Blogs from Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka, Asia


The drive to Anuradhapura took three hours passing through countryside which was quite pretty, covered in palms and banana plants. and dotted with small brick houses with unpainted wooden window frames and multi paned windows. As well as agriculture there was a thriving terracotta industry as we passed many small factories producing clay roof tiles, cooking and garden pots. The roadside was also lined with people selling cheap T shirts and trousers, all hanging on clothes lines strung between the palm trees. And many stalls selling coconuts - they are everywhere - coconuts seem to be widely used here. The traffic was pretty chaotic too - we were passed by express buses which barely stopped to let people off - they jumped off at a run. The speed limit in Sri Lanka is a maximum of ... read more
Door knob at Isurumuniya Rock Temple
Repainting the frescos inside the cave temple at
Shop selling Colourful temple offering at Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba.

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Anuradhapura February 25th 2019

Almost new mountain bikes awaited us for the start of our tour after some basic sizing & setup the night before. The day then started with a test-ride through the streets of Negombo visiting the fish market before setting off on a 40 km ride to Chilaw. Along the way we passed quaint fishing villages in picturesque coastal settings with endless coconut plantations surrounding these villages. We also passed canals built by the Dutch to transport spices but now used by the local fisherman for access to the sea. The canals link lagoons & marshlands & are now the setting for abundant bird life and a growing tourist destination in their own right. From Chilaw we swapped the bike for a 90 km coach ride to our two night stay at the Ceylan Lodge, Anuradhapura. After ... read more
Dutch Canal
Loo stop.

For the first time we had some proper flexibility to determine our schedule as the plan was to catch the bus down to Dambulla, a large town 30 minutes away, and then pick up a bus to Anuradhapura. Buses are frequent and all up the journey should only take about 2 hours. With lots to see in Anuradhapura and still wanting to avoid travelling in the heat of the day where possible we chose to catch the 7:30am bus out of Sigiriya. The bus drives slowly through the village so people can flag it, which meant we only had to go just outside our guesthouse to get it. We had barely been sat on our rucksacks for 2 minutes when it arrived. We got prime seats behind the bus driver when all the school kids got ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Anuradhapura September 6th 2017

Today I learned that there's an elephant in Yala that chases your car if you don't feed it. I wish we were going to Yala; I've been chased by a rhino and hippo before, plus many cows and an angry goat. But never an elephant! But anyway, it was time to leave Wilpattu and we had to finally face sorting the bill with Bandara who brought with him a calculator. He prices thing in dollars despite wanting payment in Sri Lankan Rupees and us being English. So after working out exchange rates, we discovered we didn't have enough rupees because the price had mysteriously increased since we booked and we only changed a small amount of cash at the airport because the rate was bad. We ended up giving him English money which he said was ... read more
Ruwanwelisiya Dagoba, Anuradhapura
Kitten at Anuradhapura
Drinking Sri Lankan coconut milk

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Anuradhapura September 6th 2017

As seems to be the norm in Sri Lanka the day began with confusion. Firstly we came to pay and, as the price had gone up when we got here, we hadn't changed enough rupees... And we haven't seen anywhere to get more but somehow we managed to pay some in pounds and the rest in rupees. Manuel checked this on the phone with his manager in Kandy who said it was okay and then asked to speak to me. He asked if we'd had a nice stay and asked for a good recommendation on I told him about the room price change and he asked me to give a good review on I'm not sure he understood me... And then Manuel asked us to sign his visitors' book.... He has really tried to ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Anuradhapura September 5th 2017

Up and after breakfast waiting for the van we organised the night before to arrive. Donna remarked "wouldn't it be funny if the van turned out to be the same guy who brought us from the train station". A little after the designated time who turns up to take us on our tour but the train station guy. We climb in and head off on our tour. The guy telling us the original driver couldn't make it but they'd arranged for him to fill in. The first indication that all was not well was when Chris received a call from the Little Paradise man saying our van and driver were two minutes away. Hmmm so we're effectively being kidnaped! Asked the driver to stop and then put him on the phone to the NP guy and ... read more
Donna and Marie resplendent in rags provided by shoulder/knee police!
Pilgrim picnic
Start of procession

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Anuradhapura September 4th 2017

Donna's lost her voice, good because she can't chastise Chris and I for misdemeanours, bad because we no longer have the benefit of her wisdom as part of the decision making. With an effort she can whisper which effectively means her and I are totally incommunicado as whispers don't work with my hearing. Granola with buffalo curd for breakfast and can totally recommend buffalo curd, smooth, not overly sour and must be good for you?? Off to the train station and onto the train all of which went well. Seats in second class which was not full despite the third class wagon being full to the point of overflow. Train was great, doors open and you can lean out to take photos, obviously being careful to not be hit by a train going the other way ... read more
Colombo Fort Railway Station
Marie and Donna get to use the Ladies waiting room!
Donna nad Chris on train

Na een vlotte vlucht landden we moe en zwetend in Colombo (om bij de uitgang van de luchthaven te beseffen dat mijn gsm nog op het vliegtuig lag…). We werden opgehaald door de overvriendelijke huisvader van onze homestay die speciaal voor ons de eerste tuktuk van deze reis ‘gecharterd’ had. De kinderen gingen helemaal in overdrive toen ze zagen dat hun kamer volledig versierd was met rode en witte ballonnen en in zwanen gevouwen beddengoed en handdoeken. Wat een lieve mensen! Ondanks een koude douche kropen we plakkerig van het zweet onder de ventilator in bed. Een copieuze schotel boordevol tropisch fruit lachte ons toe als ontbijt, en terwijl ik terug langs de luchthaven ging voor mijn verlopen voorwerp, konden de kinderen spelen bij de supersympathieke familie. Even later werden we opgehaald door Su, onze privéchauffeur ... read more
The Gathering
Aapje en giant squirrel in de boom

The guy that brought us on a tuk tuk yesterday was waiting for us just outside the hotel and decided all by himself that he was going to be our guide to the ancient city so we were like: "Oh, well ok." but that was that. We started by going to a medium sized buddhist temple and I didn't expect it to be exactly white but in the end I concluded that it was quite pretty but boring when you see them all the time and UNFORTUNATELY I did see them a billion times and I had to walk all around them in a dry weather at 45 degrees! A very interesting thing that my dad told me about about this holiday highlight was that during the dark ages in the far east it wasn't the ... read more

Hi everyone, so I’m back from my amazing holiday to Sri Lanka! I’ll post up the highlights of my holiday as I wrote down what I did at the end of each day in my notepad (didn’t want to take a laptop or tablet). The first thing to say is Sri Lanka is a truly great place to visit and is now well up there with my favourites. The country is stunning; the wildlife opportunities are second to none, there’s so much history and the people are so welcoming. It’s sad to see the country has been recently hit by flooding – I’d encourage everyone to consider the island as a place to visit, you won’t be disappointed and it clearly helps a lot with their development and job creation for the locals. I went with ... read more

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