Bali, the island of the gods. Although this only becomes apparent once notorious Kuta, an ugly area with cheap hotels and bars close to Denpansar Airport safely lies behind me. Further on, I can sense the magic, terraced lush green rice fields creeping up the hillsides, stately palms swaying gently in the breeze. Small shrines with artfully arranged offerings of flowers and fruit can be found at every street corner. Or the Balinese houses, which are more reminiscent of temples sat in the middle of tropical gardens than of conventional houses. What makes Bali really special is the cheerful serenity and generous hospitality of the Balinese people. Always welcoming and friendly and blessed with impressive dignity. I would have loved to visit the island again.

Exploring Ubud: bright green rice paddies, temples, lush tropical gardens. Despite the chaos and the crowds a very relaxing weekend. And a wonderful hotel which served the most delicious breakfast on the patio: Bami Goreng, fresh tropical fruit, silky cappuccino.