Blogs from Sri Lanka, Asia - page 4


Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya January 13th 2014

Sometimes I glance over in my living room, a printed cloth I bought a few years ago in a market in Negomb. It is a batik. As time goes by and especially with exposure to light it fades remarkably. Is particularly noticeable on the black inks. Two graceful richly bejewelled young ladies, compose, from the waist up, a nice aulic scene. Both seem to come from the same social extract, dressed in a semblance alike. One offers to the other a tray of water lilies, she has already taken one holding it in his left hand. Their eyes are lost in space without finding each others look. The scene is modelled on similar, painted in fresco, which are in Sigiriya. Sigiriya, or Sihagiri, the Lion Rock, is a massive structure, two hundred meters high and with ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle » Thalpe January 13th 2014

This morning we went for a walk through the rice paddies. Sujee had been talking about this during our trip and we had passed many of them, so he would tell us about the rice paddies. Except he called them 'faddy fields'. I knew what he meant, but I didn't realize other people on the tour didn't understand him. When we were taking pictures in the faddy fields, I heard some people in the group talking and I was cracking up when I realized the whole time he was telling us about the faddy fields they didn't make the connection. The rice paddies were actually really beautiful and while I had seen a lot of them in Asia, I had never walked through one. Got some great photos. I would really like to try planting rice. ... read more
Grows on Trees
Faddy Fields

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Weligama » Kapparathota January 12th 2014

Our last few days in Sri Lanka went by very quickly. Once we decided to move on we were anxious to get going but Kantha made us promise to stay for his birthday party, on the 8th of January. The party was a perfect excuse to wear the saree his wife Kanthi had gifted me the week before. The day after she gave it to me, I asked Vajira to help me find a fabric store and then a women's tailor to have the blouse and underskirt made. He did and also gave me suggestions for the style of blouse I should choose. Afterward we went to the men's tailor to have Matt's sarong sewed up. Dressing in a saree sounds very simple - all you have to do is tuck a long piece of fabric ... read more
Saree & Sarong
Kantha & Matt
Rounding the Island (4)

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Udawalawae NP January 12th 2014

I arrive in Tissamaharama (shortened to Tissa henceforth for obvious reasons) after two stinky, crammed local bus rides. A few tuk tuks and guesthouse touts are already waiting for me. While I try my best to ignore them, one is particularly persistent. He follows me on a motorcycle, trying to steer me towards his (or his family's) guesthouse. "Where you stay, sir?" -"Oh, I can't tell you. It's a secret." "Why you say that? I'm honest." -"Well, you have a guesthouse as well, so you're competition." "Yes, but I just ask you, no problem. Which guesthouse?" -"*blah*" "Oh, ok. Actually, I know the place. The father of the owner died last week. They have funeral there tonight. My family and me, we're going to pay our respects. I don't think it's open for business at the ... read more
Green bee-eater
Elephants taking a sandbath
Mongoose hanging out

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Horton Plains NP January 10th 2014

Our first stop today was a gem shop that designs, makes, and sells jewelry. This wasn't on the agenda. Their prices were so ridiculous. But it was a short visit and then we were off to a botanical garden, one of four near Kandy I think. Some of us walked with Sujee, by accident, and he showed us some great stuff. Fruit bats, tiny bees he found by accident, and he is quite knowledgeable about plants. I was content to walk with Sujee and hear what he had to say about certain areas of the garden. This place was not cheap to enter. It was 1100 LKR, although I'm sure Sri Lankans don't have to pay that much. Afterwards we drove back to Kandy and I walked around the local market with Danielle and Nicole taking ... read more
Kandy Botanical Garden


Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Matara » Mirissa January 9th 2014

I'm not much of a beach bum, but I do like a good swim, pristine sands and crystal-clear water every now and then. Hence I go to Mirissa. I take the train from Galle and kind of hint to some locals where I'm going, hoping they will let me know when we're there. After an hour and a bit, an older man tells me 'Mirissa, Mirissa', but I can't see a station or platform, before I realise I'm looking at the wrong side and the platform is so short it can't be seen outside our carriage. I fall-jump off the train and walk into the wrong direction, until some tuk tuk-drivers point me out the right way. Accomodation is easily found inside a family's home. I drop my bags to take a stroll on the beach, ... read more
Mirissa beach
A cold Lion lager
Coconut stall

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Weligama » Kapparathota January 8th 2014

The first few weeks of our trip we were so focused on finding depth for freediving that we ignored the many swimming possibilities in Weligama Bay. After our tour of the rest of the country we are back in beach territory and have made it a priority to check out all the rocks and islets. Matt and I are quite comfortable in tidal current and cold water, but conditions are very different here. The Bay is shallow and there is a lot of surf that sometimes breaks way out, and strong surge. All of this creates different currents that I have no experience in, so it's been fun learning how to swim in a different environment. Matt has been very patient teaching me how to enter and exit through waves (the South is known as a ... read more
Wavy Point
Dry Surfing
Enjoying the View

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle January 8th 2014

I usually don't write a lot about flights, but here are some things I noticed on my flight to Colombo: In airplane bathrooms, there should be a device, similar to smoke detectors, that beeps when a guy pisses on the toilet seat. A trapdoor should open automatically, with a large, hard boxing glove dashing out, punching him in the face. Sit down, fuckers! On Sri Lankan Airways, they provide single-use shavers in the lavatory, which is actually a good idea. There's also a big bottle of mouthwash, and I can't for the life of me figure out any hygienic way to make use of it. The service on board is impeccable and with a smile. The crew is pleasant and entirely attitude-free, except maybe for the lady selling duty free-goods. The Sri Lankan bloke sitting next ... read more
Main Buddha
Raising the flag
Galle boat harbour and crows

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy January 8th 2014

After breakfast this morning we drove a short distance on the bus to Polonnaruwa, a Medieval city. We toured the city on a bicycle which is definitely the way to do it. It is fairly spread out and the temples and structures that have been excavated and very well preserved. I wish I could remember more about it, but I just don't. I think being on a tour has made me very lazy. I had no guidebook and we weren't given any info about the site upon entry. I do know this was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982. And rightfully so. After visiting Polonnaruwa we went back to the hotel where the people who were not going on the elephant safari (40 USD) had the afternoon free. I went on the safari to Minneriya ... read more
Polonnaruwa Ancient City
Used to be 7 Stories

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Weligama » Kapparathota January 7th 2014

Matt and I ran some errands in Weligama yesterday. We needed to buy and mail a birthday card, pick up some electrician's tape, and find a couple of gifts and wrapping paper. Easy, right? Well, surprisingly, it was. On our way out of the last shop, bags in hand, gifts pre-wrapped per our request, we laughed as we recalled a similar outing, undertaken our first week in Sri Lanka. The list that day was short: tape, thread and needle, and postcards. We asked many people for help but the directions were difficult for us to understand and if we were able to find the right place, it was closed or didn't have what we needed. After 2 hours of wandering around we left completely defeated. I guess we have adapted. Yesterday, with our list completed after ... read more
Phone at Train Station
School Cricket Match
Family Beach Day

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