There is something about the tropics. Just thinking about it makes me feel relaxed. Walking around in Bermudas and flip-flops is pure bliss.
Though there are several positives to Bali, overall I would say that it has become quite “touristy” with the typical pitfalls like overpriced food, crowded sights Etc.
One thing that strikes you right away is the architecture. You will just be mesmerized by the various arts and souvenirs that are on display.
Without a doubt, the wooden carved paintings stood out by a mile. We visited many vendors and finally managed to buy two such paintings. Based on the price you are willing to pay, you can get the wooden carvings in Teak, Mahogany, Kapalang, Hibiscus Etc. Though it is a chore to get it shipped, the rock carvings and statues were cool as well.
Once the locals notice that they are getting tourists galore, it is natural for them to skimp on authenticity and quality. That is what I noticed in the various restaurants of Nusa Dua (where we stayed). Because it was a short walk from our hotel, most of our meals were had in that area.
There were a lot of tourists from Australia (apparently Air Asia Indonesia does direct Perth to Bali flights). During one of the swimming pool visits, I met this Australian gentleman who was visiting Bali with his family. We exchanged some notes on Cricket and concurred that Sachin Tendulkar is great :-). Other than one Indian family who came in during our last day in Bali, we were pretty much the only Indians we could see around.
Driving through the Bali countryside is a pleasant experience. The drive to Ubud, Mount Batur, MEngwi Etc. was through lush greenery. The Ubud rice fields, though spanning a small area, was a wonderful sight.
To get the opportunity to have lunch while having a great view of Mount Batur, we let a tourist trap restaurant trap us fair and square. The food was horrible.