"Sri Lanka" Sri Lanka by funky_pigeon
Sri Lanka Travel Guide: 3,609 reviews and 8,335 photos
We reluctantly left the Maldives on an afternoon flight with Sri Lankan Airlines and although we didn't get a meal on the plane but they did have gaming systems, so the hour and a bit flight literally flew by!
We arrived into Colombo International airport and then caught a local transit bus to Columbo which was another hours journey as the airport is situated 30 Kms to the north of Colombo. We were getting a little nervous as its not pleasant walking around a large town at night trying to find s omewhere to stay, but fortunatly we found a place near the Hilton in Colombo and settled in for the night, although not quite in the luxury as you would get at the Hilton.
The following day we left Colombo early and made our way to the bus station to start the journey up north to the town of Anuradhapura, which is one of the World Heritage sties as an Archelogical town. the journey took around 5 hours, and the weather is swelteringly hot, which can get quite unpleasant on buses that they just cram loads of people on to.
Once we arrived we got a lift to a guest house with one of the local Tuk Tuk drivers, we grabbed something to eat and then spent the afternnon wandering around the town. The prices are quite steep to go and see the sights, but we just had a nice time walking from the new part of the town to the older part and got another picture of a Kingfisher on a telephone wire!
The next day we decided to head down to the south slightly, to go and see the rock temple of Dambulla. We caught a bus from Anuradhapura and got in to Dambulla at 11:30. Again we relied on another tuk tuk to take us to a reasonable guesthouse. We stayed near to the rock temple and the golden temple which made it easier for visiting the sights the town had to offer.
The rock temple was very interesting with the temple actually built into the mountain side. it gave some lovely rooms with the natural stone and the art work that had gone into the rooms must have taken hours. On the way back down the mountainside you can see a huge Bhuddha over looking the town.
We were up early in the morning, as we had arranged to go and visit the Palace fortress on top of another rock. We arrived at the site at 6am only to be told that we couldn't get tickets till 07:30. Luckliy we found a guy who had some tickets and we were off climbing the mountain by 7am.
The path that takes you up to the top of the mountain isn't too bad until you get halfway up and it goes against the rock face as a metal ladder with holes in so you can see how high you are. Why would you want to... we would rather be all inclosed until you get to the top!! once you are at the top the views were great and really worth the climb.
After visiting the Fortress early in the morning we decided to continue our travels on to the next town and we shared a taxi with a french girl that we had met at the guesthouse in Dambulla... next stop was further south to Kandy.
Kandy is a town situated just in the begining parts of the mountains, and has the temple of the sacred tooth which is meant to be an actual tooth of Bhuddha. we walked around the temple and were lucky as it was the build up to Bhuddhas birthday so everyone was very festive and friendly. they decorate the town in flags and lanterns which they light on the actual day.
We spent a couple of days in Kandy just walking around the town and enjoying the nice views across the lake in the centre of the town.
Whilst we were in Kandy we decided to make it easier for us as we didn't have that much time left in Sri Lanka we booked a car and a driver and went further south into the mountains past tea plantations and stunning views.
We were up early to have breakfast before our driver arrived at 9am and then we were soon on our way around the mountains which were quoite twisty and we were quite relieved that we decided to not do this part on the public bus. We could at least now stop when we wanted to and take pictures.
On the way to Nuwara Eliya we stopped at a tea plantation and got given a cup of tea and a tour of their factory which smelt amazing when you walked into the drying room. the had about 8 different strengths of tea and 900 tea pickers who had to collect 15kg a day of tea from out on the mountain side.
Once we arrived in the town we stayed in a nice family guesthouse and walked round the town admiring all the lanterns and people watching as the town was really busy due to the birthday of Bhuddha and it being a public holiday weekend.
We were up early in the morning and after a nice cup of tea, given by the owner of the guesthouse we were back in the car for the short journey around to Ella. This town is also in the mountains but is further to the south of Nuwara Eliya. Once we arrived in the town we got a great guesthouse with stunning views across to the lowlands.
We visited the Rawanda waterfall which was used as public bathing facilities and then spent the afternoon on the balcony enjoying the views.
Doesn't time fly... seemed like only yesterday when we arrived in the country and now we are back to where we started from. Negombo is the town nearest to the Airport for Colombo and instead of going alll the way back to Colombo we decided to stay nearer the airport so it was easier to catch our flight on friday.
Negombo was quite a pleasant town, with not a lot to do, but had a beach where you could watch the sun set. the beach though was not particularly clean and the sea was too rough to swim in. They did have some good restaurants, with tuna steaks and seer fish on offer.
- Pros:Small Country, Lots to see
- Cons:Hard for the Independant Traveller, Expensive Accomodation
- In a nutshell:It was hard work but glad we've been
We were staying in Kandy which is a town to the North of Sri Lanka and just in the mountains. We only had about 4 days... more travel advice
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