From Batuan Temple, we headed to Kintamani – a village on the western edge of the larger caldera wall of Gunung Batur in Bali, Indonesia. It is known for its cold weather and the magnificent panorama of Batur Lake and active volcano. Too bad, Its raining when we arrived in the place. We just had a cup of coffee in one of the small coffee shops in the area then headed to Tegallang Rice Terraces afterwards.
Fruit Stands along the road
History of Ubud
In now a predominantly Muslim people of Indonesia, there still lies an area whose predominant faith is Hinduism. Just like Ubud in the island of Bali – a town known for its medicinal herbs of which its naming was derived (the Balinese word “ubad” means medicine). More than just a town for Balinese Hindus, majority from the whole island practices the faith of Balinese Hinduism – amounting to as many as 95% of the island’s total population.
Rice Terraces in Ubud
Although it’s uncertain what was the pre-existing faith in the area before the eight century, Ubud during that time founded the faith of Hinduism, as possibly established by Rsi Markendya, often described as a holy person and a Javanese priest, whose faith is still dominantly practiced by majority of the Bali population up to this day. However, unlike Indian Hinduism, Balinese Hinduism varies by having incorporated Buddhist and animist beliefs in it. What probably made Ubud known for by travellers is not its existing faith or religion, but its geographical insights such as the rice paddies and steep ravines, mostly on the former.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
At the 5 kilometer northern part of what, in part, makes the Ubud village, lies a hill used by local farmers of Bali to plant rice and make harvest. If you have seen rice terraces before, then it would not come as a surprise that such a place exist for rice planting. Going into the area, you will be held by the panoramic view of Tegallalang Rice Terraces within the area of Ubud.
Although littling in comparison to a known bigger counterpart that is Banaue Rice Terraces which was many hundreds of years in the making in the province of Ifugao in the Philippines, Tegallalang Rice Terraces still retains the man-made structure and build rice terraces are known for. Basically built on hills, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces are formed into multiple compartments to utilize proper irrigation and planting. Farmers are literally planting rice on a stair-like slopes as how the terraces are designed and intended.
Shopping Places in Ubud
Shopping in Ubud
Although you may not find Ubud to have shopping malls as seen in urban regions everywhere, it, however, is a home to many arts and crafts made by its locals whose price you can bargain despite some having price tags. As a foreign Asian to the place, I know a thing or two about haggling which I can happily practice and so you, too.
The following are the best places to buy souvenirs if you are in Ubud:
Souvenir Shops in Ubud
Ubud Art Market
Locals refer to this place as ‘Pasar Seni Ubud’ and is said to be a central landmark of the area of Ubud. If you are coming from, or at least going to, Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace, then Ubud Art Market cannot be missed as it is only located across the street from the palace and is literally being flocked by many people for its goods. The market is open daily where you can find an assortment of goods.
While agriculture has mostly been the people of Ubud’s primary source of income, some people, especially from the neighboring villages, resorts to alternatives such as handcraft-making. The Tegallalang Handicrafts is the fruit of one such endeavor of one of its people. The shops offers a variety of unique and colorful goods varying from furnitures, ornaments, and other typical Balinese collectibles.
Tegalalang rice terrace ubud bali by chensiyuan. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons
If you want something that is deemed exotic yet not necessarily made by Indonesian hands, then shopping in Jean-François Fichot may be your thing. As a flagship store by the late French designer, the shop contains items whose ingredients may have come from across countries all over the world. However, you may have to fork out a lot of cash as the items belonging to this shop are deemed for “high class.”
Melo in Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Cebu Pacific Air flies direct between Manila and Denpasar (Bali) every Tuesday and Saturday. For the latest seat sales and bookings, go to www.cebupacificair.com, call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020888 or (032) 2308888 or follow Cebu Pacific Air’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.