Muddy Buddies in Indonesia
Besides religion, rice or nasi, is probably the most important thing in an Indonesian person’s life. Indonesia is the world’s third largest rice producer yet still relies on imports to feed its population.The average Indonesian consumes about 140 kilos of rice each year. Out of the 250 million people, about 100 million depend on the crop to make a living. Most rice farmers are small scale growers with less than one hectare of rice fields.
Much of Java’s countryside is occupied with rice paddies (rice fields). However, due to high population growth and urbanization, agricultural land is disappearing. It is not unusual for one to find small rice fields even in urban areas like Yogyakarta.
The beautiful sight of farmers and buffalos working the land in the flat, muddy fields as well as the views of bright green terraced hillsides are found throughout Indonesia. To experience the real Indonesia from Yogyakarta, Khiri Travel offers easy cycling tours into the countryside. Leaving the congested streets of the city in the early morning your travelers will soon find the local farmers harvesting, planting or plowing in the mud. The friendly villagers are keen to show visitors how to do their work and welcome those willing to join them. Travelers, bare footed in the deep mud and bending over to insert young rice plants, will immediately gain the respect of these hard workers.
All this rice needs a lot of water in which to grow, especially in mountainous regions such as Bali. Distributing the abundant rainfall, however, can be difficult. The subak, or village association, controls the complicated system of irrigation canals so that each farmer gets a fair share of water. In Bali alone there are more than 1200 subaks. These networks of irrigation canals also serve as a source of small fish for the villagers.
On the sometimes steep hillsides of Bali’s heartlands, cycling is not always easy. However, Khiri Travel has found ways to enjoy the local scenery by a downhill mountain bike tour through farm villages on quiet, back roads or trekking alongside the rice fields on foot. It is all possible and we are happy to arrange these fun activities for your guests.
For more information about cycling and rural travel around the countryside of Yogyakarta and Bali, please contact [email protected]