Blogs from Sri Lanka, Asia - page 4


Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya July 20th 2015

Today was a very early morning. We were up at 5, ready by 5:45, checked out by 6:15, breakfast and then on the road. We had a few stops today and the first one was Sigiriya Rock, which was a Buddhist Palace and town. We arrived there by 7:15 am and started touring the area. It was massive. We walked around the grounds a little and then we started with the stairs. There were stairs and more stairs and more stairs. The trip up the rock was 2,002 and steps and we hit every one of them. At least we were there early before the crowds and before it got too hot. Plus there was a great breeze and as we climbed higher and higher the wind got stronger and stronger. It was glorious. A breeze ... read more
view from above

Today started back in the van for what we hoped was not a long journey, and we were lucky it was only 1 hour. We headed to Polonnaruwa, a village of Buddhist ruins from the 1100-1300 AD period. They consisted of a number of Stupas (round big buildings you can't enter that Buddhist pray around), the image houses that had statues and images of Buddha and a third thing we can't remember. It was hot and humid but nothing compared to Vietnam as there was a breeze to cool it a bit. The ruins were nice and some well restored, but you had to take off your shoes and hat at every one and walk around in your socks or bare feet. After about the 7th one we got a bit tired of this and were ... read more

Uda Walawe National Park - what a little gem!! We were determined to do a safari during our time in Sri Lanka and we chose this national park out of all the options because we had heard it was the most similar to its African counterparts. We were not disappointed! There a couple of options to arrange a safari at this national park. Firstly, you can arrange accommodation in one of the surrounding camps that surround the park. There is no accommodation in the park itself but there are plenty of options in the vicinity of the park. They are quite expensive, I could not find a budget option during my search so I think you have to throw a bit of cash at this. The camps will have their own safari vehicles and will take ... read more
A lone Bull!
Feeding Bull
Banyan Camp

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province July 18th 2015

We had quite the relaxing morning. We did not have to meet our guide, Vijitha until 10:30. Lynn was up first and got ready and walked down to the beach. Chester and Kirsten got ready soon after and went straight to breakfast. We were all ready for the visit to the Elephant Orphanage. Well, the 90 minute drive took 2.5 hours. Yikes. We are in a nice van, however the roads are brutal once you drive into the interior of the country. We took side, dirt roads that were all under construction because of drainage issues. The Elephant Orphanage was pretty cool. They have over 80 rescued elephants of all ages. We saw the older ones walking around eating, saw the ones that have behavior and aggression issues chained up to trees, and then we got ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Ella July 16th 2015

I could not stop singing Rihanna’s song whilst we were in Ella - hence the name of this blog. Apologies. We thought the train from Colombo to Hatton was pretty - the train journey from Hatton to Ella was unforgettable. It was a 4 hour journey that I spent with my head permanently hanging out of the window, staring at the stunning Sri Lankan hill country. We were on the left side of the 2nd class cabin and I would say the views are better from this side. We arrived in Ella and were met at the train station by a frenzy of tuk tuk drivers and guesthouse promoters. Most people come out of the station and turn left to head into "town" where most of the accommodation is located, but these offer none of the ... read more
Train Selfies
Train Tunnel
Track walking

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Hatton July 12th 2015

After a quick 1 night stop in Colombo, we boarded the early 5:50am train from Colombo Fort station to Badulla, with the intention of jumping off at Hatton (literally jumping). The train journey was amazing, even though it is meant to be a 'less beautiful' part of the line. We booked a 1st class seat, but this was not needed - 2nd class is just the same but has no aircon. A nice local man informed us we were coming into Hatton, we would have missed it otherwise, so we grabbed our stuff and jumped the 1metre down to the platform whilst the train was still edging along. It is still a 1 hour ride from Hatton to our final destination; Dalhousie or Delhouse as we saw it spelt locally. You can wait around for a ... read more
Waterfall in Dalhousie
Kites in Colombo
Sunset in Colombo

Asia » Sri Lanka » Eastern Province » Trincomalee June 15th 2015

Dutch Bay Trincomalee Dutch Bay beach is in town so we are not expecting much, but were thrilled when we saw a beautiful, clean, calm, aqua blue bay with golden silky sand, and when you are up to your chest in the water you can still see the shells on the bottom. It’s divine to swim in. We stay in this new large beach front room on 3rd floor with deck, but no chairs, weird, so we ask and they deliver chairs. We swim, eat and drink cold beer sitting on the deck taking in the view, and watching the dark clouds come in followed by the thunder and lightning in the distance. Very few tourists around and its high season here. We walk the small town waving to all the kids that find us amusing, ... read more
dutch bay in front of hotel
dutch bay sunrise
fernados beach bar uppuveli

Asia » Sri Lanka June 9th 2015

Ella The trip to Ella is slow, vehicles do not travel fast, tooting and overtaking constantly, but really only travelling at 60km at best. Oh, except the buses of course, they blast past everything at high speed rattling along the road. We left the coast line and wound up around the ridge of the green hills into Ella hillside town, with steep inclines and no road side barriers. We saw them pulling up the hill a mangled truck cab where the driver had gone off the road the day before. Apparently he lived, but his truck did not. We hit the accommodation jackpot with Misty Hills View Hotel, we found a brand new guest house, open a month, that was scoring top reviews and we found a really cheap deal. We stayed 4 nights and only ... read more
our view
Roti Shop
our train in the clouds

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle May 29th 2015

Colombo We stepped off the plane and walked into a sauna! It's early 30s but the humidity is around 90%. We only have $100 Sri Lankan dollars in our wallet, the exchange rate is NZ$1 = 100R, can you believe it, you are not allowed more than NZ$50 each cash into the country. So first stop ATM. We stay in the market area of Colombo for 2 nights as it’s near the station and we are catching trains around Sri Lanka. We cannot wear sunglasses, the sweat collects inside the glasses and drips into your eyes so you cannot see. The roads are filled with tuk tuk and local buses. The bus drivers are maniacs, they speed and serve all over the road, over taking on blind spots, not hesitating to run you over. Pedestrian crossings ... read more
our private carriage
not enough room for all passengers so they hangon in the door way
Fort 1

Asia » Sri Lanka May 20th 2015

The day has arrived. After a hectic week during which: I left my job after tying up any loose ends, we moved our entire house to mum and dad's, moved Huddy (our son/dog) to a kennel for the weekend, got married, picked Huddy up from the kennel, moved Huddy and all his belongings (yes, he has belongings) to our awesome mate, Dom's place, dropped off my work car at work (now down to one, shitty van), moved ourselves and Subi (our daughter/cat) to mum and dad's and packed everything we would need for the next 7 months into a bag, we finally hopped on a Sri Lanka bound plane. DAY 1. COLOMBO We arrived in Colombo at 1am after some reliably top notch service from Qantas during which Paul didn't get a meal until two hours ... read more

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