I visited a small rice paddy in Ubud's “Valley of the Kings” area, aptly named due to generations of Balinese royalty who lived in the nearby villages.
While there, I stayed at Kamandalu Resort and was excited to learn there were rice paddies just a few steps away from the property!
The paddies are beautiful, green, and very lush. They're typically situated on hillsides surrounded by jungle, as was the case with the one I visited:
I saw men and women working the fields, but one older gentleman in particular captivated me. He appeared to have spent his lifetime working outdoors. He walked with a slight stoop, his skin was worn and leathery (with visible areas of skin cancer), and I could count his ribs in the v-neck opening of his shirt. He watched as I approached with my camera, gave an approving nod, then methodically went back to business tending the field. It was a brief exchange, but I've never forgotten him! Anytime I think I have it rough, I imagine what his life must be like and I'm humbled.
A brief glance, then…
…back to work!
One female worker stood out to me as well, especially since she was dressed in bright red.
She smiled at me quite a bit and seemed very friendly, but she was also very focused on the job at hand.
I didn't approach anyone, because I didn't want to disturb them or disrupt their work. However, this guy practically skipped towards me; he was so eager to talk to me!
He was extraordinarily friendly and kept grinning from ear to ear at me. He spoke enough English to let me know it was OK for me to take pictures, and he understood enough to learn that I'm from Texas. He kept asking if I wanted a picture of him (of course I did!), and he was happy to pose for my camera. I never did get around to inquiring about what was in that baggie in his hand or if that contributed to his good mood, but he was definitely a chatty guy.
The rice paddies in all of my photos on this post were discovered beside a small road situated between the Kamandalu Resort and the Viceroy Bali. Even though all of the workers were wandering around with machetes, I walked to the rice paddies by myself and felt 100% safe. There were other hotel guests, as well as locals, wandering around in the area, so I never felt like I was in any danger. The majority of the people living in Ubud practice Balinese Hinduism and are among the friendliest and most peaceful people I've met during my travels. If you're a female traveler who is traveling alone, just know that Ubud is where I felt safest in ALL of my travels.
Visiting the rice paddies is #5 on my list of The Top 5 Things To Do In Ubud, Bali. If you’re planning a trip to the area, some of the rice paddies can be a bit touristy, but it's worth finding a more secluded one to include on your itinerary! If you have any questions, please comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.
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