“Some places just feel right” – Karen Rose
We recently visited Bali and were desperate to avoid the tourist traps and commercial crowds. We based ourselves in serene Ubud which didn’t disappoint and the Rice Paddy / Village / Eco Nature Walk with Bali Eco Tours helped us get to know the local area more personally. Here you can learn all about the itinerary, the best bits about this tour and how easy it is to prepare for.
What’s the itinerary?
A local English speaking and passionate guide will share knowledge of the area surrounding Ubud, its plants and how these intertwine with Balinese society. Your feet will pass through sacred temples, an isolated waterfall and those stunning rice paddies Ubud is famous for. On your journey, you will rest at a local house where traditional sweets and coconut water will be the fuel you need to continue your trek. At the end of the tour, relax with your Balinese foot massage and then enjoy lunch overlooking the lush surrounding rainforest. Pick up and drop off from your accommodation in Ubud is included.
Why should you choose this tour?
This tour allows you to get up close and personal with local Bali in an environmentally and culturally respectful way. Your guide will provide you with a sarong and sash for visiting temples that simply goes over your own clothes. You will have access to paths between the rice fields and temples that not everyone can reach with the company’s special local agreements. Perhaps best of all, your purchase helps local people to work in responsible tourism and share their unique and spiritual culture with visitors. In the company’s own words: ‘This tour is not just an adventure, but a cultural, ecological, culinary and learning experience designed to show visitors the Bali they want to see.’
What was our ‘best bit?’
We chose this tour because we wanted to learn about rice farming and visit the picture-perfect paddies on foot. There’s something very special about sharing the small paths accessed by farmers and seeing them go about their daily chores in order to yield their crops. Your guide will explain the full process of growing rice from start to finish and you will be able to fully understand how this vital industry connects with the lives of local people.
Another great bonus for us was the ease with which the company offered to cater for veganism. All the snacks provided during the tour were local, fresh and plant-based, and our lunch was easily adapted to a vegan meal, with Indonesian items such as tempeh, tropical fruits and of course rice, featuring proudly.
You may also like an Authentic Cooking Class in a Local Village.
How should you prepare for this tour?
We were advised to wear good walking shoes or trainers but actually found that flip flops were ideal because it was easier to slip them on and off at temple stops and when we swam in the waterfall (don’t forget swimwear and towel). The ground is muddy underfoot in places so can be slippery and the track is not always clear so consider closed shoes and long trousers if this concerns you. We wore shorts and had bare toes and enjoyed the grass tickling our feet and legs.
Consider bringing an eco friendly bug spray for small midges and mosquitos around the water, and take a hat for the open sections of the tour amongst the rice fields. If you need to use suncream, choose a non-toxic one so that harmful chemicals don’t enter these extremely valuable water systems. Your guide will provide drinking water, snacks and a meal so there is no need to carry any food or drink, although we highly recommend you refuse the plastic bottles provided and bring your own reusable one instead. One-use plastics are a huge concern for Bali, especially for rice farmers who find incorrectly disposed plastic waste in their water streams, clogging up their fields and harming their crops.
Is there anything else you should know?
This tour costs $38pp. If a group of people do not book your date, the company will offer you a private tour instead, which will cost $65pp for two people. The private tour is well worth the money and we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. This company also offers cycle tours amongst other outdoor adventures, all of which can be found on their website, at the bottom of this page.
The tour involves approximately four hours of walking on various terrain including steps, mud and long grass. This tour is ideal for nature lovers who don’t mind getting their feet wet and their hands dirty, literally.
If you would prefer to enjoy a more spiritual Ubud experience, we highly recommend the Bali Eat Pray Love Tour.
Eco tours are becoming increasingly popular as more travellers become aware of their personal impact and the conscious ways in which we are able to travel. If you’re going to visit an area as plentiful and picturesque as Bali, get into the countryside and meet the farmers, get into the villages to meet the local people and step into nature to truly recharge your batteries. Thank you very much to our wonderful tour guide Gustu for looking after us so very well and helping us to get acquainted with Balinese culture and local Ubud. For sure, we will return!
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If now you need more, check out the other Asia Travel Diaries.