The island is special in a lot of ways and here is what to expect when it comes to Bali rice fields and food. I don’t usually write about food when traveling, but the Balinese colorful markets, such variety of fruit and spices, along with a few unusual meals I had on the island, came to be truly memorable.
Just imagine – a rainy day, beautiful Bali rice fields inland, the road curving up into the hills… But wait, let me tell you about the “touristy” part first.
Variety of Cuisines
Like in any other place on earth where tourists flock from all around the world, you will find a variety of international cuisines. Sure, you can grab some fast food in the capital of Denpasar, but then again – you can have that anywhere else in the world. Why not immerse in the culture you came to visit instead?
There are few touristy spots on the island, meaning they are usually crowded, huge in dimension to have room for all the guests, with mixed dishes in case you would rather stick to the familiar food, and more expensive than small local places. Nevertheless, bear in mind that this still comes cheap to people from the West. So, don’t try to save on your food, there’s no reason for that in Bali, and do go to those touristy places. Why? Well, because it would just be a pity to miss the views.
You probably heard about Mount Agung in the past few years. It’s the Bali volcano that erupted in August 2017 and, even though no life-threatening eruption has occurred since smaller ones have kept people on edge. The threat level has been raised a few times and so, locals were evacuated and brought back. It also had an impact on tourism. After all, the Mt. Agung volcano erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,100 people.
And here is why I am speaking about the volcano when talking about food. Mt. Agung dominates the landscape of Bali and it provides a breathtaking view from afar. And so, the Balinese have opened the restaurant with the view. Not just any view, but the view of the volcano!
It’s not morbid as it might sound, because the landscape is gorgeous whether you know it’s the volcano or not. There is a long terrace placed on the high hill overlooking the green valley, Mt. Agung peak in the distance, and a few clouds in the sky. The landscape is just too beautiful to miss if you are on the island.
You will have a range of dishes to choose from at the buffet. I had my lunch here while taking a break while visiting this part of the island. I spent a few hours at the Mother Temple on the Mt. Agung slopes and this was a perfect place to refresh, have a meal, coffee, and some fruit – with the mesmerizing view.
One more touristy, but not to be missed place is the seafood restaurant I have already mentioned in one of the previous posts. I was trying to eat my first crab at the beach table while the guide teased me that we might be washed away by the high tide by the time I finish my dish, remember?
Bali Rice Fields
When you come here, you will most certainly see the Bali rice fields. They are not hard to find. The moment you start driving inland, you will come across green hills with layers that resemble huge steps. Local guides will know where to take you for the best views and photos.
That day, I was going around the town of Ubud and wanted to have a lunch break at some local place, far from the crowds. It was raining again and we were driving up the hill. People were walking up the road carrying goods on their heads and a banana leaf or sometimes – the actual umbrella in their hands. A lovely valley was opening before my eyes on the left and a small house with a terrace emerged up on the hill. It was the restaurant, in the perfect location.
Even though it was raining, it didn’t diminish the impression of overlooking the Bali rice field valley. The place was empty. A few tables out on the terrace were waiting for visitors. It was humid but warm, and we set outside to have lunch. I ordered a few local dishes to try and while I really enjoyed some, I was blown away by the black rice pudding. I have never tried one before. The dessert was made out of black rice, of course, and coconut milk, garnished with fresh fruit. I loved it! After this lunch, I just kept ordering the same dessert until the end of my stay in Bali.
And that’s not all! When I visited the local market, the first thing I bought was – black rice. I just had to try and make the pudding at home. (And let me tell you, it was almost as tasty as in Bali.)
The local market is also a must-see. So many spices, fruits, and vegetables that I didn’t even recognize. The advice is to bring cash and to be prepared for bargaining and haggling.
I was amazed by the variety of colors and shapes. (Just look at these photos!) And isn’t it just great that you can find some tropical fruit you didn’t even know existed, you can try something for the first time and admire the taste. This was such a treat!
You probably heard about the famous durian fruit. Well, all of it is true. It looks interesting with the green bark full of vertical splits. After you taste so many tropical fruits you expect the same full, creamy, sweet, crisp taste, but this one is more than a surprise. The durian fruit doesn’t taste that bad and they say that it’s extremely healthy, but the smell is just horrible! If you can pass the smell, you won’t be disappointed by the taste itself. That’s a big “if”, believe me. It smells so bad that you will come across signs in public transport that people who had durian recently – were not allowed in.
But then again, this is a unique opportunity to try one and live to tell the tale.
Next: MONKEYS, PYTHONS AND TIGERS (8)
The full Bali SERIES
Great post! The geographical layout of Indonesia, judging from your photos, is somehow similar to Philippines. The rice fields in your post actually reminded me of the Banaue Rice terraces we have here in our country. If you had fun in Indonesia, I recommend that you visit Philippines too! Nice post, and more power. 🙂
Haven’t been to Philippines yet, it’s still on the bucket list. But I do plan to come one day. You’re making me quite impatient when you say that it reminds you of Bali in these photos. I’ve actually seen a lot of photos from Philippines. Your country is so beautiful, can’t wait to come! <3
Thanks, Carlo, for your kind words.
No worries! I’ll be waiting for your posts when you travel here in the Philippines, I’m sure you’ll have a blast here! 🙂
Oh, me too, I know I will. 😀
food and Mount Merapi are very closely related, soil fertility level is getting better if close to Mount Merapi, one of Bali
Thanks, good to know. 🙂
So many great places to eat out in Bali. I especially like the idea of having the view of the volcano and your pictures of the markets are beautiful. All that symmetry and colour makes me pretty happy!
Hehe, I know what you mean. When you see the stall like that you’re not sure whether to buy something or just to take a bunch of photos and admire the view! 😀
Never been to Indonesia yet, but I have seen rice fields in Nepal and Thailand and they amazed me every time! Love its layer layout :))
Me too! I have yet to see those in Nepal though. 😉 They must have been wonderful.
I’ve only seen Mount Agung in those volcanic eruption photos. Definitely didn’t know it was THIS beautiful on a clear day. Looks like a painting almost! And the local market sounds amazing. Goshh you’re making me wanna hop on a plane over!
Yep, one breath taking landscape with the volcano in the background. Nature is fierce and beautiful at the same time, right!
And thanks, so kind of you to say that the post made you want to go. It makes me so proud! <3
Resfeber Travel Blog
The fruit market looks really cool. I always like visiting these kind of places. Its a great opportunity to get into conversation with the locals. It might start with a little haggle and then next thing you know, they’ve got you trying all kinds of fruit you never heard off. Lovely to see your trip is going well. Ian @ Resfeber
That’s exactly what happened. 😀
Thank you, Ian.
Rice terrace fields won me over. Bali is always on my bucket list for surreal clouds, greenery and beautiful nature. Hopefully visit one day.
Oh, you’d love it then. Hope you’ll go soon, would love to hear your impressions. 🙂
I’ve heard legend of the Durian Fruit – I’d probably have to hold my nose to try it. The view from the restaurant above the rice terraces was a great find – isn’t it great how sometimes you come across these places by accident! That black rice pudding looks delicious, I’m going to try making it!
It’s simple, really. I bought some black rice and took it home. You need coconut milk and sugar, vanilla, some fresh fruit for an eatable decoration, and that’s about it. 😀
durian is the best fruit ever for indonesian 😀
That may be, but it doesn’t smell that nice. 😀