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Verdant Scenes

Among Bali’s sublime scenery is its rice terraces formed along the natural contours of hills. They impart a distinct emerald green tint to the landscape especially when the paddy stalks are fully grown. While the paddy fields that are found in the valleys of the island are attractive in their own right it is the rice terraces cascading down hillsides that offer the best photo opportunities and capture the imagination of visitors.

Some of these rice terraces and fields have been cultivated for thousands of years as rice has always been the staple food of the Balinese. Traditional rice terraces together with the rural landscape in some districts have even been nominated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites. The most attractive rice terraces popular with trekkers are the well tended green fields of Tegallalang village in Ubud central Bali, the rice fields of Pupuan, Jatiluwih, Tabanan and Tirtagangga that are set off by borders of lush green trees.

Treks among the rice fields and terraces are part of the many walking tours available in Bali. These tours not only take visitors through the rice fields they are also an excellent way to be introduced to the culture, ecology, food and even archaeology of Bali. It is inevitable that a rice paddy trek will go through the village that owns and cultivates the paddy fields and terraces. Depending on the season visitors may have the opportunity of seeing rural folk at work ploughing fields, planting rice by hand, harvesting and threshing in traditional ways.

This is also an excellent way to get acquainted with Balinese mythology and religious beliefs as every paddy field and irrigation system however small has a divine connection and shrines and temples are common features close to and in paddy fields and along irrigation systems. Many villages also have temples they patronise close by and each home as its own shrine. Meeting villagers going about the daily chores, visiting a rural Balinese family and eating a traditional Balinese meal is part of such adventures. Many visitors comment on the absence of the usual city noises during these treks. They come away having witnessed an ancient way of life that has changed little over the centuries. Remaining hydrated throughout the trek under humid weather conditions is something to keep in mind.

Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa cascading down a lime stone cliff offers a dramatic setting from which to enjoy the surroundings. Among the many facilities and services at one of prominent Uluwatu hotels are amazing accommodation options ranging from superb contemporary two and three bedroom oceanfront and garden villas and oceanfront condos to themed dining venues and spa cabanas that offer heavenly rejuvenating therapies. As one of exclusive Bali resorts guests also enjoy conveniences that are particular to this property alone.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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