MUST SEE: THE WORLD HERITAGE RICE TERRACES IN BALI
A trip to Bali isn’t complete without a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed rice terraces. A day trip can easily be coordinated with your hotel or if you have a great relationship with a local taxi driver, they’ll be more than happy to accommodate your trip. Choosing a private tour for AUD$50, my guide picked me up from the hotel in Seminyak early in the morning (see where I stayed here). Taking respite from the humidity and the blazing heat in the air-conditioned van, I was handed a cold bottle of water and given a detailed historic overview of the rice terraces in Bali.
Making our way through the dense tropical landscape, I was driven past a line of volcanoes that dominate Bali. These volcanoes provide rich, fertile soil when combined with a wet tropical climate make it an ideal place for crop cultivation.
Post card perfect, the landscape of Bali consists of protected rice terraces and their water temples that cover over 20,000 hectares. These temples are the hub of a water management system of canals and barriers, known as subak, which dates back to the 9th century.
To understand the cultural link between water and rice in Bali, I’ll break it down for you. Rice is seen as the gift from god in Bali, and the subak system is part of the temple culture. Water from the rivers in Bali is channeled into springs and canals. As this water then flows through the temples it is blessed before pouring out onto the rice fields to irrigate the land, allowing the cultivation of rice on both flat land and gorgeous mountain terraces.