Laos Spirit Resort, Luang Prabung

A unique experience and one that comes so rarely to budget-minded travellers, the Laos Spirit Resort was the ultimate combination of relaxation and indulgence. We waved at the elephants from across the river in the comforts of our balcony and ate breakfast, which was included, while they stomped and stamped along the embankment. The private outdoor shower was a rare treat, as was the bed, which provided the best sleep I had all trip.

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Warung Ocha, Seminyak, Indonesia

Admittedly this restaurant is watered-down Indonesian for Westerners rather than traditional fare but the food is so, so good. Right in the middle of it all, Warung Ocha is perfect for pre, mid or post shopping breaks. Warung Ocha's distinctive Red Verandah was the backdrop for a beautiful traditional Balinese ceremony for our last lunch in Seminyak.

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Gado Gado Restaurant, Seminyak, Indonesia

Seminyak is central to many of the best restaurants in the area. By the beach, Gado Gado is set half under cover, half under the stars and is certainly one of the most exciting places to eat. It is a dressy affair, offering indulgent degustation and matched wine menus.

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Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

An easy day trip from Seminyak, visiting Nusa Lembongan should be at the top of any to-do list for Bali. Described as what Bali was like 40 years ago, Lembongan has an 'untouched', raw feeling with its unpaved roads and simple beachfront. Lembongan is an excellent spot for snorkelling, fishing, surfing and watersports. Tours of the island can be easily arranged on arrival and resort accommodation is plentiful should you want to stay longer than the day.

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Kebun Raya Bali, Indonesia

When in Ubud there is the temptation to keep heading east to the volcano - which is amazing to be sure - but the vistas as you explore the north west are even more dramatic amongst the mountains. Viewing Bali's commitment to conservation at the Kebun Raya Botanical Gardens is a cultural and ecological feast.

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Kafe, Ubud, Indonesia

My dinner at Kafe was one of those moments when travelling that make you feel truly alive and for that alone I am fond. The restaurant was also the best that I encountered in my short stay. It perfectly projected a calm, relaxed atmosphere and I understand it is well-liked amongst the yoga retreat set that frequent the region. Their menu offers fresh, organic, tasty fare and I recommend heading there for dinner and nabbing a spot on the verandah of the top floor to engage in some people watching. A very comfortable spot for lone travellers and I noted during the day it was packed to the rafters with families and all sorts.

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Kebun Indah, Ubud, Indonesia

Sometimes accommodation does really matter. I lucked out with booking the Sandat room at Kebun Indah, part of the Alam Indah group of properties. A gorgeous room that fulfills all your tropical decor fantasies, I practically had the pool all to myself and breakfast and afternoon tea delivered daily. Staff were very friendly and the site was secure. Set amongst a rice field and close to a creek bed, Kebun Indah is located in what I would call the quiet end of town but still only a short walk to restaurants, shops and the Monkey Forest.

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