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January 22, 2020
One of the things I was most looking forward to in Bali was the rice terraces. If you didn’t already know, Instagram has made Bali famous for this landmark plus a few others. If you’ve spent any time on the popular photo app, you’ve likely seen photos of women in flowing dresses swinging in the jungle above the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, or maybe even in a faux bird’s nest in the sky looking down on the terraces. I remember the first few times I saw these photos, I was amazed. What a wonderful way to spend the day! Just hanging (get it, bc you’re on a swing) out in Bali and soaking in the view.
I’ll admit, these photos made me want to see it for myself more than ever. And it did not disappoint – the Tegalalang Rice Terraces were amazing to see in person. But I was even more amazed by something else: how much Instagram has influenced Ubud. The top edges of the Tegalalang Rice Terraces are lined with swing after swing people pay and wait to use solely for an Instagram photo. If you’re lucky, you can get a package deal and pay $20-$30 to swing and also pose in a fake nest (possibly even shaped like a heart!). Gone are the days of genuinely capturing the enjoyment of a destination, especially in Ubud.
There’s a place called Aloha Ubud Swing where their entire business is the swings and nests. I was brought there by a driver and immediately told him I was not interested. I felt like I was at Disney with how many people were there waiting to use the swings. And it’s not just the swings. Everywhere we went was filled with 20-somethings posing for their perfect shot. I mean, I can’t hate–I’m guilty too–but this was the first time I’ve ever experienced such an obsession with doin’ it for the ‘gram.
So needless to say, you won’t see any photos of me on here swinging on a swing over the rice terraces or twirling in the center of Heaven’s Gates. I love the content I did manage to create while there and although it’s not as iconic as the #bali hashtag on Instagram, hopefully it’s a little more unique and authentic.
For our day at Tegalalang Rice Terraces, I wore my new burnt orange jumpsuit. I don’t know why, but it just felt right for the occasion. While the pants were a little too long (short girl probs), it fit great other than that and it was so super comfy. I just held up the bottom as I walked. Which, is actually more than I was expecting.
There’s a place to park that’s about 250 meters away. You also get the tickets there, but no one actually ever asked for our tickets so I do not think they’re needed. Anyway, I feel like this jumpsuit a great style for vacation, but would also be perfect for a summer evening dinner or Sunday brunch, so I’ll definitely be wearing it again soon! But fair warning if you get this jumpsuit: it definitely wrinkles easily! Oh well, it happens!
Pin for Later:
Have you ever seen an iconic destination become tarnished by Instagram?
Photos by Ryan Carpenter.