Soka rice terraces
• Keep in mind that the rice paddies are private property and should be treated with respect. If you see anyone working in the paddies, ask for permission before you walk through the paddies or take photos.
• The life cycle of the paddies is fast paced and you're likely to see some lying fallow while others are newly planted, while others still are growing well.
Some of the most beautiful – and little known, in terms of tourists – rice terraces can be seen from the road around Pantai Soka, which is on the Denpasar-Gilimanuk road. Travel this road in the early morning, when the sky is less hazy, and you're likely to be rewarded with views of Batukaru mountain in the distance, behind the sprawling stretches of paddies.
Where to find them
As you travel from Canggu towards Balian on the main Denpasar-Gilimanuk road, the road will suddenly turn 90-degrees, towards the coastline. As you drive down this road keep looking to your right, and vistas of the paddies will soon open up. Take a look at the satellite view on Google Maps to see the extent of these paddies; if you're on a scooter, you'll find it easy to turn off onto some of the narrow tracks to explore further.
– For more on the cycles of paddies in Bali, please see our book, Secret Bali –