On the drive in, I began to see the beauty. The rice terrace was in sort of a large ravine, below street level. The golden rice plants really stood out from the surrounding greenery. As we neared the ‘tourist’ area, our driver rolled down the window and spoke with the ticket agent and told us the price, I wasn’t really paying attention, too busy looking for spots to take some photos but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t unreasonable (no one complained about it, haha). This area is just a long stretch of road with souvenir shops and eateries on both sides of the street. To get to the rice fields you had to find the staircase down and fortunately for us, our driver dropped us right in front of it. There was a small sign indicating the entrance but it could easily be missed because if you look down over the railing (in between the shop houses), you’ll just see more shops or eateries. Some have zig zagging paths downwards seemingly into the terrace but they could very easily lead you somewhere like a short rice paddy field or a plank suspended by two tall palm trees (that you can pay to swing on) or a hidden “coffee shop”. Oh, some have a “selfie spot” too so keep an eye out for those as well (they might ‘require’ a donation to use though).
It was starting to drizzle so we went into the shops to look at stuff. There were a lot of local arts and crafts on display as well as the usual touristy souvenirs. Our driver, again, indicated that this area is cheaper than in town and that we should bargain for better pricing. This area’s terraces were more green than gold so I decided to walk a couple blocks back the way we came in to take photos of the golden rice fields, as my family went shopping. At the check point, where we paid the entrance fee, is where the sidewalk ended so I was walking on the street for a bit. Not an issue as the drivers did very well to avoid hitting me. I noticed there were people who looked like tourists in these rice fields so there was an entrance somewhere but unsure of the weather and not wanting to go shot less, I decided not to take any time to find it. I found a spot along the street, in a building under construction and began taking pictures (I asked the workers in there for permission first, of course). I got some shots I was happy with so i made my way back. At the check point, I just showed my ticket to the ‘guard’ who nodded and I walked back to meet my family. Here’s some shots:
Oh, before I forget, after going down the first flight of steps to the shops just below street level, then a short zig zag down a path to the actual start of the path into the rice terraces, there is a person sitting behind a makeshift table collecting a donation based entrance fee. According to our driver, the rice farmers are paid by the shop keepers on the street to keep the farms going so this “by donation” entrance fee probably goes directly to the farmers. Overall, I had a good time at the Ceking Rice Terrace and am glad that I got to experience it. Sitting in a coffee shop with an ice cold local beer over looking the rice terrace offers a certain tranquility that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Well worth the trip, in our opinions! Here’s some shots from the coffee shop:
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