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Travel. Fitness. And Everything in Between.

Two-day Itinerary in Ubud, Bali




The last time I was in Bali  was a lifetime ago–2009 to be exact–and I was with family. And you already know the difference when you travel with family versus traveling by yourself or with friends: the experience is just not the same. And I suppose certain memories don’t stick as well?

From what I can recollect, every point of interest on the island was only a hop and skip away. So imagine my surprise when I landed in Bali and was told that Ubud, one of Bali’s most visited areas, was an hour-and-a-half taxi ride away. This is just probably further proof that 2009 was almost a decade ago, and that I’m almost a decade older–and that my memory is starting to play tricks on me. I’m no spring chicken anymore!




I arrived in Ubud, Bali after almost 37 hours of travel.

How did that happen? Look:

Departure: Tuesday, February 7 (6:40 p.m.)
Chicago – Doha: 13 hours via Qatar Airways
Layover in Doha: 2 hours
Doha – Kuala Lumpur: 7.25 hours
Layover in Kuala Lumpur: 10 hours (I would have missed this flight to Bali had it not been delayed!)
Kuala Lumpur to Bali: 3 hours via Air Asia

Arrival: Thursday, February 9 (10:00 p.m.)
Airport to Ubud: (1.5 hour taxi ride)

I normally take the trans-Pacific route when flying from Chicago to Asia–but this year I wanted to mix it up a little bit and fly the opposite direction. Even though it felt like an eternity getting to Bali, the AvGeek (or ‘Aviation Geek’ – a reference to commercial aviation fanatics) in me relishes the multiple flights to get to the destination.

I finally landed in Bali at around 10 p.m., looking like a walking zombie as you can probably imagine. After I picked up my bags and passed immigration, I was very eager to get in a cab and check in to my hotel. But to my surprise (due to my lack of research/preparation), it would take another hour and forty-five minutes until I reached my hotel. I’ll refer back to my failed memory on my last visit to Bali–thinking it was a small island and everything was on a 30-minute driving range.

But I suppose there is a positive side, starting with my journey to Bali by arriving in Ubud late at night. Comparing Ubud’s distance to the rest of Bali’s points of interests, the almost 2-hour trek to get to Ubud was spent at night, instead of wasting those valuable hours on the road during the day.





Before leaving Chicago, I had mentally prepared myself to be jet-lagged for at least three days, as I normally get when arriving in Asia from Chicago. But considering I practically did not sleep for almost forty hours when I arrived late at night in Ubud, I slept the whole night through and woke up at a respectable time in the morning–consequently beating jet lag!

I remember waking up, and my first view of Ubud was the ever-so-green rice paddy fields. Quite the sight from my comfy canopy bed, draped in white sheer curtains to protect me from those Balinese mosquitoes. I truly felt that moment I woke up that I was somewhere exotic, somewhere completely detached from the urban jungle I lived in (talking about you, Chicago).


View from my bed

Exotic views for dayssss


After taking a moment to enjoy my first views of Ubud from my patio, it was time for my tastebuds to finally be reunited with Balinese food! It had been eight long years since I’d experienced what Bali excels at: the vibrant and healthy cuisine, full of intense flavor. During my two-day stay in Ubud, my go-to breakfast was Bakmi Goreng: stir-fried egg noodles with chicken, garnished with egg, pickled vegetables, & Balinese spice–sambal olek–and Bubur Ayam (rice porridge with shredded chicken, spring onion, and boiled egg–almost exactly like the traditional Filipino dish Arroz Caldo).



Not to mention the delicious, mouthwatering and highly addicting banana fritters and seasonal fruits waiting on the sideline!


Banana fritters in Ubud

My absolute favorite! Balinese banana fritters!




Despite my limited understanding of Ubud’s distance from the rest of the island (rolleyes emoji, activate!), I still understood/knew (phew!) that this hidden Indonesian utopia was (and continues to be) regarded as Bali’s cultural center.

Moreover, Ubud is also home to some of Bali’s (and therefore/thus/as such, Indonesia’s) most iconic and famous landscapes. Since I was on a limited schedule, on my first day in Ubud I chose to trek around the Balinese rice paddies and visit the must-see Tegallalang Rice Terraces.


ubud rice terraces tegallalang

The Ubud rice terraces


Day 2

The four items in my itinerary on my second day in Ubud:
1. Eat
2. Relax
3. Massage
4. Repeat



Ok, I wish I had days, if not weeks, to try the myriad of delicious restaurants with stunning views Ubud has to offer. Just google ‘Ubud’ and ‘restaurants with a view’, and you will see an endless list with stunning pictures that would make you book a ticket right this moment.

Since this was not the case, I opted to visit the restaurant Sari Organic during my rice paddy tour. It’s a two-story organic restaurant set in the middle of rice paddies, providing amazing views and a delicious, healthy, and gluten-free menu.


Sari Organic Ubud Bali

Lunch with a view at Sari Organic in Ubud




Nightlife does not exist in Ubud. It’s just you and nature and nothing more.

I had to drag myself all the way to Seminyak, which is about an hour and thirty minute ride, to meet friends in Bali. It was not fun coming back home at 3 a.m. in the morning . . .




A night out in Seminyak with friends



I would say that Ubud probably offers some of the most exotic hotels/accommodations with the most dramatic swimming pools you’ll ever see. Just google ‘hotels in Ubud’ and your first words would probably something to the effect of:

“Oh wow!”
“No way!”
“Is this real life?”
“How . . .?”

And if you are French-speaking:

“Putain c’est pas vrai!”

Or Spanish speaking:

“Dios mio!”

Or Tagalog:

“Oy bongggaaaaa!!!””

I may have used all expressions, though not sure in which order.

But anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. I stayed in this very quaint hotel called Bliss Bungalow. I saw a picture of the balcony and its view, and I booked it right on the spot.

Review is coming soon!


ubud indonesia

Selamat pagi from Ubud!

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One Comment

  1. Great article, thanks for the tips! As the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia is a fascinating place to visit. However, there are also quite a number of crooks who target tourists in the country.

    Do be wary of the unlicensed tour guides/temple touts, Kuta beach touts, blessing scam, Jalan Malioboro batik/art scam, sarong touts, market (Ubud/Kuta art market) scam, pickpockets, Ubud monkey forest scam, fake bus ticket, modern bus bait and many more!


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