Basking in Bali: The Ubud Tour

One of the most popular things to do in Bali is going on a tour of the nearby Ubud area.

During our trip in Bali, Indonesia, Hubby and I decided to take a breather from lounging about at the Nusa Dua Beach and strolling around the enclave surrounding Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua Resort where we were staying.

We hired a van to take us on a day trip to the region widely considered to be the cultural capital of Bali.

About Ubud

The town of Ubud is situated in the uplands of Bali. Surrounding it are rain forests and rice paddies, an area lush with greenery and dotted with temples and shrines.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

The place gets its name from the Balinese word ubad which translates to “medicine,” indicative of the area’s first claim to fame as a source of medicinal herbs and plants.

Today, it is the center of Bali’s art and culture scene, being home to a number of museums, artist communities and art markets that we were able to check out during our Ubud Tour.

Barong and Keris Dance

The village of Batubulan has been known for daily performances of the Barong and Keris Dance.

This dance dramatizes the mythical battle between the good spirit Barong and the evil spirit Rangda, and provides a fascinating insight into Balinese culture.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Artists’ Villages

Balinese art takes centerstage in Ubud where local artisans inhabit their own villages where they craft traditional paintings, textiles, jewelry and carvings, many of which are for sale at reasonable prices.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Batuan is also home to awesome temples that feature Balinese architecture and elaborate carvings.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Batuan also prides itself on its traditional paintings which are characterized by detailed designs in sombre colors depicting mythical or religious elements against black or white backgrounds that call to mind the supernatural.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Tohpati, on the other hand, is home to batik, a decorative textile technique involving the use of wax and dyes to create intricate patterns. Aside from clothing, batik is used for a myriad of items including household accessories, furniture fabrics and giftware.

Meanwhile, the silversmiths in Celuk are masters in creating intricate jewelry and luxurious decor.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Lunch at Batur Sari Restaurant

We had our lunch in a restaurant perched on top of the Kintamani. Called the Batur Sari Restaurant, it provides its guests with a traditional Indonesian meal served buffet style meant to be enjoyed while marveling at the view of Mount Batur and its surrounding crater lake.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Unfortunately, the view was covered by a thick fog during our visit. However, the fog did give the effect of dining while surrounded by clouds, which is an experience in itself.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Sebatu Temple

After a long-ish drive from Kintamani, our next stop is the Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple, known locally as Pura Tirta Dawa Gunung Kawi Sebatu.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu who is said to hold dominion over water, it is one of the least visited temple complexes in Bali, but is also one of the most tranquil and picturesque, marked by spectacular water features (including bathing pools for pilgrims), fountains teeming with carp and lush gardens.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

One of its most breathtaking scenery is a sculpture of the Hindu goddess Sarasvati at the center of a large pool.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

A short distance away from the Sebatu Temple is the famous Tegallalang Rice Terraces, a vast expanse of beautifully arranged rice paddies carved from the hillsides by ancient Balinese farmers following the traditional Balinese irrigation system called subak.

It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adding to its “must-visit” appeal.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

From the viewing deck, one can see the cascade of green crops down the slopes while enjoying the cool mountain breeze.

Given my general avoidance of any physical exertion, we declined the opportunity to traipse down the slopes and walk across to the greenery.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

It’s just too bad that I chickened out of having my picture taken at the swing. I guess my acrophobia is stronger than my desire for a good picture!

Coffee and Tea Tasting at Alam Bali Agriculture

Indonesia produces some of the world’s finest coffee and also happens to be fourth largest coffee producer in the world.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Within Tegallalang region is a coffee and tea plantation called Alam Bali Agriculture which houses gardens that grow various kinds of beans, leaves and herbs.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

After a short tour of the grounds, we were treated to a flight of freshly brewed coffee and teas which were grown on site such as Arabica, Coconut, Vanilla and Ginseng coffee, as well as Lemongrass, Ginger and Mangosteen tea.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Sunset Seaside Dinner at Ayu Bali Resto

After such a jam-packed itinerary, our day of sight-seeing culminated at Ayu Bali Resto in Badung.

There, I was finally able to find a swing that doesn’t make my fear of heights go haywire.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

While getting serenaded by live acoustic music accompanied by the sound of waves, we enjoyed a sumptuous seafood dinner by the beach.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

This one-day tour of Ubud gave Hubby and me an interesting glimpse of Balinese life and culture.

And the best part of the day is going back to Nusa Dua to rest in our comfy room at the Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua Resort.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

This award-winning hotel is one of Courtyard by Marriott’s 1360 properties across 65 countries. It caters to business and leisure travelers by providing quality comfort.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Aside from our well-appointed room, we also hung out at the hotel’s poolside and beach club.

Bali Trip
Bali Trip

Thanks to Luxury Getaways Club, Hubby and I were able to have a wonderful Bali experience with a lovely and luxurious stay in this five-star hotel at 70% off its regular rates.

Read more about my full experience here.

Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua Resort is located at Kawasan Pariwisata Lot SW1, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363 Indonesia.

Disclosure: Our Bali trip happened before the COVID-19 pandemic. Download Indonesia’s protocols for cleanliness, health and safety for its tourism sector here.

Always changing is a good thing at BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tucked away in a quiet corner along Scout Rallos Street in Quezon City is a newly opened restaurant with something new up its sleeve.

Always change.

That’s the mantra of BOA Kitchen + Socials, which aims to be the destination of choice for the titas. Enter its doors and you will enjoy the same ambiance, food quality and hospitality as any top-of-the-line stylish Makati restaurant. The difference is, especially for people up North, you get to avoid the stressful Makati traffic to get there.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Plus, you get to enjoy an ever-changing environment as envisioned by owner Joey Marcelo and menu conceptualized by Chef Julius Necor, which makes your every visit a fresh and exciting experience.

Here’s how:

From 9am to 6pm, enjoy a Bali-inspired Australian brunch service in the light and airy surroundings of BOA Kitchen.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Here, you can sate your mid-day appetite with dishes such as:

Torched Salmon and Avocado Toast (Php245). A large piece of torched smoked salmon placed and mashed avocado on multi-grain bread.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Grilled Cheese with Creamy Marinara (Php245). Cheddar and mozarella in a grilled brioche loaf best enjoyed dipped in a creamy marinara sauce.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tinapa Aglio E Olio (Php285). Pasta tossed in a mixture of tinapa flakes, olive oil and garlic.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Pasta Vongole (Php285). Spaghetti noodles tossed in a light sauce of clams and lemons.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Alfredo Pesto Pasta (Php285). Pesto farfalle coated with Alfredo sauce, served with ricotta and sun-dried tomato.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Kimchi Fried Rice (Php285). Bibimbap kimchi fried rice topped with carrots, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, ground beef, spinach, zucchini and an egg cooked sous vide.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Pulled Pork Adobo (Php245). Strips of pork adobo, pickled vegetables and a fried egg topping garlic rice.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tapsilog (Php245). The classic lunch staple of tender beef tapa and crispy fried egg on garlic rice.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Steak and Egg (Php495). A 200g grilled hanger steak served with fried eggs, house-made potato chips and mushroom gravy.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Full English Breakfast (Php325). Toast, links of breakfast sausage, bacon, roast herb tomato and potato hash served with fried egg.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Banana Pie (Php175). Caramelized banana served with buttery streusel crumbs and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Bibingka Microwave Cake (Php245). A deconstructed dessert of made-to-order-via-microwave bibingka cake on a bed of salted egg dulce de leche, sugar syrup, melted butter and desiccated coconut.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

From 6pm to 12 midnight, when the neon lights are lit up, the place transforms to BOA Socials which serves Asian cuisine.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

While you relax and unwind with your amigas, you can feast on:

Sisig Croquettes (Php225). Creamy mashed potato balls filled with sisig and served with toyo-mansi aioli.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Wonton Nachos (Php245). Crispy fried wontons topped with pulled teriyaki sauce, shredded cabbage, onions and parsley drizzled in Sriracha mayo.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Salmon Tartare (Php378). Salmon served with pork rind, wasabi mayo, urchin roe and Oriental dressing.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Pulpo (Php345). Succulent grilled octopus on smoked potato puree served with chorizo crumbs and paprika-thyme oil.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tinapa Cream Cheese Toast (Php175). Open-faced sandwich of tinapa flavored cream cheese over toast topped with sliced cucumber, onion and halved cherry tomatoes.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Chori Burger (Php295). Chorizo patty topped with a fried egg, coleslaw and pepper sauce in a black brioche bun.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Char Kwaey Teow (Php365). Stir-fried Southeast Asian rice noodle dish with a smokey flavor.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Chicken Pad Thai (Php345). Stir-fried glass noodles with tamarind sauce, eggs, tofu, chicken pieces and bean sprouts.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Thai Fried Chicken (Php345). Crispy fried chicken served on top of curried mashed potato, garnished with grilled corn kernels and pickled vegetables and served with sweet chili sauce.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Beef Rendang with Coconut Lime Rice (Php425). A spicy Indonesian meat dish served on coco lime rice served with pickled vegetable and crispy shallots.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Crispy Pork Sambal (Php445). Crispy pork belly served with Asian slaw.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Deconstructed Anise Cheesecake (Php245). Anise cheesecake served apart from its ginger graham cracker crust.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

House Blend Iced Tea (Php80). With choices among classic, mango and lychee.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Purple Potion (Pho320). One of the ever-changing drinks served at BOA, this blue gin changes to a purple hue when tonic water is added.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

With these always changing elements, every trip to BOA Kitchen and Socials is something new to look forward to.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Many thanks to Joey, Chef Julius and the wonderful staff of BOA Kitchen + Socials for the amazing time and the great meal in each of my visits.

BOA Kitchan + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials is located at the Mezzanine Floor, 45 ABDC Building, Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuazon, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open daily from 9am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2903103 or +63 977 7078472.

Did you know you can get dishes for free when you dine with a friend at BOA Kitchen + Socials through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

You can also book your table at BOA Kitchen + Socials using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

BOA Kitchen + Socials Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro: