Bali has faced a tougher time than most paradise islands in the last 10 years. Two terrorist bomb attacks in 2002 and 2005 left 150 dead and hundreds more injured.

 

So what can the returning tourists expect from this little corner of Indonesia?

 

Well, achieving Nirvana may be a bit of a stretch, but the tiny 150km-wide island boasts sublime white beaches in the south, hectic high-octane nightlife in the resorts, an imposing active volcano in the north west, all fringed by breathtaking coral reefs.

 

But those seeking a two-week taste of Gilbert’s voyage of self-discovery should head for Ubud, the island’s artistic and spiritual heart surrounded by forest and rivers.


Failing that, you’ll get a decent pina colada and a fantastic massage.


Where to stay
Ubud has a wide selection of good hotels — try the Ubud Hanging Gardens for chic villas with private pools. It’s home to painters, dancers, musicians and healers. Accommodation ranges from dirt cheap losmens to the five star Four Seasons Sayan hotel.


Best Supper Spot
In Ubud, traditional Balinese meets modern French at Mozaic, (mozaic-bali.com) — the only restaurant in Southeast Asia that has been awarded Les Grandes Tables du Monde by Traditions et Qualité. Book in advance and try the tasting menu.


Best Beach
Jimbaran Beach (bali-indonesia.com/jimbaran) is probably Bali's best beach with plenty of white sand, good swimming, surfing, and sailing. It also has an entertaining nightlife with a swath of fine dining establishments to make any night packed with options.