Life in Tegallalang, Bali

Life in Tegallalang, Bali

Elevated Cacao’s headquarters and factory are located in Tegallalang, Bali—just a short 10 minute ride from central Ubud. Tegallalang is one of the most beautiful places on the island, renowned for it’s immaculately kept, terraced, rice paddies. Life out here tends to be quieter and a bit more relaxed than busy Ubud. The elders tend to their offerings, children fly their kites, and monkeys run wild.

 

 Grandma tending to the offerings at our (her) villa. 

Grandma tending to the offerings at our (her) villa. 

 The view from our front balcony.

The view from our front balcony.

We absolutely love it - it feels like the real Bali. We are literally surrounded by farms on all sides, except for a small warung and motorbike repair shop across the way (very convenient for flat tires).

From the balcony of our villa, you can watch the rice-field workers tending to their crop day and night (literally, at night with flashlights—because it’s so much cooler). With 4 harvests a year, oppressive heat and heavy monsoons, farming is not an easy proposition. Most of the backbreaking work is done by hand, with workers doubled over for hours on end.

 The view from our rear balcony. 

The view from our rear balcony. 

The Balinese farm their rice-fields using the traditional subak or stacked irrigation method. The paddies are stair-stepped on top of one another to allow for efficient and economical watering of the rice. But this system isn’t just about being ecologically sustainable. Like most things in Bali, it’s about so much more.

The subak irrigation system is at the heart of Bali’s farming economy and connects the way they make their living with the communities they live in, the temples they pray at, and the gods they worship. Rice is seen as one of the gods’ greatest gifts and as such, all those who tend, water, and keep the rice-fields are treated with the utmost reverence.

If you’re coming to Bali for a visit, the rice paddies are a must-see—if to only appreciate the sheer amount of work it takes to grow and harvest such a life-giving food for the Balinese. And don’t feel limited by Tegallalang. If you’re confident on a motorbike, some of the best and quietest rice paddy views can be found in the surrounding villages of Campuhan and Pejeng.

Just be sure to bring your camera!