Blogs from Sri Lanka, Asia


Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo May 15th 2023

Recently I listened to a play about Kafka and his absurdist writings by Alan Bennett. The inimitable Toby Jones played Kafka....Funny how I should bring it to mind as we came through immigration in Bandaranaike Airport. First stop was the queue at foreign passports. We waited patiently here chatting to a fellow Aussie only to be told we needed to complete an arrival form. A sign or information prior to the queue could possibly have been helpful. The computer forms did not work, impossible to choose the flight number you arrived on so hard forms were searched out and completed. Queued again to be told that although we were only staying for less than two days (supposedly visa free) we need to go the visa office queue. No visa officers in sight, it was past eleven ... read more
Lunch at Dutch Trails
Exotic plant

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Ahungalla May 16th 2021

The last place we stayed was another Heritance hotel, located south of Colombo in Ahungalla, after another beautiful drive through the mountains and jungle. This was intended to be more of a beach location and the least expensive hotel of our trip. It showed, but it was still nice! It seems mostly like it is probably a party place in normal times. They were trying to get us to join beach volleyball or water aerobics or water polo... But I think there were less than 20 people total staying the whole time we were there (4 nights). I felt a bit bad - the staff were super nice! The first day we just went to the pool bar for some nice fruity drinks and watched a few interesting guests: a couple learning to swim apparently and ... read more
Ahungalla - hotel from beach
Ahungalla - fruity drinks
Where to next?

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla May 10th 2021

While quarantining in Sri Lanka, we had hoped to do a few tourist activities. However, those activities were limited and adhered to strict requirements. One requirement was to have a certified driver at all times - you were by no means allowed to leave the car. The second was scheduling an approved appointment for said tourist activity. There was a list of about 13 activities we could do in the whole country and maybe 5 were in the region we were staying. I was disappointed not to see or stay at the tea plantations, but maybe next time. So, we opted for Sigiriya Rock and Polonnuwara, both located a couple hours' drive north-northeast of Dambulla. They did not disappoint! Sigiriya Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage site located near Dambulla, which itself looks to be an ... read more
Sigiriya - Lion's Gate
Sigiriya moat

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla May 9th 2021

I think I will divide the second part of our trip into two parts because we did a lot in 4 days. Well, comparatively. The tourist spots we were allowed to visit were limited and spread out, so we had to choose wisely. We both wanted to see SIgiriya Rock and Polonnuwara, so I started looking for hotels in those areas. Luke had previously found Jim's Farm Villas before we left Dubai, but my request on the website went unanswered. However, when I was trying to find a spot and having no real luck, I decided to use their WhatsApp number and I got an immediate response and booked four nights there right away. The protocols in Sri Lanka were pretty strict - we had to stay only in Tier 1 hotels, which meant we could ... read more
View from our balcony
Our room at the Mango Villa
Rice and Egg Hoppers, with coconut sambol and daal

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo May 6th 2021

We had to return to Saudi Arabia for additional work. However, at this time, people were barred from flying directly from UAE to Saudi, so we had to do a 14 day quarantine. Most people were going to Bahrain as it was a shorter route. However, we decided to try somewhere a little different - if we are going to be stuck in a hotel for 14 days, why not try to make the most of it?? Maldives was on the table.... but work probably would not go for that! However, it was suggested Sri Lanka was open and after looking, the hotels were actually cheaper though the flights were a bit more - it would even out and we would be happy. Initially, it was supposed to be 4 of us, but then the client ... read more
Morning fiserman
Dinner at sunset

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Pinnawala May 1st 2021

1st May - As many Elephants are living in the wild of Sri Lanka, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is providing the treatments and the necessary care for the Elephants that get injured, wounded, diseased or be abandoned before weaning in the wild due to various circumstances. The orphanage was established in 1975 by the wildlife department of Sri Lanka. Today we we able to view the elephants taking their daily visit to the river where they were able to relax and play and get splashed with water jets by the rangers. We learnt a lot about the workings of the orphanage and the Sri Lanken elephants from Dilip. Fascinating to see the elephants when they knew it was time to return to the orphanage slowly walking to the street, closely followed by Dilip. At the end of ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle March 23rd 2021

Galle - Sri Lanka #heygo In 1640, the Portuguese were forced to surrender to the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch built the present fort in 1663. They built a fortified solid granite wall and three bastions, known as "Sun", "Moon" and "Star". After the British took over the country from the Dutch in 1796, they preserved the fort unchanged and used it as the administrative centre of the district. Our tour started overlooking the cricket ground. The ground was built in 1876 as a race course. There was no permanent pavilion until 1892, when a ‘grand stand’ was built. Eventually the racing ceased and the ground was used for cricket matches more than races. The fort was under renovation so our guide could not walk along the full length of the walls so he ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo March 19th 2020

For the sake of completing this journey on the blog, I will simply say we returned home after an arduos and fraught time. Then commenced a 14 day self isolation period.... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo March 14th 2020

Wednesday, 11 March, 2020, cont'd After a slow start we headed off at 10.45 am, simply walking North. Bought water from the supermarket, that we call fat man's, for obvious reasons. He told us the first corona virus had been found in Sri Lanka, yesterday. Looked in souvenir/craft shops on the way up to foodcity. We have a small list of things needed presently, but didn't find anything on the list. We bought other things instead. Then over to Tecso and found one item that we were looking for. Time for refreshment. The coffee bean & tea leaf cafe provided us with an ice blended hazelnut and an ice blended black forest drink. They claim to have invented ice blended drinks in 1963 in California and are world famous for them! Anyway it was something different. ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Negombo March 11th 2020

Monday 9 March, 2020 cont'd We left the room at 6.40 pm to find some dinner. Down to the main road and turned right. We stopped at a a restaurant called Sherryland, a few buildings down. The menu looked ok, so we went in. The waiter came for our drinks order and we asked about alcohol, as it was Poya (full moon) day, the waiter spoke quietly and said there was no alcohol. But if we didn't tell anyone they would mix a drink at the bar and could serve it that way. So no bottles of beer were seen on tables. Pat had a gin and tonic and I had a coke. For food we had a burger with chips and chicken stir fry with rice. Food was good, bill was LKR 3311 (GBP 13.97). ... read more

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