Images of the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud flood insta. These gorgeous rice fields are depicted as remote and a somewhat spiritual place to connect with nature. People visit them not only for their beauty but also to get insight as to how the locals really live and work.
However, I had a different experience.
Yes, I took incredible photos, but that also made me realise the contrast of what we see on social media vs reality.
These rice fields have become a tourist hotspot. At various points within the rice fields you have people requesting donations. No problem, they don't force it on you and are respectful so if you are able to help them out, then do so.
BUT walking no less than 50m, I passed numerous spots, each one saying I had to pay a minimum price and that we couldn't proceed if we didn't pay. At one point I had these workers shout at me for not giving them enough money!
After paying and walking a few metres, I came across another one of these points. And then another, and another, until I had no cash left! Walking back to the entrance, the same people who I had given money to before said I needed to make another donation!
I left the Tegalalang Rice Terrace with a bitter taste in my mouth. I'd grown so fond of the local Balinese people, and then I was faced with this.
The sad truth is that all of these remote spots will eventually turn into gold mines for the people working there, and the experience just won't be the same.
#tegalalang #travelubud #explorebali #riceterrace #femaletravelbloggers