From the UNESCO Site:
Cultural Landscape of Bali: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophyforms a cultural landscape of five rice terraces and their water temples that cover 19,500 hectares. The temples are the focus of a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs, known as subak, that dates back to the 9th century. Included in the landscape is the 18th-century Royal Temple of Pura Taman Ayun, the largest and most impressive architectural edifice of its type on the island. The subak reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This philosophy was born of the cultural exchange between Bali and India over the past 2000 years and has shaped the landscape of Bali. The subak system of democratic and egalitarian farming practices has enabled the Balinese to become the most prolific rice growers in the archipelago despite the challenge of supporting a dense population.
Jatiluwih is a rural settlement with a beautiful landscape of terraced and meandering paddy fields at the foot of Mt. Batukaru or Batu Kau, which further enhances the magnificence of the scenery. About 50 kilometers from Denpasar, Jatiluwih lies at an altitude of 700 meters, which unsurprisingly makes the area pleasantly cool. It is one of Bali’s eco-tourism destinations, comparable to the splendour of Kintamani with Lake Batur and other spots on the island.
As the name indicates, Jati means truly and luwih superior or splendid, this location is thus a must-see for tourists visiting Bali.
I read about the “hidden Bali tips” on the internet, while we prepared our trip. It is not mentioned in the normal tourist guides and websites, tourist guided tours. We hired a jeep and headed on a day’s tour to Jatiluwih. The road leads through small villages, is very bumpy, but the trip is worth all the effort. Getting there is experiencing Bali deeper and beyond the “tourist” Bali. Passing through the villages, you get to witness local traditions and culture too: we had the opportunity to witness a funeral procession, which of course made the narrow road and street lining village come to a still stand for almost 40 minutes. Once you are there, the view of those rich green rice terraces as far as your eye reaches is just too beautiful and soothing for the eyes. The green is interrupted by the water streams flowing through them. This is the “Subak” System, which is UNESCO protected.
We visited Bali and Jatihluwih in December 2011