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Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Sri Lanka Experience

Where will you go for your honeymoon? Maldives and New Zealand are the answers that I often got and I had always thought I would go there as well, but no, and here I was at Sri Lanka.

I could not remember how we decided, or rather I decided (wife gets to decide most of the time 😆) but it was one that I did not regret. We went on nine days trip and we had engaged a private driver that drove us around.

When we arrived on the first day in Negombo, it was past midnight and we just headed straight away to the hotel. On the way to the hotel, it was quite and dark, but we spotted a lot of baby Jesus and mother Mary statues along the way. I was quite surprised as most Sri Lankan are Buddhist. The driver told us that we were in the part of the Catholic community.

A plate of kottu.

We started our day with the local breakfast and we headed out to Dambulla. Made a few stops before we reached the hotel that evening. We were starving that we could eat a horse and fortunately, we found our favourite local food. It was called kottu. It was some sort of prata that was cut into smaller pieces and stir-fried together with vegetables and meats.

We went to Pigeon Island the next day. I saw no pigeon on that island, so I did wonder why. We had a good swim of 15 minutes to the sea together with the beach guard to see a shark. According to him it was friendly shark, so we took our chance and we did see the shark though it was only a second as it swam super fast. We saw a giant turtle as well. Too bad we didn't have time to snap a picture as they were also moving super fast.

On our way to Habarana.

Next stop was the local village in Habarana. In order to get there, we got on the small boat with the two local men. They were kind enough to make us hat from the leaves. Then, we saw the kitchen of the locals and experienced how they cooked. The food was simple but amazing, especially the chili. Oh, we also sat on the cow cart going around the village and witnessed the cow shit right in front of us while walking. Funny experience.

Our ride!

We continued to Minneriya National Park. Such an amazing view of lake with groups of elephants and the weather was nice as well. This was the view that you hardly can see in Singapore, so we took our time to relax and walked around.  

Elephants in Minneriya National Park. 

It was getting more adventurous the next day as we went to Sigiriya, the ancient rock fortress that looks like a lion. We were welcomed with the lion claw on the entrance of the rock. The fortress is about 200 metres high and you have to climbed the little stairs together with the rest of the tourists as well. It was quite an effort but once you reached the top, the view is overwhelming.

At the entrace of the rock fortress.

The structure of the fortress is awesome, how the mirror placing is supposed to distract the enemies who were coming to attack, the number of rooms for the concubines and the the swimming pool size that is humongous. These parts of the story did leave me a deeper impression for some reason.

The view from the top.

The rock fortress from afar.

From the hot Sigiriya, we were moving to the cooling climate. We were heading to the tea plantation and finally the hotel that used to be a tea factory. It is quite high up and it needs to go through many turnings before we got there. A very classic hotel interior with a peaceful view.

The hotel and the tea plantation.

The next day, at dawn about 3.30am, we started from hotel to the World’s End (Horton Plains) pick up point. We were contemplating if we should go as we were told the way up there were quite dangerous but “only” a few accidents happen in a year. But the temptation to trek and the super nice view was our buy in, so here we were, trekking for about 2 hours (including the photo taking time), sitting at the World’s End, a sheer cliff. The journey to the trek base was indeed quite scary. There was mist everywhere and we could not even see what was in front when we were in the car. That is also the reason why, only the real local people in the area are allowed to pick up passengers.

Pattipola entrance towards Horton Plains

The mist...

And the World's End!

We stopped by at the Galle Fort and ended our trip with a relaxing stay in Bentota, famous for the beach. The hotel was rather special. The rooms and the lobby are separated by the river and there is a hotel boat that transfer guests over.

Galle Fort.

The boat that brought us to Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa.

One more country checked in my bucket list!

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