- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
- Unesco World Heritage
I am a great fan of rice paddies, so how could I not fall in love with the terraced paddies in Jatiluwih? Imagine a succession of small terraces carved into the hills, forming gentle curves that stretch along the slopes. On these terraces the locals grow the grain that has such great importance in Bali and in the whole of Asia: rice.
Jatiluwih rice paddiesand the traditional Balinese irrigation system have been placed on the UNESCO world heritage list for their cultural landscape. The management of the water is assured by a Subak, which is a sort of village co-op that manages the quantities necessary for farming. This irrigation system is carried out in harmony with the philosophy of Tri Hita Karan, which seeks the symbiosis between human, natural and spiritual activities. A truly relaxing landscape, which I consider a must-see during anyvisit to Bali.
After what seems like a long moped or car ride along tree lined Balinese roads, under a scorching sun, I can't tell you what a joy it is to arrive in such a lush landscape. It's a marvellous and stunning sight to see the Batukaru Volcano rise above the Jatiluwih rice fields.
If you're as adventurous as me, head down the little path to the villages below. If you're feeling timid, you can hire a guide who'll love showing you all the nooks and crannies, whilst telling you tales about the villages and the volcano.
The plus: The wonderful colours and a side of Bali that isn't about beaches and surfing.
The downside: You can easily get lost - you'll need to ask (and pay) locals to show you the area.
To me, Jatiluwih presents the overall picture that we have of Bali in our collective imagination: not only endless terraced rice paddies and a luxuriant vegetation, but also smiling inhabitants, children who, surprised to see tourists will delight you with a cheerful "Hello!". If you wish for a genuine discovery of Bali , I strongly advise you to come round this way!
I used to go for bicycle rides in the surrounding area and I believe I never got bored of it! There are enough lovely trails to go on, sometimes on tarred roads, other times on little paths off the beaten track and even alongside the rice paddies. In fact, you are often advised to set out for Jatiluwih from Bedugul village.
Once you reach Jatiluwih, go and savour a nasi goreng or a mie goreng .