Best Way to Experience Rural Balinese Village Life – Bali Cycling Tour by Bali Hai Bike Tours
We stayed in Ubud on our recent trip to Bali for my birthday celebration, and one of the highlights of the trip was the Bali Cycling Tour by Bali Hai Bike Tours. It was a full day tour from 9am (pick up from our hotel in Ubud) to late afternoon about 4pm with breakfast and lunch provided for US$50 per person. However, the real cycling part was only 2 over hours as we stopped at a few places along the way. We were joined by a father & daughter pair from the U.S. on this adventure.
Luwak Coffee Plantation
Our first stop was the Coffee Plantation for Luwak Coffee (or locally known as Kopi Luwak), which is also known as the most expensive coffee in the world (about US$100-US$600 per pound or 500g). Luwak coffee is produced by coffee beans which have been digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the civet cat. The faeces of this cat will be collected, processed and sold as Luwak coffee. Hence, this is also the reason why Luwak coffee is also called cat poop coffee or civet cat coffee. This might not be the most civilised coffee plantation where they locked up some of the civet cats, I hope the cats are well taken care of as I’d seen them happily eating the coffee beans non-stop when we were there.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Next stop was the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud which is famous for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving the Subak (traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system). Subak, the water management/irrigation system for paddy fields on Bali island which was developed in the 9th century is listed as a World UNESCO Site since 2012. Tegallalang forms the 3 most splendid terraced landscapes in Ubud’s shared region, with the others being in the villages of Pejeng and Campuhan. We stopped for some quick photos sessions and I absolutely loved the beautiful landscape out here.
Breakfast With A Volcano View
We continued driving up the mountain and reached the beautiful vantage point overlooking the 2 active volcanos, Mount Batur and Mount Agung for a late breakfast. The air was chilly and the view of the volcanos was absolutely breathtaking, even on a misty morning. We had the choice of fried rice or fried noodle, and added the orange juice on our own with extra cost.
Let The Fun Begins
After breakfast at 12.20pm, we were all set to go at the start off point 10 minutes away. The bikes were ready for us and Wayan, our lead guide, took us cycling through the amazing Balinese villages. Kadek, the other guide was carefully following us at the back throughout the entire journey. Wayan took us cycling through the small alleys of the local villages, mostly unpaved roads hence the mountain bikes came in handy. My favourite route was the amazing bamboo forest that we cycled through, which is located in Kubu Village, Bangli province, about 30km northeast of Ubud. Even though it was midday and the sun was out, we barely feel any heat while cycling inside the bamboo forest.
Traditional Balinese Village – Penglipuran Village
One of the highlights of this cycling tour was the stop at the traditional Balinese village, Penglipuran. The name of the Penglipuran Village according to the mythology from the old village folks came from “Pengeling Pura” (remember with the temple), which also means” remember the ancestor”. This traditional Balinese village has barely touched by the modern world with all the symbolic Balinese architectures intact. We were invited to the locals’ houses and marvelled at their traditional bamboo kitchen (so delicate), family temples (a must for every household) and the different living areas of the household. Big Teddy even bought himself a full suit of traditional Balinese Sarong and headgear from the locals. This place is famous among tourist even the locals as we saw busloads of the Indonesia students just before we left the village.
Up Close With The Paddy Fields
The other highlight was the cycling through the paddy field up close. We even watched how the local kids and adults bathing naked openly in the Subak water system surrounding the paddy fields. We were shown the Subak Water Temple where the locals would pray for good harvest every time before the planting and harvesting seasons. Those paddy fields and traditional water system are so astonishing, I was glad that I’d seen them up close here in Bali.
Best Thing To Do In Ubud
We had so much fun that we didn’t realise that time had passed so quickly. By 3pm, we had come to the end of our bike tour. Lunch was arranged back in Ubud town at a restaurant right by the paddy field. With the much need coconut water and fried rice/fried noodle served for lunch, we were so glad that we did this Bali cycling tour and spent a fruitful day outside experiencing the different side of Bali that I’d never experienced before. Thank you Bali Hai Adventure Tours for hosting us on this amazing backcountry experience in Bali and I would highly recommend this Bali cycling tour for those who are looking for off beaten path activity to do in Bali.
Have you been on a Bali cycling tour or elsewhere? If yes, tell me your experience… Also, if you’re looking to plan a trip to Bali soon, find some inspirations with this guide for things to do in Bali.
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A big thank you to Bali Hai Bike Tour for hosting this tour. As always, all opinions are my own and I only recommend services that I’d personally use.