Information before you go
Besides strolling along Monkey Forest road, there are other walks around Ubud that will lead you along beautiful scenic lush green rice fields and river paths. Most walks are around the Campuhan ridge. This village hamlet is known as a sacred area and means ‘where two rivers meet’. The two rivers are Sungai Wos and Sungai Agung.
When you visit Bali make sure you take a stroll through the rice fields
This river valley has created a stunning area for easy hikes. Unlike the famous Tegalalang rice terrace located nearby Ubud, the rice fields of Campuhan are easily accessible so it is a wonderful opportunity to walk along and through the fields.
The walks aren't really clearly indicated, but we consider that part of the fun. Don't worry about getting lost. If you stick to the paths then you can't really end up in the middle of now where.
We even once took a path along the rice field just north of Campuhan and ended up crossing a wobbly bamboo bridge. I don't think this bridge was meant for us to cross, nevertheless we did have a wonderful time.
To be on the safe side start your walk either at the temple near Ibah Hotel for a walk along Campuhan ridge or go to Jalan Kajeng, from where you can follow a path towards the rice fields.
The latter option is our favorite. As mentioned this hike commences at the end of the small road called Jalan Kajeng (near the Starbucks, which sadly opened its doors here a couple of years ago). Once at the end of this road continue walking towards the north. From here the path is really well indicated and you will soon find yourself crossing the rice fields and ending up down at Campuhan.
At some moments you might wonder whether you are still on the right path or not, especially when walking on a narrow cement path that serves as a barrier between the river and land where cows look at you as if they've been smoking something.
But just keep on walking until you find a bridge that crosses the river to the left. You will immediately see a sign showing you the way to the organic restaurant ‘Sari Organik’. Simply follow the signs and you’ll be heading back to the busy streets of Ubud.
This is probably one of the best known Ubud trek which is you can without a guide. Hence a great low cost activity for those traveling on a budget. This walk will only cost you a bit of energy ;-)
I enjoy doing these walks late in the afternoon, when the sun is almost touching the horizon and its rays create a beautiful color over the fields. This is also the time to see many locals working in groups in the fields since it isn't so hot anymore
The Balinese rice-farmers help each other in the fields as they are all included in a farmers-community, called Subak. Here, all farmers who have their fields in a specific irrigation system are represented and together they make decisions concerning the production of rice.
This also includes problems and maintenance on the irrigation system, use of pesticides, when to sow, to harvest, when to organise traditional ceremonies etc.
Working together in the fields
Each subak also has their own temple where they worship Dewi Sri, the goddess of the rice. In the fields you can also find little shrines where offerings are placed in order to ensure a good outcome of rice yields.
Just as many objects, rice plays an important part in the Balinese religion and is considered sacred. That is why you will often see rice in daily offerings or on the foreheads and necks of the Balinese people.
Towards the end of the day you will also run into people walking back home after a days work, carrying loads of wood and other plants on their head. At this time of day children also head towards the rice-fields to fly their kites.
Ducks are also very prominent in the rice fields and are of importance for a successful rice yield. Every day farmers lead their ducks into their rice fields so they can eat the pests. The ducks also provide a natural fertilizer with their droppings...
It’s a wonderful sight to see those ducks wobbling along the narrow rice field paths. Especially when their caretaker is with them and is leading the way...
You can hear him yelling ‘mari, mari, mari…’ (go, go, go…) while the ducks follow his orders.
Doing their business...
Do try to plan a walk during your stay in Ubud as it really on of the best things to do in town. The walks can take up to 1.5 hour. Make sure you don't leave too late because it can get dark pretty fast. Also, don't forget to bring some water with you.
If you are a bit unsure about going off by yourself there are tours like Bird watching or Herb walks that include great walks through Ubud's rice fields too.
If you start the Ubud rice field walk from Jalan Kajeng then you will pass this great restaurant towards the end of the walk. A perfect time for a refreshing organic drink...Read more
If you want to appreciate Balinese art then you should head to this museum. It has a large range of art forms creating more understanding of the many influences.Read more
Tucked away along Campuhan ridge you can find this mystical accommodation that has blended in perfectly with its surroundings. Great option in Ubud village.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.