegenungen. This beautiful spot has a jungle feel and is the best place to cool down when the temperature shoots up.
You can read more about it on our post all about what to expect at Tibumana Waterfall.
Pura Tirta Empul
Pura Tirta Empul is one of the most unique temples in Bali as locals go into Holy Water as a part of a ritual cleansing. It is only 30 minutes from Tibumana and Ubud, making it an interesting stop on your trip.
The Sacred Monkey Forest
No trip to Ubud is complete without a walk through the Sacred Monkey Forest. It is a beautiful forest with a river and huge trees just footsteps from the bustle of Ubud, but with the added element of danger through mischievous monkeys! Be sure to keep any food deep inside your backpack and everything zipped up as these monkeys are fearless!
It’s a fun place to visit and well worth adding onto your trip.
Where to stay in Ubud
Our Pick - Eden House
This beautiful guesthouse is tucked away in a quiet street and overlooks a paddy field, providing peace and tranquility after a long day exploring. The rooms at Eden are beautiful, the bathrooms even better and it offers incredible value. The breakfasts are served on a balcony overlooking the rice paddies and are the perfect way to start your day.
Luxury - Kamandalu
A favourite with Instagrammers, Kamandalu is set a little way out of Ubud among the forests and rice terraces to offer a true escape. The rooms are stunning, the views even more and there's an infinity pool that's made to impress. If we had the money, we definitely would have booked in for a night or two.
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