Photographer’s Bali The Tegallalang Rice Terraces


Now that you’ve decided to rent a villa in Bali, you’ll be keen to know the most beautiful spots to visit. For keen photographers there is a wide choice of locations that lend themselves to spectacular landscape and street photography. Here we focus on the spectacular Tegalalang Rice Terraces, and sites that you can include in a photography tour of the area.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

You’ll find the Tegallalang Rice Terraces roughly 5km north of Ubud Village. The area is popular with photographer for the rich emerald green Ubud_river_valleyof the fields, set against the deep warm colour of the soil. The shapes formed by the sinuous rice paddy fields lend themselves to straight landscape or abstract landscape photography, and your results will never be less than stunning. It’s impossible to take a bad photograph here. Added to the charm of the fields themselves, you’ll be able to photograph the farmers tending to their crops. They work in a landscape dotted with coconut trees, oblivious to your presence, and simply getting on with their day. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are popular with tourists, so farmers are inured to photographers. If you come across a farmer you wish to take a portrait of, however, do offer them a tip for the privilege, and don’t take photos without asking. It is a courtesy that is always welcome. You can reach the rice terraces from Sanur and Kuta within 60 minutes, and they lie just 15 minutes travel north of Ubud. Tegallalang village itself is something of a tourist trap, but pass on by and head for the fields themselves and you won’t be disappointed.

Directions to the Rice Fields

If you have a tour guide they can easily take you to the fields, but if you are driving, the route is simple. From the centre of Tegallalang village, take J1 Raya as far eastward as the road takes you, before turning north. You’ll find the rice fields about 9km along this road, sweeping up from the road on your right.  Tourists often stop off here en route to the Kintamani region. You may be charged a small fee for entering the area, so have some change ready.

Other Photography Opportunities Nearby

Ubud River Valley

Explore the Campuhaun, Sanggingan, and Kedewatan areas, for more stunning landscape photography opportunities. The land changes from the soft folds of the paddy fields tumbling down the hills, to deep gorges cut in the limestone by the Ayung and Wos rivers. The views of this area are so stunning that a number of extremely exclusive hotels have been built here. The view of the Ayung Gorge from the restaurant at the Four Seasons is legendary, but you’ll need deep pocket to afford it. But in truth there are plenty of chances to enjoy the landscape for nothing. Head west over the Campuhan Bridge and simply enjoy the journey.

Ubud Market

This provides plenty of opportunity for street photography, with stalls piled high with goods, and market workers happy to pose for portraits for a small consideration. It’s often better to ask for a posed portrait, as stunning results can be obtained. Candid street photography is possible, but try to make sure you buy something from the people you are photographing if you sense they are uneasy. A ready smile will get you a long way, and the Balinese locals are invariably helpful and welcoming.

Goa_Gajah-Elephant_Cave_EntranceThe Goa Gajah – or Elephant Cave

Not far from Ubud is the aptly named ‘Elephant Cave’ – now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you’ll find stunning carved reliefs of demons and devils at the mouth of the cave. The main figure in the sculpture is thought to be an elephant, hence the name. The cave is ancient, and was mentioned in the Javanese poem Desawarnana as early as 1365. There are large bathing pools, which were only uncovered in the 1950s, and archaeologists theorize that they were built to deter evil spirits. The carvings here are beautiful too, and if you can capture the stillness and mysteriousness of the site you’ll be happy with your photographs.

Other Routes Into Balinese Photography

Almost anywhere you go in Bali will afford you ample opportunity for great photography. Many keen photographers travelling with children opt for family cruises, which are a great way to explore the coastlines. Often it is the simplest way of traveling for long distances with children, rather than exposing them to the hot dusty roads, and you have the advantage of being able to take some stunning photographs of uninterrupted sunsets along the way. Bali’s beaches are legendary, and you’ll see more of them from a costal trip than from any other mode of transport. For photographers wanting to move around Bali in a short space of time, they are ideal. Alternatively, if you’re hardy and fit, you can cycle and thus enjoy an unvarnished and up close experience of everyday Bali, which those in cars and coaches never experience. Coach tours are great for those who have less time on the island, but for sheer up close photography you can’t beat getting close to the communities you want to capture. Another option is to rent a car and guide. There are some superb operators in this field, and some even offer spectacular photography tours, with experience photography experts guiding you on lighting and locations. Follow your passion in beautiful Bali and have memories to look back on for years to come.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *