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 AirAsia.

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

Given the length of the journey, I was lucky I picked to fly with Qatar Airways for the long-haul flights from Chicago to Doha, and Doha to Kuala Lumpur.

Although the journey felt neverending, the flight with Qatar Airways was relaxing, comfortable, and smooth. I felt surprisingly fresh by the time I arrived in Kuala Lumpur.

Qatar Airways tend to have deals and the best rates inbound to Bali.

Check the lowest fares on their website.


My to-do list in Ubud on my first day were the following:

1. Massage
2. Relax
3. Eat
4. Repeat

Considering the length of the journey and the time difference between Bali and Chicago, I was expecting a rough first day with jet lag.

But to my surprise, I WAS JET LAG FREE!


Hotels in Ubud is well known for its gorgeous spas and wellness centers. Considering the quality of the massage and cheap price tag that came along with it, I made sure I visited a spa at least twice during my visit!


There is no better place to relax and absolutely not do anything than in Ubud. It’s essentially just you and nature.

Even though I didn’t struggle much with jetlag, being able to relax in Ubud definitely gave me the rest my body needed after a hefty travel time from Chicago all the way to Bali.

I felt renewed after my first day in Bali!


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.


My day 2 Ubud itinerary revolved around visiting the main sites and attractions.

However, I think I was a little bit too ambitious with my second day agenda.

I had originally planned on seeing the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, eat at Sari Organic, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a bike tour, the Bali Swing, and Waterfalls tour.

However, I was only able to do two of the six activities that I had originally planned.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Arguably Ubud’s most famous tourist attraction, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces is a must-see and visit when in Ubud.

Try to catch it during the rainy season when the rice terraces are at its greenest!

Sari Organic

Even before researching on things to do in Ubud, I already had a few friends who have recommended to eat at Sari Organic restaurant.

And after this visit, I totally understand what the hype was all about!

The food is some of the freshest and yummiest (not to mention super healthy – they have gluten-free menu!) you’ll ever taste, but the view that comes along while eating your delicious meal will leave you with quite a memorable experience!


Though there are many amazing private pool villas in Ubud, I don’t think I could have picked a better place to stay than at Bliss Bungalow.

The hotels comes with modern bungalows with mouth-watering free breakfast with yoga classes, spa, and outdoor pool.

My room had a private balcony that opens up to a rice paddy field – amazing thing to wake up to in the morning!

The property was well kept and very green. The staffs are really helpful and always at your service. The view of paddy fields were amazing. The spa in the property was good. The reflexology and hair treatment i took was really great.The 30min free massage was great too. The breakfast had lots of fresh fruits.The room had a balcony big enough to relax and have food over looking the greenery. The food from the onsite restaurant was good value for money. The pool area is very nice .

-United Kingdom

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I loved the location and view from our room. The swimming pool was great too. The location of the hotel was perfect distance from the main city with all the shops and restaurants. We had a scooter so we were always out around the area. The hotel isn’t too far from the main places to visit which was pretty great!

-United Arab Emirates

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The landscape and decorations were marvelous. It’s living in a beautiful garden.


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