What can I say about Tegalalang in Indonesia? It is very, very, very green with a many, many, many trees. I had seen photos of Tegalalang before and imagined it to be a place of indescribable beauty and lush tropical vegetation. The reviews were promising and we added this place to our Indonesia sightseeing list. Clouds gathered on the day that we decided to visit the rice paddies. In hindsight maybe this was a omen for things to come. The rice paddies of Tegalalang are hidden behind a street of souvenir shops and restaurants. It was a nice green valley but to be honest I was not blown away by it. Without visible surface water in the paddies, the canyon seems to be one big green blob, blending the palm trees with its natural tropical environment.
The valley of Tegalalang is an impressive site, if you have never seen a rice terrace before. It was unfortunate to see that this place had been transformed into a tourist attraction with shops, a well designed lookout point, a dubious entrance fee, and it even came with a ‘real’ worker completely kitted out with a conical straw hat, charging a small fee to have a photo taken with him. Our road trip the day before may have spoilt my expectations. Pentai Timang offered unspoiled and picturesque rice paddies landscapes and did not come with all the hoo-ha. Was it worth visiting the rice paddies of Tegalalang? Yes, the food in the open air restaurant on the opposite side of the valley was magnificent.