In East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, agriculture, particularly rice cultivation, plays a vital role in the lives of the local communities. It’s not uncommon to come across vast paddy fields, with one of the most captivating locations being in Cancar, Manggarai Regency, on the island of Flores.
What makes this area unique is its distinctive rice field layout, resembling spider webs. This agricultural pattern mirrors the traditional subak system in Bali and is locally known as “Lingko.”
It represents collectively owned land used to meet communal needs and is allocated according to customary rules by the village chief. Typically, higher-ranking individuals and larger families receive more significant land allocations. Due to its uniqueness, the community has turned this place into a tourist attraction.
The Capital City of Manggarai Regency
To reach this mesmerizing destination from Ruteng, the capital city of Manggarai Regency, it takes approximately 45 minutes. Upon arrival, visitors are required to register their entry in a guestbook and pay an entrance fee of around IDR 20,000 for domestic tourists.
From there, visitors embark on an 8-10 minute uphill hike, with some sections featuring wooden handrails. Surrounded by hills, the panoramic view from the top is breathtaking and visually refreshing. There are approximately two designated photo spots along the way.
In total, there are about 14 spider web-shaped rice fields. The best time to visit is during December and January. After capturing the scenic beauty, it’s advisable to descend relatively quickly since the midday sun can be scorching, and there is limited shade available at the uppermost section.
Preserving an Agricultural Marvel
The spider web rice fields of Cancar are not just visually stunning but also a testament to the community’s deep-rooted agricultural traditions and unity. The intricate Lingko system not only ensures effective land use but also fosters a sense of collective responsibility among the local farmers.
These fields represent the harmony between culture and nature, where human ingenuity and cooperation have resulted in an agricultural marvel that continues to captivate visitors from around the world. The careful allocation of land resources and adherence to age-old customs are the cornerstones of this breathtaking landscape.
The Natural Beauty of Manggarai
While the spider web rice fields are the highlight of a visit to Manggarai, the region offers much more natural beauty to explore. From rolling hills to pristine beaches, Manggarai has something for every nature enthusiast. The warm hospitality of the local communities and their rich cultural heritage add depth to the experience of exploring this lesser-known gem in Indonesia.
The spider web rice fields of Manggarai in East Nusa Tenggara are not only an agricultural wonder but also a testament to the importance of preserving traditional farming practices and communal values.
The striking landscape, with its unique geometric layout, offers a glimpse into the harmonious coexistence of culture and nature. For travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Indonesia, this destination is a must-visit, where you can immerse yourself in the rich traditions and stunning landscapes of Manggarai.