NEGOMBO, DAMBULLA, SIGIRIYA, POLONNARUWA, KANDY, NUWARA ELIYA, PINNAWALA
Our flight from New Delhi to the capital of Sri Lanka – Colombo took something over 3 hours. We landed late in the night and we were pleasantly surprised with the outside temperature and the humidity. 28’C in February at 10pm is really cool… At the airport we were welcomed by our driver Jay that we booked on Tripadvisor. He had very good reviews and we booked him for our entire trip. After a brief chat with him we moved to the guest house and went to bed to be ready for tomorrow’s early morning start of our Sri Lankan adventure.
Negombo – Dambulla – Sigiriya
The best thing about Sri Lanka is that you hear it before you see it. You’ll be woken up by the sound of birds, monkeys, cicadas and all other animals living everywhere around you. Sri Lanka is one big jungle and everywhere you go you’ll be surrounded by the nature. Our guest house in Negombo was just 5min from the beach and it would be shame not to swim in the sea. The temperature in the morning was already 35’C and I was literally running into the sea… We took off our flip flops on the beach but the sand was so hot we could barely walk on it. The water in the sea was fantastic and it took me a while to get out of there.
Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Kandy
Today we had planned to visit one of the most important landmarks in Sri Lanka – Lion rock in Sigiriya. It’s actually 200m high rock with the ruins of temples and magnificent gardens on the top. The rock was created from erupted magma of extinct volcano. It’s good to come early in the morning because it’s very famous place and always full of tourists. It’s quite a steep climb but it’s definitely worth to do it. This place is emblazoned with many legends and with the Buddhist temple of Dambulla is a part of natural heritage of UNESCO. About half way through there is a longitudinal crack in which is a cave with ancient frescoes. After that it continues up a steep spiral staircase until you reach the big rig with stone-carved Lion paws. A few more steps up and you reach the top with stunning views of the green jungle surrounded by mountains and lakes. Absolutely magnificent…
Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Pinnawala
Today we started by visiting the most famous temple in Kandy. It’s the Temple of the Tooth and every day at 9am starts the celebratory ceremony. Mainly because of this ceremony the place is always full of tourists. During this ceremony the monks are marching through the temple with loud drumming and playing the pipes. It all looks like a scene from adventure films and it is a real experience to watch. The temple has several floors. On the first are historical photographs of the temple bombing in 1998 and on the second are Buddhist artifacts donated from all around the world.
According to what we read about Sri Lanka before our arrival we knew it’s an amazing country but in reality was even better. Green island is one big jungle and everyone finds something what he likes about this country. Whether it’s the mountains, sea, adrenaline, history or animals – Sri Lanka is the right place where you definitely find what you are looking for…
Tip 1: Book a driver on Tripadvisor with good references that will show you the most interesting places of the island.
Tip 2: Start the visit of the Lion rock in Sigiriya early in the morning to avoid the flow of tourists later on.
Tip 3: In Kandy attend the celebratory ceremony in the Temple of the Tooth. Come early because it’s also very touristy place.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to try yellow King coconuts. The taste is amazing and it’s also very refreshing.
(prices as of February 2016)
Thank you very much for reading this article. If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas please write them in the comment box below.