Bali is famous for its breathtaking scenery of paddy terraces which have spread to the world through paintings and photography. Getting back to nature and finding out more about the life of Balinese farmer will make your visit to this island even more unforgettable. “A Day in the Life of a Balinese Rice Farmer” is a fantastic activity offered by Four Seasons Sayan for those who seek to have an authentic Balinese experience as well as the luxurious 5-star experience of staying at Four Seasons Sayan.
The activity begins at 7:30 a.m. at the resort’s spa. After filling out some forms, including a breakfast form, our group is introduced to Agus, our guide for the day. Four Seasons Sayan has designed this unique programme so that guests can experience a typical day of a real Balinese farmer. Following the itinerary, we begin with a warm up walk, exploring the resort area and visiting their medicine garden. Then we continue trekking down the rice field path towards the jungle. Agus is an excellent guide; he explains the uses of many local plants, the culture and whatever else we encounter along the way. The one-hour trek through jungle and village is actually designed to give the guest an idea of the everyday walk done by a Balinese farmer.
After our walk, breakfast is served at a gazebo on the rice field by the River Ayung. Scrumptious local cuisine, gentle breezes, the river view, and a private butler… what more could we ask for? Feeling refreshed, we head to the rice field where Mr.Kartika, a local farmer (who is also employed by the resort), is ready to teach us how to plant rice.
It’s time to get dirty. We begin ploughing the soil and making waterways to get the water out of the planting area. Even though it is only a small piece of the rice field and we are working in a small group, we quickly begin to sweat! On the contrary, a real farmer works a 10-acre area of land each day.
Mr.Kartika places an offering and prays before we start planting the rice. He explains that this ritual aims to get blessing from Mother Earth because we disturb the sanctity of the soil in order to plant rice for our food. He adds that before harvesting begins, there is another religious ritual which takes place.
Although we were only in the rice field for an hour or so, it really was an awakening experience for me. It made me understand how hard it is to be a farmer and work every day under the piercing sun to cultivate the land, plant the seeds and care for the plants. When the day ends, the farmers head home, but they might stop by the river to bath. The stone river is used to clean their skin from dry mud. Instead of having a river bath, we are guided to The Sacred River Spa to have a Batu Kali spa treatment. A small river stone, smoothened over the years by the stream of Ayung River, is used to exfoliate dry skin and to clean up the dirt. After the river stone ritual, my skin felt smooth. The treatment continued with a relaxing massage with warm ginger placed on the back, a natural and effective way to regain strength on the back and to warm the whole system in the body.
Our day as a Balinese farmer didn’t end at the spa. After the treatment, we were transferred to the resort’s beautiful dining venue, a gazebo by the river, where our lunch was served. A set of delectable Indonesian cuisine is chosen to enrich the whole authentic experience.
Jalan Raya Sayan, Ubud| Phone: 0361 977 577