Wordless Wednesday: Bali rice paddies

Beautiful rice paddies of Bali
Beautiful rice paddies of Bali

Published as part of Wordless Wednesday

Did you know you can quad bike through the rice paddies of Bali?

quad bike through the rice paddies of Bali
The three of us who went on a quad bike tour through the rice paddies of Bali

While waiting for my Japanese work visa in ’08 I got stuck in Bali for 2 and half weeks. If I had to be stuck somewhere, paradise was the best place to be. I spent most of my time reading and relaxing in the sun and exploring the island. I visited the beautiful temples and then went and explored the beautiful rice paddies of Bali on a quad bike! It was a fun way to do some sightseeing off the beaten track.

The Bali Quad tour took me to through authentic Balinese terrain across rice fields, plantations, through the jungle and loads of mud tracks!

The guide picked me up at my hotel early morning. Once we arrived at the base camp we stored your belongings in a locker and watched a safety video before we received a briefing from our guide. The Quads are fully automatic & easy to operate although driving through mud and water got a bit tricky later on.

Once we had completed the test track we started our 2 hour adventurous sightseeing tour. During the tour we got to enjoy the beautiful sights, and learn a little bit about the surrounding areas from our guide. One of the guides took our cameras and took photos of each of us as we struggled through the mud and rice paddies on the quad bikes.

quad bike through the rice paddies of Bali
Felt like driving through a river

We got to drive ourselves along the most hidden spots on the island, through magnificent panoramas that took my breath away. Unfortunately I could not capture it all on camera as one of the guides had mine. But half way through we took a break and I got to capture some of the beautiful scenery around us before we continued on our mud covered adventure.

quad bike through the rice paddies of Bali
Passing through rice paddies and the beautiful countryside of bali
quad bike through the rice paddies of Bali
Rice paddies of Bali

This was enough dirty adventure for one day but the views made it all worth it. Would you go quad biking through the jungle and rice paddies?

Cycling through the rice paddies and Karst Mountains of Yangshuo

Group Cycling through the amazing Yangshuo Countryside
Group Cycling through the amazing Yangshuo Countryside

Ready for the open road!!
Ready for the open road!!

Yangshuo is a popular place for cycling tours as the town is surrounded by karst mountains, winding rivers and beautiful scenery.I don’t know who was more scared of the day of cycling that lay ahead, me or my mom. We are both quite unfit when it comes to cycling but we were really looking forward to the bicycle ride through the Yangshuo countryside.

Our group got bicycles and bicycle helmets from the hotel we were staying at. I was the “lucky” one to get a baby blue peapod motorbike helmet as they ran out of bicycle helmets.  Luckily there was a light drizzle every now and again so I didn’t get too hot wearing it.

This is where the town ends and the countryside adventure started!!
This is where the town ends and the countryside adventure started!!

We got to experience the hustle & bustle of the Yangshuo traffic for 10 minutes before we escaped onto the country roads of the beautiful Yangshuo countryside. The scenery along the path that we followed was breathtaking! Biking alongside the paddy fields and orchards that surround the mist covered mountains gave us a fascinating insight into life in rural China.

Pitstop next to the beautiful Yangshuo River
Pitstop next to the beautiful Yangshuo River
Cycling through fields of rice paddies, absolutely breathtaking!
Cycling through fields of rice paddies, absolutely breathtaking!

Mom standing on Dragon Bridge!!
Mom standing on Dragon Bridge!!

Our first official rest stop was at Dragon Bridge. We made our way through small villages and over bumpy roads to get to the 400 year old Yu Long (dragon) Bridge. Although the bridge is not particularly spectacular the scenery is magnificent and worth the whole ride! Looking out over the river filled with all the bamboo rafts made me forget about my sore bum for a while!

The famous Moon Hill!!
The famous Moon Hill!!

Arriving at Moon Hill
Arriving at Moon Hill

Just up the road from Dragon Bridge we reached Moonhill which is about 8km south of Yangshuo. This is a very popular scenic spot the main attraction being a hill with a huge hole in the shape of a moon. The hills here can be climbed for spectacular vistas from the top. It is not an incredibly long trek to the top but the gradient and strange angle of the 400 odd steps that are covered in slimy moss didn’t look that inviting. So my mom and i opted not to join the group for the 400 steps to the top and waited for them at the bottom. We sat down at one of the hawkers at the entrance and had some very tasty bean jelly while got resting our sore bums.

Enjoying some very tasty bean jelly
Enjoying some very tasty bean jelly

Stopping off for lunch!
Stopping off for lunch!

The scenery did make up for any pain and I stopped a lot to take loads of photos. But definitely going to start riding more bicycle at home so that next time I do a cycling tour I will not be in so much pain. For lunch we stopped at a local house and had the most amazing pumpkin and taro root with loads of other local dishes. Lunch was fabulous and just the boost we needed for the bicycle ride back to town.

Getting back onto the bike after lunch I realized that I could hardly sit on the bike my bum hurt so much. It was quite a balancing act to make it back but it was such an amazing experience.

The ideal place for a rest stop.....
The ideal place for a rest stop…..
So tranquil and beautiful out here
So tranquil and beautiful out here

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

This week’s photo challenge over at the Daily Post and it’s GREEN!

When I think green, the terraced rice-paddies in Vietnam immediately come to mind.  I lived in Saigon, Vietnam for a year and traveled up to Sa Pa in the North for a break.

I loved the terraced hills that were dotted all over the countryside.

Everything looked so fresh and clean after the morning rain.