Each time I return to Bali, I am immediately overcome with a sense of peace (in part to do with the plethora of yoga studios and spas that are so readily available). I have found that pockets of it are, of course, overrun by tourism and a certain amount of pandering to visitors, but it retains more than enough of it's true personality to keep me coming back. This time around, I stayed in Ubud, where it's easy to get around on foot, explore the endless rambling alleys around town and appreciate the Balinese attention to beauty and aesthetics that is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere in the world.
There is no shortage of intrigue in the countryside, from the sprawling rice paddies to the incredible views from atop Batur volcano at sunrise. Each offers their own sense of wonder, a bit of adventure and yet another photo opportunity. However it's the morning market, right in the middle of town, offers the best people watching with its busy vendors, exotic wares and endless sounds.
No matter how you spend your days in Ubud, you will feel a shift into evening as the shops begin to close, music starts to drift lazily from the homes around town and the air finally begins to cool. The nights I spent watching the sun set from my hotel balcony with a cold Batang will always be some of the happiest, calmest moments of my life. Those moments are what keep me coming back.