Just after my birthday in February, we headed off for a round the world trip to Sri Lanka as part of our honeymoon tour. We stayed a week in Sri Lanka and then a week in the Maldives. I will be covering all aspects of our trip in various blog posts but today I wanted to focus on our experience in Sri Lanka and the memories we made here.
Sri Lanka is quite literally like nowhere I’ve ever been before. The country is streaming with culture, business, craftsmen, religion and sun. A once British ruled country, it is now an independent country that seems proud of its history and where it is now. The country is mostly Buddhist but has Muslim and Christian areas. We wanted to visit the country on a complete whim, we knew we wanted to do the Maldives but it felt right to fit in some exploring and proper travelling before we had a relaxing holiday.
I’ll do a more vivid round up of the hotels and experiences over the next few months but here’s a round up of my favourite memories whilst in Sri Lanka. We went to Columbo, Kandy and Habarana.
Mount Lavinia Beach
We stayed at the Mount Lavinia Hotel the first day we landed. We needed a hotel in the capital just to stop over, get used to our surroundings before we had a hefty drive up to Kandy the next day. The hotel is so old school and is a colonial style building. It was very grand yet set in-between a railway link. People would openly walk down the tracks! The Beach you can see above is Mount Lavinia beach which is part of the hotel. This is a BEAUTIFUL beach. The sand is golden and soft, the sea is so warm and the cocktails and beach area is amazing. This was exactly what we needed to see on our first day in the city after crawling through the traffic of Columbo.
Temple of the Tooth
In Kandy, where we stayed for two days, we visited the Temple of the Tooth. A buddhist temple where it is believed that a tooth relic that belonged to the Lord Buddha is kept. This temple, like many places in Sri Lanka is busy, bustling and overwhelming. Luckily our tourguide/driver was super helpful at getting us to the right places, giving us the proper tour around and pushing through the crowds. Here Buddhists come to provide ‘offerings’ to the Buddha tooth in order to pray and provide the most beautiful flowers they can. The whole experience is so intense, as an unreligious person this did fill me with a bit of happiness. You can clearly see that the place meant so much to them. Everyone was pushing and so eager to make sure they got their offering to the Buddha. I wish I had more passion and inclination for something in my life. This is one place in Sri Lanka, I fully recommend visiting.
If you told me I would have to wake up at 7am, with a few hours sleep on me due to a festival keeping us up all night, then going to climb a 200m high rock I’d tell you, you were joking. This rock is huge. No picture gives it justice of how tall it is. It is also a hugely popular tourist attraction, go early and you’re still joining the queue. You do mostly queue for this rock, I thought you would just walk up or hike but its very much a shuffle. Regardless, we’ll never forget the memory of walking to the top and seeing the horizon for miles away, but also the monkeys that were very rude went we went down!
Curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Now, I know India and Sri Lanka love curry and it’s their traditional dish. I just didn’t think it would be EVERYWHERE. I LOVE curry but when I’m on holiday I just don’t think I can eat it everyday for every meal. One memory we’re not going to forget easily is that every time we asked our driver to take us to lunch it was always curry buffet. I did try and get sandwiches but it just didn’t work. On the plane in we had curry for dinner and breakfast, not my usual breakfast of choice! It was certainly an experience and something we’ll never forget! They always say, do as the locals do!
Seeing the Elephants
One of the most iconic things to do in Sri Lanka is see the elephants. It’s so important to me that we didn’t see them in working conditions as I hated the idea of using them for rides or working conditions. Even when we were out at the rock we saw a girl riding the elephant and our driver said it was really cruel as elephants are in intense pain when they have to walk on the roads as the heat hurts their feet. This made me so sad, so I was glad to see them happily in their crowds with their family in the wild. Our safari was awesome to go in a real bumpy jeep and stand up open top to see the landscape and animals. There is nothing like seeing animals like this in the wild and one memory we’ll never forget.
This holiday has bought us so many memories, these are just a few of them so far! Everyday we did something different and no day was better than the last! The Maldives was a different holiday in itself so we’ll be showcasing that separately too! Our holiday was a once in a lifetime, we’ll be back to Europe holidays very soon. There are some great holiday deals to be had across the web and if we have some spare money amongst our renovations this year we’ll hopefully get another holiday in this summer.
Our mini moon to Tenerife provided plenty of memories but this holiday was just slightly different! It’s so nice to experience all types of cultures and countries! Have you ever considered Sri Lanka? It’s a real experience and one I’d highly recommend!