Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon is an island state in South Asia. We will enjoy high temperatures here after visiting our previous destination – New Zealand. There are many ways to reach Sri Lanka. We have to chosen to fly but there are ferries operating from India for example.
Places to visit in Sri Lanka
The very first city everyone usually visits in Sri Lanka is Colombo. This city is not the capital of Sri Lanka as is commonly thought but it still has an important status. Colombo remains the industrial and cultural center of the island. BecauseSri Lanka was occupied by the Portuguese and then later by the Dutch and finally the British there are several historical places not related to Hindu religion there, regardless, there are still many temples to visit.
The real travelling in Sri Lanka will begin after we leave Colombo. To make it happen we need to find a driver with a car. Of course transportation in Sri Lanka is working, there are buses operating, but we heard that “renting a cab” is the easier andcheaper option. The plan is simple – smile and bargain until it works for both parties – this will be an adventure! Because we were told it is so uncomplicated we hope to enjoy our vacation in Sri Lanka100% without facing any transportation troubles on the route.
We will explore on the southern part of Sri Lanka and the first place we want to visit is Pinnawala. Here is located an elephant orphanage where anyone can take care of elephants on their own, feed them with prepared food, wash them, cuddle and caress them and enjoy their presence for only a small amount of money. Even though the orphanage is open to public it is not for free and cannot be for obvious reasons. But in this case it isn’t about money, it is a nice experience where one can help. From the elephants we will move to Kandy. Kandy is a historical site protected by UNESCO. Such places and buildings are quite common on Sri Lanka. People head towards Kandy to visit the nearby Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Based on a legend thatthere is a hidden tooth that was taken from Buddha’s funeral place.This sanctuary has a great importance for many followers of Buddha as they believe they must visit this place once in a lifetime. And we want to be part of that ideology as well.In Kandy we would even like to tour The Royal Palace, the botanical garden and other parks located there. This place looks like a romantic area and it will offer great shelter to all travellers, and a rest before the exacting trip towards Adam’s Peak. It is one of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka. We are not totally convinced whether to climb to the top of this hill because the path up is definitely less difficult than the path leading down. It is not a typical trek where you have to conquer heavy terrain. There are 5200 steps to walk up. So in total it is unbelievable 10400 steps. We heard that even the most experienced travellers had problems on this peak. The only motivating factor here is that whoever gets up, then he/she can ring the bell at the summit. This is a ritual everyone should do as it is an honor that he made it to the top and it is told that whoever will do it, will be purified by Buddha himself. It sounds nice but courage and great physical reserves are a must for this mission. Anyway we want to be at least at the bottom of this hill in order to take some pictures and then continue on our trip around the world.
During our vacation in Sri Lanka we will keen on staying in nature. Therefore the next place we visit is the National Park Yala. The purpose of our visit in this park is mainly local fauna and flora. This place is the most common area for leopards. Another breath taking place is National Park Bundala with its biosphere reservation protected by UNESCO.
Life in Sri Lanka
It is the local life which is so interesting to experience in Sri Lanka. To be able to enjoy and try things locals do, we need to go to Matara. This place is located by the Indian Ocean so we can refresh ourselves in the water when the temperature gets too high. And finally we will have the chance to taste local cuisine. Sri Lankan cuisine is quite similar to Indian cuisine. We were told that it is quite spicy. We will for sure try the local fried omelette called Hoppers. Those who like sea food and especially tuna could taste the local specialty called Ambul Thiyal. But no one should miss the Sinhal meal called Lamprai which is prepared from pieces of meat, boiled rice and baked with vegetables in banana leaves. Sweet deserts are good as well. The most delicious ones are Kavun – spiced cake with coconut oil, Aluva – a cake made of rice flour with cashew nuts and syrup or Watlalappam – egg custard with caramel. We hope to be still able to travel to Galle after eating so much food. Galle is a bigger city in south of Sri Lanka where there is a mix of cultures, education and tourism. This place is apparently going to be a little crowdedcompared to previous destinations but on the other hand it will be fantastic preparation for our next destination. A return to civilization is sometimes good. Next we will journey to India and see how we like it.
Welcome to Sri Lanka!
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