Sunday, September 10, 2006

Our Love Affair with Ubud

Returning to a place where you have been happy is generally regarded as a mistake, but as author Peter Mayle discovered, this is not always true. After three visits, we have come to regard Ubud as our "happy place", to be "visited" in moments of extreme stress (caused mostly by overwork and harpy bosses). As HM puts it, there's nothing quite like a snail's eye view of the padi fields from the porch of No. 11 Tegal Sari to induce a state of inner peace. In this case, no TV, no problem, which is really saying something, considering we're talking about people who watch countless hours of CSI and food programmes a week.

There is almost always something or someone to "watch" out on the padi fields - a solitary farmer attending to his chores, a noisy flock of ducks going about their business, smoke spiralling upwards from a smouldering pile of hay, or just the tall stalks of rice swaying in the wind. And then, to complete the sensory experience, there is the sound of bamboo windchimes and the smell of incense. For variety, throw in a daily dose of yoga and massage, many a yummy meal, a different dance performance to watch every evening of the week, a plethora of boutiques, jewellers and bric-a-brac shops within walking distance, and photo ops on every street corner - what's there not to like?


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